Nehemiah 10 Questions & Answers. Covenanting for Righteousness
1 What covenants have you made in your lifetime? What is the difference between a covenant and a contract?
Marriage and Church memberships are covenants. A contract is only enforceable by both parties until it is broken. If the first party breaks the contract, the second party can go to court and claim damages from the first party but the second party is no longer bound by the contract when the first party is proven to have broken it. A covenant is binding whether one of the parties breaks the covenant or not. God made a covenant with Abraham in Gen 15. God kept the covenant even when the Israelites disobeyed and broke the covenant.
2 What did the people do in response to the sermon they heard in Chapter 9?
They created a covenant between them and the Lord. It had a curse and a section outlining specifically they would do.
3 Who took the lead to sign the covenant with God?
Nehemiah the governor signed this covenant first. He took the spiritual lead here as well.
4 Who joined in with them, binding themselves with an oath and a curse? (v. 28, 29)
First 22 named and other unnamed priests, 17 names and other unnamed Levites, and 44 named heads of families made this pledge. Then the people committed themselves by the same pledge.
5 What were the other promises that the people made? V 29 ff
6 What do you think about their stand on not buying and selling on the Sabbath? Is that outdated?
If we make a commitment to worship God and not work on Sunday, is it legalistic or just a wise way to spend time with God?
7 What about not working on the Sabbath?
If you work on Sunday do you take a day to worship and rest? Do you make others work by shopping? When do you get to know God and spend time with HIM? Can you grow deep spiritually by just spending a couple hours a week in the bible, listening to sermons or praying?
8 What was the significance of the sabbatical year and the cancelling of debt? v 31 (see also Ex 20:8 - 10; Lev 25:1 - 7; Deut 5:15; 15:1 - 4, Ps 24:1)
The land needed to rest. There were provisions to take fruit from the land on those years but to allow land to go fallow. Cancelling debt kept people from making long term bondage. They had a fresh financial start every 7 years.
9 Why do you think a priest went with a Levite to collect the tithe?
This would keep honesty and integrity in that the Levite and the priest would hold each other accountable. Note that only 1/10 was to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem. (V.38)
10 What was the bottom line in verse 39?
We will not neglect the Temple of our God.
11 Is the commitment to give our best and a tithe or more an option for New Testament givers?
Verses that deal with the tithe: Mal 3:9,10; Lev 27:30; Deut 14:22- 28; Mat 6:3,4; 22:21; Acts 20:35; 1 Cor 16:1,2; 2 Cor 9:7,8