The revival that we studied in Chapter 9 of Nehemiah involved the public reading of God’s Word, followed by conviction of sin, true contrition (inner remorse for sin), which resulted in the outward confession of sin.  God’s Word deeply touched them to seek God with all their hearts. Chapter 10 gives us the next step in true revival.

It begins with Nehemiah and all the leaders “cutting” a covenant agreement with God. They are so passionate about getting right and staying right with God, they write out their promises and all the leaders sign it. In a very real sense it was a declaration of independence. It laid out the deepest desire of the people to live free from slavery to sin. In verse 39, it goes on to tell us that it wasn’t only the leaders who made the covenant with God. “The rest of the people… join with …their nobles, ?and enter into …an oath to walk in God’s Law…and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord and his rules and his statutes.” They want the freedom to live life to its fullest and to walk with the God that made them and redeemed them from slavery in Babylon. They wanted it so much they joined in a covenant to proclaim it. The passion in these words reflect the true character of their hearts.

There should be a similar passion for those redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We have been freed from slavery to sin and are now set free to live whole-heartedly for God. Max Lucado says it well, “Before Christ our lives were out of control, sloppy, and indulgent. We didn’t even know we were slobs until we met him. Then he moved in. Things began to change. What we threw around we began putting away. What we neglected we cleaned up. What had been clutter became order. Oh, there were and still are occasional lapses of thought and deed, but by and large he got our house in order. Suddenly we find ourselves wanting to do good.” Paul puts our situation this way in Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”

“Search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” (Deuteronomy 4:29)