This semester, at the Christian Campus House, we have been studying through the book of Nehemiah. Last night was our last “normal” TNT (Tuesday Nite Thing), and so we were wrapping up our study.
The book of Nehemiah is so much more than the re-building of the wall around Jerusalem. In fact, I resonated more with what happens after the building project than the building project itself. If you will read the entire book, you see that the people of Israel re-dedicated themselves to the reading and understanding of God’s word. That lead to repentance, which lead to obedience, which lead to confession, which lead to a full-blown revival.
In chapter 10, we see the culmination of this revival. The people of Israel draft a written covenant, a promise of faithfulness to God in the future. In the covenant, they make promises in regards to three major issues: 1) intermarriage 2) doing business on the Sabbath and 3) giving to God and the upkeep of His Temple.
These were three major issues in the lives of the Israelites. I challenged our college students to begin to identify major issues in their lives. Then I encouraged them to make a written covenant on a piece of paper that I had provided. I wanted them to write down the promises of faithfulness in those areas. After several minutes of writing, the students signed the covenants, folded them up, and sealed them in an envelope. We can see the Israelites did something similar with their covenant; wrote it, signed it, and sealed it.
If you read all of chapter 10, you will see also that the leaders of the community signed the covenant as well. At this point in the evening, I invited our ministry’s student leaders to the front. They each had a pen, and I asked everyone to bring his or her covenant and have each of our student leaders sign all the covenants as well. This was meant to be a sign that our student leaders would pledge themselves, as much as possible, to help each student keep his or her covenant with God.
In the picture above, you can see my covenant, signed and sealed by me, and also signed by each of my student leaders. It’s hanging in my office.
It was a touching way to end the semester and our study of Nehemiah. It was also a cool way to look forward and pledge our faithfulness to God for the road ahead.
(I will post the podcast from the message soon!)