Friday, January 19, 2007

And they repented

Do you remember yesterday who attentive the people were to the reading of God's word? How they stood for HOURS and just listened as the word of God was read and explained to them?

Well today the story continues. In Nehemiah 9 we read that
3And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God.
So not only did they listen....they repented. As they repented they worshipped God. And their repentance was real for they
And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
They didn't allow themselves to stay as they were. They knew they displeased God by marrying foreign people. So they separated themselves, they repented, they worshipped. They made a covenant with God.
In that covenant they agreed that (found in chapter 10)
- walk according to the law of Moses
- to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord and his rules and his
- We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.
- if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day
- we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.
- We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly a third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God
- First fruit offerings would be given again
- they will not neglect the house of the Lord

They agreed to take their relationship with God seriously. Isn't that cool? To see repentance followed by worship AND follow-through. To see that they were indeed serious about doing what was right before God?

Makes me think about what I do when I repent. I often will say, God I'm sorry that I did thus and such. Please forgive me and help me not to do it again. I don't often worship God while I ask for forgiveness. I don't often make decisions about how not to get caught in that sin again. This passage reminds me to be serious about repentance, about making changes so that I don't get caught up in sin again. This is important to do in a believers life.

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