HAVE I SIGNED ON THE DOTTED LINE?
NEHEMIAH – GOD’S MAN IN TIMES OF CRISIS
NEHEMIAH 9-10, LESSON # 9 – A Complete Lesson
· What “contracts” have you literally signed or committed yourself to verbally down through the years? What are the two or three most important ones?
· Do you ever have to review the commitments you’ve made? Why is that valuable?
· “There must be commitment to something different or bigger or grander than ourselves if we are to make progress in our lives.” James Montgomery Boice, Nehemiah, Learning to Lead, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Fleming H. Revell, 1990) p. 158
· How will rock-fast commitments help us in times of crisis?
· The most important commitment of all is to salvation.
In chapter 8 there was an assembly held in which the Word of God was read. In chapter 9 another assembly is described in which “… the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.  And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.” The end result of this assembly was a covenant or commitment described in chapter 10 signed by the leaders of the Nation. These chapters help us check our own commitments and make us ask the question “Have I signed on the dotted line?”
THEY REMEMBERED GOD’S BLESSINGS
Why is it important to remember God’s blessings?
How has God blessed you?
How has God blessed Mount Union?
The blessings are itemized in chapter 9:
1. Creation – Vs. 6
2. Choice of Abraham – Vss. 7-8
3. Deliverance from Egypt – Vss. 9-11
4. Mercies in the wilderness – Vss. 11-15, 19-21
5. Military victories and possession of the Land – Vss. 22-25
6. Deliverances in the Land – Vss. 27-28
7. Mercy in spite of the sins – Vss. 30-31
How should the people have felt as they reviewed this list in prayer?
What kind of impact might prayers like this have on our own spirituality?
THEY REPENTED OF THEIR SINS
What is involved in repentance?
What value is there to confessing “the sins of our fathers” or of the church?
In this prayer found in chapter 9, there are specific references made to the sins of the Children of Israel.
1. Sins in the wilderness – Vss. 16-18
2. Sins in the Land – Vss. 26, 28-30
3. Sins of their ancestors – Vss. 32-35
What is significant about verse 33? Why is this attitude not always true among Christians?
Read verses 36-38. Why were they making the covenant?
THEY REESTABLISHED THEIR COMMITMENT – CHAPTER 10
1. TO SUBMISSION TO GOD – Vs. 29
This commitment was impossible to keep perfectly. Why bother?
How does this commitment show submission to God?
What do Matthew 11:28-30, Luke 9:23, and Romans 12:1 teach us about submission?
2. TO SEPARATION – Vs. 30
We think of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Are there any other ways to be separated other than through marriage?
What does 1 John 2:15-17 tell us about separation?
3. TO A SABBATH MINDSET – Vs. 31
The Sabbath and sabbatical year would be adhered to.
“That is one reason why Christian believers do not keep the Old Testament Sabbath, for our rest is not in a day but in a person.” John Phillips, Exploring Hebrews, (Chicago, Moody Press, 1977) p.77
Look at Hebrews 4:9-11. What is a Sabbath mindset for the believer?
4. TO SACRIFICE – Vss. 32-33
To which sacrifices should a believer be committed? Romans 12:1, Ephesians 5:15-17, Philippians 4:18, Hebrews 13:15
6. TO SHARING – 34-39
Other than supplying our own personal needs, what is money good for? Ephesians 4:28, Galatians 6:9-10
Why do Christians sometimes become stingy?
PRAY ABOUT IT!
Have I failed to permanently “sign off” in one of the areas mentioned above?
How committed am I to God?