Nehemiah 10 Commentary
Yesterday, we saw a very good example of a church service. They began by reading the word of the LORD. Worship and confession followed. It was a long prayer. Following confession was repentance, which we now find in this chapter.
The Bible describes repentance as turning away from one’s sins. There is no repentance if an individual continues to live in sin. So here in this chapter, the people call out specific sins that they promise to leave behind.
The list consists of sins that should be very difficult to deal with even in our world today. We shall not marry from outside the household of faith. We shall keep the Sabbath even in the face of a potentially lucrative commercial deal. The people are promising to keep away from profits and business opportunities as long as these transactions are going against the Law of the LORD. They are even ready to drop a love affair as long as the potential mate is not a believer.
They also promise to assume the responsibility for taking care of the financial needs of the Sanctuary.
It is a list of things they shouldn’t do as well as things they should do. Repentance, therefore, isn’t complete until we actively start doing things we should be doing, while actively and seriously stopping things we shouldn’t be doing.
All should be well at this point. Obedience brings great joy. But it should be worrying that we have the same people confessing and repenting. What about the rest? It is a puzzle only the LORD can solve. Doesn’t the LORD rain His word on everyone? Yes, the same word; one is broken in repentance and another escapes to sin more. The same word that leaves the saint completely shaken and fearing for their salvation is completely ignored by the world out there. Lest they forget, the LORD is perfect and just.
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