38 ‘In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.’ 10 Those who sealed it were:Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hakaliah.Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluk,Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,Maaziah, Bilgai and Shemaiah. These were the priests.The Levites:Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel,10 and their associates: Shebaniah,Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,11 Mika, Rehob, Hashabiah,12 Zakkur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,13 Hodiah, Bani and Beninu.14 The leaders of the people:Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,27 Malluk, Harim and Baanah 28 ‘The rest of the people – priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighbouring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand – 29 all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.” NIV

Note especially these phrases:

‘’…for the sake of the Law of God’’ (28);

‘’…to follow the Law of God’’ (29a);

‘’…to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our Lord’’ (29b).

As they surveyed their national history, and recognised their unfaithfulness and what it had cost them, the people made a life-defining commitment to be Bible men and women. Looking back over their shoulders, they realised they had repeatedly failed to be people of the Book. They had not simply strayed from it, but had often rebelled against it, and therefore against God. There was recognition of the need to make a solemn re-commitment to Him.

Throughout our Christian lives we may find that we need to come to moments of re-dedication. You may be in such a place right now. Thank God that because of His great mercy we can have a new beginning. But we must make any commitment in humble recognition that we will fall again and again if we try to do this in our own strength. We have to rely on God, and how wonderful it is that we can.

‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life.’

PRAYER: Lord I confess to you the ways in which I have gone astray and rebelled…I turn to you afresh, asking for forgiveness of sins through Jesus. I want to live fully and completely for you. Please help me by your Spirit to make good on this commitment. I need you Lord, every hour I need you.