NEHEMIAH - Chapters 9 and 10 - National Repentance Print E-mail

NEHEMIAH- Chapters 9 & 10- National Repentance

Chapter 9 – Spiritual Revival

Chapter 10 – 120 Sealers of the Covenant

 

Following the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, there was a public confession; reading, hearing, believing, and obeying God’s Word which will always bring spiritual revival with humiliation, self-judgment, confession, and true worship.  This chapter reveals the principle of the Day of Atonement.

 

The Lord’s covenant with Israel for the blessing of the Promised Land had been lost due to national sin.  Ezra the leader of this prayer for the nation confesses they have lost the blessing from the prosperity of the land.  Kings from foreign nations are reaping the fruit and goodness of the blessing over Israel (Neh. 9:36-37). 

 

Here O’ United States of America, our national sin is great.  We have been invaded by the Assyrian, the Lord’s instrument of judgment through the millenniums.  Our jobs and profits are now given to kings from foreign nations.

 

 The first section (5-15) is praise; then the Lord’s grace is extolled (16-29); it closes with their seeking his continuous goodness and help.

 

 The Lord’s Greatness, His Guidance, and His Grace!

 

These people had earlier sinned together.  They had been in captivity together.  They had returned together.  They had built together; now they covenant together in confession, praise and thanksgiving.  They entered into this self-imposed covenant and put themselves under a curse.  Their heart is deep moral purpose to order their ways in the future according to the revealed will of God (the Word of God).

 

Jesus became a “curse” for us that in the New Covenant, the curses have been broken through the appropriation of faith, the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Christ.

 

Gal. 3:13: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

 

As we have studied Nehemiah chapter by chapter, we can see the work of the Holy Spirit through Nehemiah:

       1.   The concern of the Holy spirit of Comfort for the people.

  1.  Provision and Patience of the Comforter
  2.  The Comforter teaches interdependence.
  3.  Learning to resist the Adversary.
  4.  Overcoming obstacles of restoration.
  5.  Keeping the Flow of the Spirit alive.
  6.  Accepting Responsibilities as we grow.
  7.  Receiving the Word   (no condemnation).
  8.  Remembering the Covenantal word.
  9.  Covenanting to be Faithful.
  10.  Living in the City.
  11.  Worship and Dedication to secure.
  12.  The Comforter’s correction unto keeping the Covenant.

 

These closing chapters after the completion of the Wall will include its dedication of one-tenth of the population brought into the city to live.  Not all the population could live in Jerusalem.  It was necessary that some of the citizenry maintain the fields and the flocks.  God has no second class citizens.  Every joint is necessary.

11:1-2:  The people cast lots to bring one of then to dwell in Jerusalem the Holy

City, and nine parts to dwell in other cities,” And the people blessed all the men that willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem.  These are the Lord’s Tithe (1 Cor.13, Rev.3:21; Phil.3; Eph.4) These like Ruth and Esther are delivered from fear and put their lives in jeopardy.  We are becoming the Tithe unto the Lord.  This is the generous, giving nature, even the nature of God, as in John 3:16

 

The Issues of the SURE COVENANT were not to intermarry, to keep the Sabbath, to support the House of God and to bring the first fruits into the House of the Lord.  This Covenant was sealed represented by the priests, Levites, and rulers to its terms and the people agreed. 

 

Many times we are dubious about making any point of surrender to the Lord because of past record of having failed in that point as with New Year’s Resolutions.  But when God tells us to make a commitment, He gives the Holy Spirit unto the fulfillment and accomplishment of that commitment.  The covenant Relationship with the Lord is a one time decision, but an on-going commitment to continue to live in God’s resources (the City surrounded by rebuilt Walls).  The Basis of the Covenant, and out commitment and dedication, is the WORD OF GOD.  We should not make consecrations based upon feelings, personal rationale, zeal, or our own desires or goals (flesh).  In Nehemiah, they were taught the Word of God before their commitment!  Nehemiah helped them to separate from the heathen, but separation is not isolation.  They determined to keep the Sabbath, and not to intermarry but to train their children right.  They renewed their worship.

 

 They subsequently violated this Covenant when Nehemiah was absent in Chapter 13. 

 

In this chapter, we see the power of prayer:

 

9: 1-3     - Preparation of the people (6 hour service).

9:4-31    - Prayer of confession (recap of God’s mercy)

9:32-38 - Prayer for the present. 

 

(9:1-3):  Preparation of the People. “In the 24th day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackcloth, and earth upon themselves.  The seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.  They stood up in their place and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshiped the Lord their God.”

9:4-5:  Then stood upon the stairs of the Levites these 8 men (8 is the number of new beginnings).

1.  Jeshua – Jehovah is salvation

2.  Bani – my building

3.  Kadmiel – before (in front of) God

4.  Shebabiah – who is built of Jehovah

5.  Bunni – I am built

6.  Sherebiah – set free in Jah.

7.  Bani – my building

8.  Chenani – as my perpetuator

STAND UP AND BLESS THE LORD YOUR GOD FOR EVER AND EVER, AND BLESSED BE YOUR GLORIOUS NAME, WHICH IS EXALTED ABOVE ALL BLESSING AND PRAISE.”

 

The Creator and Savior:

 

  This song and prayer begins with Creation and ends with the Exodus and His keeping power in the Wilderness.  Those who give power to the god of global warming have not read this verse.

 

9:6:  ’YOU EVEN YOU ARE LORD ALONE, YOU HAVE MADE HEAVEN, THE HEAVEN OF HEAVENS, WITH ALL THEIR HOST, THE EARTH, AND ALL THINGS THAT ARE THEREIN, THE SEAS, AND ALL THAT IS THEREIN, AND YOU PRESERVE THEM ALL; AND THE HOST OF HEAVEN WORSHIPS YOU.”

 

Three dimensions:

  1. Heavens (s) 100-fold.
  2. Earth             60-fold.
  3. Seas                30-fold.

 

9:7-8 deals with Abram who became Abraham.  The Hebrew letter “He” (number 5) was inserted into his name as a symbol of the Grace that called him!

 

You are the Lord the God, who did choose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave him the name of Abraham.  AND FOUND HIS HEART FAITHFUL BEFORE YOU, AND MADE A COVENANT WITH HIM. To give him the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and the Gigashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and have performed Your words; for You are righteous.”

 

God is righteous to Abraham and his Seed.  Through Jesus’ crucifixion on the Cross, we receive this blessing given to Abraham (Gal. 3: 13-14).  

 

9:9-15: deals with the Exodus.  You did see the affliction of our father in Egypt, and heard their cry by the Red sea and showed signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and on all his servants and on all the people of his land: for you knew that they dealt proudly against them.  You divided the sea before them and their persecutors you threw into the deep. You led them in the day by a cloudy pillar and in the night by a pillar of fire to give them light.  You came down upon Mt. Sinai to give the law to Moses and gave them right judgments, and true laws, and made known to them the Holy Sabbath and gave them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promised them that they should go in to possess the land which you had sworn to give them.”

 

 

 

9:16-25 deals with God’s Grace and Patience.   This section emphasizes “They” and “Thou” (man and God).   Israel lacked nothing, and appreciated nothing. 

 

They and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to Your commandments. They refused to obey, neither were mindful of the wonders that You did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage; but You are a God ready to pardon, Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness, and forsook them not.”

 

  9:18-23: refers to the Golden Calf of Numbers 32.  Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is your God that brought you up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; (treat with scorn, hate and contempt).  YET YOU IN YOUR MANIFOLD MERCIES FORSOOK THEM NOT in the wilderness” the pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go. You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them and withheld not your Manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.  For 40 years you sustained them in the wilderness, so they lacked nothing.  Their clothes did not grow old, and their feet swelled not.  You gave them kingdoms and nations, did divide them into corners; so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan.  Their children multiplied as the stars of Heaven.  You brought them into the land which You had promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.”

 

9: 26-31 – Israel cast the law behind their backs, and slew the prophets which testified against them.  Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them; and in the time of their trouble, you gave them Saviors (Judges), who saved them out of the hand of their enemies, so they had the dominion over them; yet when they returned and cried to You, You heard them from heaven; and many times You delivered them according to Your mercies;… but after they had rest, they did evil again and many times did you deliver them. Yet many years did you forbear them and testified against them by the SPIRIT in Your prophets; yet they would not give ear; therefore You gave them into the hand of the people of the lands.  Nevertheless for Your great mercies’ sake, You did not utterly forsake them, for you ARE A MERCIFUL GOD.

 

This prayer is as applicable to the United States of America in the year 2016.  

 

9:32:  Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty and terrible God, who keeps covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before You, that has come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all Your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria to this day.”

 

The Lord has always used the Assyrians as instruments of his judgment.  We have an Assyrian president under the guise of a black-American.  Through his Assyrian roots and childhood, he has made the United States vulnerable to terrorism of the Assyrian.  This is judgment on America.  It is God’s warning and discipline because America is turning its back on Jesus Christ and His Blood Covenant.

 

If the United States does not repent, the invasion of the Assyrians will escalate.  Just as the Lord’s mercy and long suffering was toward Israel, He has been long suffering with the United States and His covenant with us.

 

9:33-36:  You are just in all that is brought upon us; for You have done right, but we have done wickedly; Neither have our kings our princes, our priests nor our fathers, kept Your law, nor hearkened to Your commandments and Your testimonies, wherewith You did testify against them.  For they have not served You in their kingdom, and in Your great goodness that You gave them, and in the large and fat land which You gave before them, neither turned they from their wicked works,  Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that You gave to our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we are servants in it

 

Though they have returned to the Promised Land with the grace to rebuild the Temple and the Wall, they are servants to the Persian King.

 

9:37:  It yields much increase to the kings whom You have set over us because of our sins; also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.”

 

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”. (1 Co. 10:26)  The Lord blessed the land he gave to Israel, but because of their sins, Kings from other nations were reaping the blessings.

 

9:38: “Because of all this we make a covenant, and write it; and our princes; Levites, and priests, seal to it.”

 

The Lord had already come into covenant with the patriarchs for Israel and the land.   A covenant was a king’s grant of land or some other benefit to a loyal servant for faithful or exceptional service.  The grant was normally perpetual and unconditional, but the servant’s heirs benefited from it only if they continued in their father’s loyalty and service.

 

Now the civil and spiritual leaders in Israel initiate the sealing of the covenant with the Lord.  These are stated by the Talmud to have formed the “Great Synagogue” which originally consisted of 120 members; it evolved into the Sanhedrin.

 

It is significant that 120 was the number present when Peter stood up and preached after Jesus ascended into Heaven.  The Scripture appears to reflect these are those who received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

 

As this covenant in Nehemiah, chapter 9 was sealed by 120; so the Lord sealed His New Covenant with 120 at Pentecost.  Therefore breaking this covenant initiated by the Jews for those who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

 

Chapter 9 flows right into Chapter 10, where the prolonged moving of the Spirit and their heart-searching culminates in a series of specific offerings and pledges. 

 

There are both civil authorities and priestly names listed in Chapter ten.

 

10: 1-27:   - Sealers of the Covenant.

!0: 29-38 -   Significance of the Covenant:

1.      Submission to the Word.

2.      Separation from the heathen.

3.      Sabbath-day regulations.

4.      Stewardship and support for the Temple.

 

Everyone, down to the youngest child who could understand shared in this oath! 

They subsequently violated this Covenant when Nehemiah was absent, just as the Israelites violated the ten commandments when Moses was absent.  The people still have the mind set to please man rather than God.

 

10:29:  They cling to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His judgments and His statutes.”

 

This oath would have been a covenant of the flesh because the Lord would not have had them enter into a curse.

 

The method by which the staff and services of the temple were to be maintained is given in some detail.  It was to be by the annual temple tax.  The provision of wood (vs. 34) was to burn on the altar of the Lord, so that the altar fire might continually be kept burning. 

 

10:31: “Ordinances were made to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the House of our God.”    Verse 35 mentions the bringing the first fruits.  Verse 36 adds the firstborn and the firstlings.  Verse 37 adds concerning tithes, as does verse 38. “The priest, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes; and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.  For the sons of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil unto the chambers, which are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers.  We will not forsake the House of God!”

 

The Tithe was to support the Levites and temple staff. The Levites were to bring a tenth of the tithes to the temple at Jerusalem for the maintenance of the priests. 

 

This sums up the prophetic concern if Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

 

Malachi called the people to genuine repentance.   

 

Mal 3: 8-9: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me.  But you say Wherein have we robbed You?  In tithes and offerings.  You are cursed with a curse for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.

 

In the New Covenant of the New Testament, all the curses of the Old Testament were broken at the Cross (through appropriation of Faith, the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Jesus-Gal. 3:16).  The curse of the tithe was also broken.  The principle of the tithe stands, but we are under the blessing of the tithe. 

 

  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts.”

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth on Nehemiah by Kelly Varner.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.   

 
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