A Family Promise
Title: A Family Promise
Reading for May 28: Nehemiah 10-11
We will not neglect the house of our God.
This is the last verse of chapter ten. It’s the culmination of an oath where the people are making concerning the Sabbath day, foreign marriages, and offerings that would be made. In chapter thirteen we see that they had failed to keep this promise (13:11).
But what impresses me is that public promises are being made concerning their spiritual lives. And these were corporate and not just individual. Do we do this today? Of course, we make individual promises. When we become a Christian we are promising to be faithful to the Lord. When we get married we are vowing fidelity to our mates. And there are other promises we make. But what about corporate oaths?
I think we still do this today (and maybe without realizing it). Are we not making a promise as a community of God’s people when we sing hymns together? Consider the promises we’re making in the hymns we sing:
“Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee…”
“All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give…"
“When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.”
Is this the same thing that was happening in Nehemiah ten? No, not exactly. But are these promises we’re making to God? Are these promises we’re making together with our brothers and sisters? Is there not a sense that we’re making a corporate promise to God that we will put him first in our lives?
Father, help us to be thoughtful and intentional about the hymns we sing together. Help us to never lie in song, but to fulfill the promises we make together as we sing of our commitment to you.