A Public Renewal Of Vows

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Nehemiah 10

Introduction:  For our 25th wedding anniversary Pat and I took our 1st real vacation.  When we got back, we renewed our vows in a public ceremony in the Derby church where we were married.  Shortly after that I began looking for something I could wear, like my wedding ring, as a symbol of our renewal.  I have never strayed from my original vows, but the Jews in Nehemiah 10 had strayed “big-time”.  As a part of their spiritual revival, they renewed their vows, their covenant with God, in a public way, so that everyone was aware of what was going on and they could “check up” on each other.

I. Who participated?      Vs. 1-28   

    A. Nehemiah

    B. Priests

    C. Levites

    D. Leaders

    E. The rest of the people

II. What did they do?    9:1

    A. Made a binding agreement

         1. אֲמָנָה: binding written agreement, i.e., a covenant which has validation or enforcement power [1]

         2. Covenant    Deuteronomy 28

    B. They did it in the presence of everyone

         1. The entire population agreed

         2. They were to watch each other

             a. Accountability

             c. Deuteronomy 13:6-11


C. Israel’s promises

        1. Walk in God’s law    vs. 29  

        2. They would not marry pagans        vs. 30

            a. Idolaters

            b. Separate themselves from worldly things

        3. Specifically to follow the Sabbath laws   vs. 31    


III. What can we learn?

    A. Revival should be for everyone

    B. A public renewal is better than private

    C. Though we have tried to follow God’s way all our lives, our renewal can help us and others

    D. Being accountable to our brothers and sisters can be a big motivator for most of us

Conclusion:  Should we all renew our vows to be faithful to Jesus?


[1]Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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