“Covenant Relationship and Renewal” – Nehemiah 10.1-39
1. Lessons about revival: good for head knowledge only?
2. Nehemiah and Ezra knew that with revival having broken out, they must concretize the people’s response so that it will not remain just an ‘emotional high’.
• They got the people to affix their seals to renew the covenant, v 1
• They got the people to publicly take an oath, v 29
3. Three specific areas of change (if they are serious about covenant renewal)
a. A commitment to stay away from mixed-marriages, v 30
b. A commitment to prioritize the Sabbath above business, v 3
c. A commitment to provide for the service of God’s house, v 32-39
i. Giving one-third shekel each year, v 32
ii. Providing for various offerings and festivals, v 33
iii. Ensuring regular supply of wood to burn at altar of God, v 34
iv. Bringing in first fruits or crops, animals, sons v 35-36
v. Bringing grain, wine, oil, tithes to temple storerooms, v 37-39
4. Concluding thoughts and applications
Questions for Bible-Study Discussion
1. The Jews placed themselves under a curse and an oath. For Christians today, we do not come under a curse each time we sin (Gal 3.13). But the principle of ‘reaping what we sow’ (Gal 6.7-8) still applies, so we must not take sin lightly.
a. Explain what the above means in practical terms today.
b. What are some warning signs we can notice if we are taking God’s grace in vain?
2. Christians still marry unbelievers despite knowing what the Bible teaches.
a. Why is this so?
b. What would you do when you know that a fellow Christian is dating a non-
c. How do you guide your children to only marry within the faith?
3. The Jews took an oath to prioritize the Sabbath above their business.
a. What does it mean to properly observe the Sabbath today?
b. Share about a time when your principles were tested in the course of doing
business or working for your company. How did you resolve this challenge? What
have you learnt from that episode?
4. The Jews also took an oath to provide for the service of the house of God.
a. What is your view on Christian giving today?
b. How do you give willingly and cheerfully?
c. Share honestly in order to learn from each other’s experience.