Nehemiah 9:38- 10:39

Commitments that Last


What is your word worth? You know what I mean – Your promises / / your commitment / Your pledge

A) Are you someone that friends BANK ON – or are you someone that friends BET ON?


B) What do I mean by that ? Well when you say that you are going to be at such and such a place at such and such a time

1) Do they bank on that – Are they ready and waiting because they know that you will be on time or early?


C) Or are they hedging bets as to how late you will be – 10 minutes / 20 minutes / 30 minutes / do I hear a 40 minute from the crowd


D) When you give your word – do they know that it is a done deal – He said he would call – he is going to call  he said that he would come over – he will be there

1) Do they BANK ON IT –


E) Or in the back of their minds are they making back up plans because – well you have been known to not follow thru on your commitments


Commitments are a big part of our Christianity

A) Often this description is associated with someone’s walk with the Lord



B) That is the way others perceive that individual – He is committed to his faith/  committed to his beliefs

1) A committed Christian is one that we might call a Disciple –

2) Someone who follows Jesus Close & at all times .


C) The opposite would be someone who follows from a far and only when it is convenient

1) The Lord is looking for Disciples – those who are going to be sold out – committed to following close at all times


Here in Nehemiah Ch.10 the people are making a commitment to be that type of a follower.

A) We saw in our study last time that God was moving amongst His people – in a time of confession that led to a time of reflection – God’s past History w/ them


B) And resulted in a time of REDEDICATION and RECOMMITMENT to the Lord

1) They re-established their Covenant with the Lord . That is where we left them in v.38 of Ch.9


C) What we have here in Ch.10 are the details of that Covenant

1) V.1-27 tell us the names of those who placed their seal on Document –


2) Those who publicly professed their agreement with.



D) V.28 -39 give us the details of it ! What we find are 4 promises  that they made to the Lord -

1) Those 4 promises  reveal 4 Principles for us to learn from ! That is what we want to consider today.


Neh 10:28-31 

Now the rest of the people -- the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding --29 these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and 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 ordinances and His statutes:30 We would not give our daughters as wives to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons;


1st Promise: Promise not the inter marry !

Principle : We will protect our convictions with faithful friends !


A) When you make a commitment and then surround yourself with people who have made that same commitment – your chances of keeping it are greater


B) Example: Every year in Jan – Gym membership rises People make their new Years resolutions – Get in Shape

1) Problem by Feb or early March – That commitment has gone out the window

C) But if a person has a Buddy – work out Partner or partners – hold accountable

1) Most of the time – they are much more faithful in their Commitment


D) Example: I don’t enjoy working out – But I do enjoy being in shape – Pastor Phil – lets work out together –

1) I had my best Stretch – lost weight – getting in shape


2) Then Phil he bailed on me – It was all down hill from there !


What is true concerning Physical fitness is equally true of Spiritual fitness – we need the encouragement of each other.

A) 2 Tim 2:22-23 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


B) Flee youthful lust – and pursue God – but not alone -  with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


C) You are going to have a better chance of staying pure – when you surround yourself with Partners who are Committed to staying Pure


A couple of yrs ago – I met together one morning a week with about 25 guys in our Church – to read thru some books together and talk

A) Focus – how does this relate to us as men in the Church / as Husbands / and as Fathers –

1) It was a great time – I was very inspired by the dialogue


B) It was encouraging to be around guys who were like minded –

1) Men who wanted to abstain from evil and who wanted to seek the Lord with all of their hearts


C) Some of those Guys are now leading home groups – 2 of them have become Pastors

1) There is a definite blessing that goes along with surrounding yourself with people who want to Pursue righteousness & seek God like you do!


But listen the opposite is also true If you surround yourself with worldly minded friends You will discover this also to be true :

1 Cor 15:33  "Bad company corrupts good morals." NASU


A) That is why the Lord exhorts us to not Yoke ourselves together with Unbelievers –

1) not joined or linked to them in Marriage / Business Partnership / close friends


B) Reason: They will pull you down more often than you pulling them up

1) Spurgeon Illustration.


C) Point is clear if you Link yourself to unbelievers – They will pull you down !


D) SO first Promises – Not to inter-marry – Principle – Protect their convictions with faithful friendships


2nd Promise: V 31 if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year's produce and the exacting of every debt.

A) They Promise to not do Business on the Sabbath –

     Principle: Compromise is Contagious


B) The Sabbath was a day that the Lord asked his people to set aside for Worship, renewal & Reflection

1) Not a day for Business and work


C) God promised that if they would keep the Sabbath days and years –

1) He would bless them He would cause them to Prosper.


D) It is a good Principle – Here is the idea –  If you want to keep your commitments

1) it is going to require you to set up boundaries for your Business / for your walk with the Lord / and for your family!


Now we are not required to keep THE SABBATH – But the concept of keeping a Sabbath is still one that is wise!

A) A day set aside to seek the Lord – a day set aside to relax and reflect with my family.


B) Times that are set aside where we make a decision – nothing is going to impede this.

1) Nothing is going to pull me away from this !


C) Why is it important to set up such boundaries ?

1) I think it is easy to get overwhelmed by work – you see there is always something to do


I am sure that I am not alone is saying this – but my work is never finished

A)There is always something pressing / something to do { I am never going to get ahead. It just doesn’t happen.


B) There was a time that I didn’t understand that –

1)  for that reason I was always trying to catch up – spend long hrs at the office work late into the night


2)Trying to catch up – make phone calls – never worked


C) I would leave that night thinking – Great I finally got caught up / maybe even a little bit ahead –

1) But by the end of the next day – I would be behind again.


D)  I finally resolved – Hey I am always going to be behind – I am always going to have something to do

1) Do what I can in the time allotted – And trust the Lord with the rest


ANDY STANLEY PRINCIPLE { We all compromise in areas of our time

A) Problem is too often the area where we compromise the most is in the area of our family time or our time with the Lord –


B) Daniel – wanted to stay true to his convictions – Not eat the Kings food

1) Went against the dietary regulations for the people of Israel


C) The Babylonian headmaster who was over him – said no way

1) Daniels response – put it to a test - _____ days …..


D) I think we need to do the same thing as it relates to our time !

1) Commitment – to the Lord – our walk – our involvement in the body of Christ coming to Church and Bible study


E) Our time with our families

1) Too often we say – Lord cover me in your grace here – because I am required to be committed here / Flip that


Set aside the Sabbath – Set Boundaries – God will bless

3rd Promise They promise to give support to the work of God   V.32-34

32 Also we made ordinances for ourselves, to exact from ourselves yearly one-third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God:33 for the showbread, for the regular grain offering, for the regular burnt offering of the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the set feasts; for the holy things, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God.34 We cast lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for bringing the wood offering into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at the appointed times year by year, to burn on the altar of the LORD our God as it is written in the Law.




Principle #3 – The things that you believe in you will invest in.

A) This is true anything that you truly believe in you will invest in.


B) They believed in the ministry of the temple – and for that reason they were committing themselves to give to support the Ministry.

1) And to take care of the up keep of the Building itself !


C) Now the word of God encourages us who are Christians to make similar commitments - to invest in spiritual things –

1) Because Something happens to us when we do !



Matt 6:19-21

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Note The bible doesn’t say – where your heart is your treasure will also be !

A) No it says that where your treasure is your heart is going to follow


B) Your heart is going to be in that thing that you have made your treasure


C) We can track your treasure – to know where your heart is at

1) In other words one can watch how you spend your money and see where your heart is at.


C) Maybe that is why when we read our Lord’s sermons & parables, you REALIZE THAT HE  had a great deal to say about material wealth.


1) INFACT –Jesus had more to say about Money than almost any other subject


D)Did you know that one 6th of  Matt./ Mark & Luke’s GOSPELS & 12 of the 38 parables have to do w/ MONEY MATTERS

1)WITH MONEY  & the STEWARDING OF MONEY – It was something that Jesus taught on a lot !!! Why?


Perhaps this is a REASON – Back in 1990 the RAN CORP. did a study where they discovered that the average American male

A)Spends 50% of his FOCUSED  thinking time / thinking about money


B) How to get more / how to spend what he has / how he is going to pay the bills / should he switch jobs in order to make more

1)    50% of his focused thinking time spent thinking about money


C) Jesus knowing that would be the case – Spent a great deal of time instructing us in this area /   IMPORTANT

1)    Why Jesus said – Where your treasure is your heart will be Also –


Consider that word Treasure: Write next to it Wealth & Deposit

A) Where do you deposit your wealth ?


B) The Grk word for heart is Cardia – English word: Cardio – as in Cardio Vascular

1) In Greek culture they looked at the heart as more than just that part of your body that pumps the Blood

C) It was referred to as the center of the emotions – the thought life –

1) things that you are affectionate about.


D) That is what the Bible is referring to when it mentions the heart!

1) Where your heart is at – what you are thinking about and affectionate about will be determined by where you are depositing your treasures


The Great Evangelist DL MOODY – I can know more about a man by looking at his Checkbook than his Prayer book

A) Lets look at how much was given to support the work of God –


B) How many missionaries were supported


C)  What we do w/ our TIME & OUR resources really speaks of what is important to us – where our Priorities lie –


Application to Marriage:

A) If I make my relationship with my wife my treasure – then I am going to be depositing into that relationship


B) I am going to be depositing time / energy / resources into it


C) Leave mother and father – Cleave to your wife


D) Most of us do that – Kids


E) Make time to get away


Promise #4 Give your First Fruits V.35-39

35 And we made ordinances to bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of the LORD;36 to bring the firstborn of our sons and our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks, to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God;37 to bring the first fruits of our dough, our offerings, the fruit from all kinds of trees, the new wine and oil, to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God; and to bring the tithes of our land to the Levites, for the Levites should receive the tithes in all our farming communities.38 And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms of the storehouse.


39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the grain, of the new wine and the oil, to the storerooms where the articles of the sanctuary are, where the priests who minister and the gatekeepers and the singers are; and we will not neglect the house of our God.


Principle #4 The things that you are serious about you will Sacrifice for

A) Their Sacrifice was called in the OT their First fruits


B) What does that mean well a farmer would plant a seed – the seed goes into the soil –

1) the farmer spends yrs cultivating – watering pulling weeds


C) That seed starts to grow and after another couple of yrs it turns into a tree after another year or so – it finally brings forth fruit


D) Here’s what they would do – they would take that first patch of fruit from that tree –

1) the first harvest of their field and give it to the Lord


E) What ? After all that time & hard work – waiting to reap the benefits of their hard work instead of enjoying the fruit – they gave it to the Lord


F) That is what the Lord asked for – This is the reason why




In giving God the first fruits they were saying – two things

#1 Lord we realize that what we have is from you. Your blessing on my life / family


James 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.


A) So first of all they were communicating to the Lord – this fact  this blessing is from you.


B) #2 They were saying: Lord I am going to trust you to provide for us in the future.

1) Giving you the first fruits / first crop – trusting that you are going to provide a 2nd and a 3rd and a 4th


C) TEMPTATION: I will give God the leftovers


What does that look like for us today?

A) Give the first fruits of our week – Here today: Sunday is the beginning of a new week


B) Spend this day firs part of it – Hour and a ½ at Church – seeking the Lord with my Church family


C) Sometimes there is the temptation – to work today – so much to do I hit the office- put in some hrs at home

1) Not doing that – trusting – God is going to meet me in this – He is going to meet my needs and help me get done what I need to


Temptation: Yard work / House Projects – skip church get a jump on this stuff –

A) No I am going to give to the Lord my first fruits – this is a day for fellowship and communion


B) Now I am not saying that it is wrong to do yard work on Sunday

1) But Here is what I would say – If you are here today in body only – in your mind all you can think about is your to do list.


C) You are not giving the Lord the first fruits of your week !


We are called to give the first fruits of our income

Prov 3:9   Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase;


A) See all I have is the Lords I am just the steward  of that which He has given to me & the Lord asks that I give back to Him the First fruits


B) The First fruits = means – tithe / or a tenth in scripture-  of our income – It is used in that way throughout the O.T.


C) In 1 Cor 16 Paul declared  1 Cor 16:1-2

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper.



D)   Notice on the first day of the week – they were to come ready with an offering – to bring into the Store house

1) Give as you have prospered - 


Convenient that you are talking about this today / day when you pass out this thing for the Building

A) We made the decision to do this weeks ago to pass this out today. –


B) at the time I had no idea that we were going to be here in Neh.10 this week


C)  In fact I wrestled with this all week – should we do this – I know there are some who think this way – Sensitive issue.


D)  Note: Reason we are doing this{ Hab 2:2 Write the Vision ……………

1) I hope you see this as we are building – Your house – a house of the Lord for the Family at CCV to dwell in.


E) We want you to have a clear vision of it & we want you to want  support it

1) Greater sense of ownership if you participate – part of the Sacrifice



But here is the thing: God says that in our giving – He wants us to be Cheerful givers –

A)Can’t give with a Cheerful heart – don’t give at all


B) If your giving is out of obligation if your giving is begrudgingly – don’t do it –

1) God can’t bless it { need a heart Change first.


B) Giving is not God’s way of raising Money – it is His way of raising Kids { Givers

1) I believe that God is going to provide for this building – I believe that He is in it! – I believe both phases at once


C) Here is the thing: You can experience the blessing of being a part of that or you can sit back – Critique / or watch /

1) YOU are the one who is missing out


God’s indictment against Israel – Robbing God – where ? How?

A) In your tithes and offerings – You are Robbing me – Sign that you are not trusting me – not dependent upon me


B) TEST ME – Give and watch and see if I don’t pour out the windows of heaven to bless you abundantly – radically



C) Now that is not why we give – but it is a benefit of our giving !



D) The people of Israel Committed to give their first fruits – because they were serious about not NEGLECTING THE HOUSE OF THE LORD