10 Those who sealed it were:
Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hakaliah.
Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,
3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,
4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluk,
5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
8 Maaziah, Bilgai and Shemaiah.
These were the priests.
9 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.
(Nehemiah 10:1-27 NIV)
Chapter 9 was a record of the national day of repentance and revival in Israel during Nehemiah’s term as governor. They spent their time reading Scripture, in prayer, worship, and confession of sins. At the end of their confession, the leaders signed a written document identifying specific changes they promised to make in their daily lives based on their renewed relationship with the Lord.
Today we will see who signed this document; in subsequent days, we’ll see what they agreed to.
The names are listed in three groups:
- The priests (vv. 1-8)
- The Levites (vv. 9-13)
- The leaders of the people (vv. 14-27)
Nehemiah signed his name to the document (v. 1); in all, over eighty people signed this document. This was truly a historic moment.
Rodney “Gypsy” Smith, a 19th-century itinerant preacher and evangelist, wherever he was preaching, would often stop and draw a circle in the dirt. Then he’d step inside that circle and pray something like, “O God, please send a revival here, and let it begin inside this circle.”
By writing down their commitments to the Lord and signing their names to the document, the leaders of Israel were drawing their circles and stepping inside them.
What does revival look like for us?
What changes would we be willing to make to honor God in our daily lives?
What of God’s commands from His Word would we agree to in humble obedience?
Would we be willing to write down these things and sign our name at the bottom, just as these people did?
What’s stopping you from writing your own letter to God and signing your name to it?
To whom would you show this letter for accountability?
I am drawing my circle in the dirt, stepping inside that circle, and praying for revival inside my circle.
Will you come draw your circle next to mine, step inside your circle, and pray for revival to begin in you?