Nehemiah 9:38
In view of all this, we make a binding agreement, putting it in writing and sealing it with the names of our leaders, Levites, and priests."
Sermons
Covenanting with GodW. P. Lockhart.Nehemiah 9:38
The Solemn Fast of Assembled IsraelR.A. Redford Nehemiah 9:1-38
AppealW. Clarkson Nehemiah 9:2, 31-33, 36-38
God's ChoiceDean Farrar.Nehemiah 9:4-38
The Certainty of God's PromisesThomas Jones.Nehemiah 9:4-38
The Divine Promise SureHervey.Nehemiah 9:4-38
The Purpose of the Rehearsal of National ShortcomingsW. P. Lockhart.Nehemiah 9:4-38
The SuppliantW. Ritchie.Nehemiah 9:4-38
The Te DeumW. P. Lockhart.Nehemiah 9:4-38

I. THAT THE SINFUL LIFE IS FAVOURED WITH THE DIVINE FORBEARANCE. The sins of the people were pride (ver. 16), disobedience (ver. 17), idolatry (ver. 18), murder (ver. 26), provocation, obduracy. "Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness" (ver. 19).

1. This forbearance is merciful.

2. This forbearance is considerate. In the wilderness it is so much needed.

3. This forbearance is unrecognised. See the obduracy of sin.

II. THAT THE SINFUL LIFE IS FAVOURED WITH ALL THE BENEFICENT MINISTRIES OF HEAVEN. "The pillar of the cloud departed not from them" (ver. 19).

1. The sinful life has light.

2. The sinful life has guidance.

3. The sinful life has spiritual instruction (ver. 20). See the ingratitude of sin.

III. THAT THE SINFUL LIFE IS SUSTAINED BY THE KIND PROVIDENCE OF GOD (ver. 21).

1. Suitable.

2. Continuous.

3. Sufficient.

4. Various. See the wilful blindness and ingratitude of sin.

IV. THAT THE SINFUL LIFE OFTEN EXPERIENCES GREAT TEMPORAL PROSPERITY AT THE HAND OF GOD (ver. 22).

1. Possession.

2. Multiplication.

3. Conquest.

4. Plenty. Yet the goodness of God does not lead to repentance.

V. THAT THE SINFUL LIFE IS ALSO DISCIPLINED BY AFFLICTIVE PROVIDENCES (ver. 27). In all this see the Divine effort to awaken the sinner. - E.







And because of all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it.
It may be asked, Are Christians of the present day expected to enter into such covenants? To this we reply both yes and no. Yes, if regard be had to true heart-consecration to the Lord. No, if it be a mere matter of form, a source of bondage or a minister to spiritual pride. If we mistake not, some of the Churches of New England have a form of covenant which each new adherent is required to sign, and we know that the esteemed President Edwards advocated the making of written covenants between individual Christians and the Almighty. In reference to this each must exercise his own judgment as before God.

(W. P. Lockhart.).

Now those that sealed were, Nehemiah.
I. THE PARTIES ENTERING THE COVENANT.

1. Nehemiah the governor. This is true greatness in the sight of God, to be foremost in consecration to the service of religion, and to stand among His people in trying times.

2. The priests. It is remarkable that the name of Eliashib, the high-priest does not appear in this list. It is honourable to the rest of the priests that notwithstanding this defection of their chief, so many of them set their hands to this holy bond.

3. The Levites. We observe among them almost all the names of those who took part in the previous solemnities of this memorable day. It is well, when those who are eminent in devotion are also eminent for devotedness. It sometimes happens that those who are gifted in prayer are not distinguished for holy practice.

4. The chiefs of the nation. This fidelity to the cause of truth adds a lustre to all earthly glory, and sets an ornament of grace on the noblest brow.

5. The rest of the people. It is a blessed thing when whole families thus unite together in the faith of Christ and the life of religion.

II. THE ENGAGEMENTS OF THE COVENANT.

1. Sins to be renounced. It is vain to make loud profession of spiritual experience, and of devotion to the Saviour, unless besetting sins are abandoned and a new course of obedience begun.

2. Duties to be performed.

(1)To give to God.

(2)To work for God (ver. 34).All vow to work for God, each in his own place, according to the Divine will, at the appointed times, and unwearied in well-doing. Henry Martyn wrote: "With resignation and peace, I can look forward to a life of labour and seclusion from earthly comforts, while Jesus stands near changing me into His holy image. How happy and honoured am I in being suffered to be a missionary." And Levi Parsons testified: "I can subscribe with my hand to be for ever the Lord's, to be sent anywhere, to do anything, to endure any hardship, live and die a missionary."(3) To wait on God.

III. THE INFERENCES DEDUCIBLE FROM THE COVENANT.

1. We here see the propriety of religious covenanting.

2. The obligation in covenanting established. When you devote yourself to the Lord in covenant, to obey the precepts of His Word, your essential obligation is not strengthened or altered; it is merely recognised by you, and promised to be fulfilled.

3. The benefits from covenanting illustrated.

(W. Ritchie.)

The Thinker.
Christmas Evans, after being sorely tried, was led to enter afresh into personal, covenant,, with God; and such was the joy in God which followed, that he said of it, After forming this covenant I felt great calmness and peace. I had the feelings of a poor man who has just come under the protection of the Royal Family, and has obtained a pension for life, the dreadful tear of poverty and want having left his house for ever. I felt the safety and shelter which the little chickens feel under the wings of the hen."

(The Thinker.)

The Thinker.
On February 25, 1688, a memorable scene was witnessed in the churchyard of Greyfriars, Edinburgh. The National Covenant to maintain Presbyterianism, and to resist contrary errors, having been numerously signed within the church, the parchment was subsequently placed upon the flat tombstone, still extant, of Boswell of Auchinleck, where many others, to show their determination to die rather than yield, signed it with blood from their arms. History testifies that numbers of them endured much suffering rather than violate their pledge. If frail men will so keep their promise, much more must the Omnipotent (God honour His covenant.

(The Thinker.)

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