We have before us in the first few verses, those who signed their names to this covenant; first was Nehemiah, then the priests, the Levites and the leaders of the people. It’s interesting we don’t see Ezra’s name given or listed; where he was or why he wasn’t included is unknown.
Those who were represented by their leaders further more added their commitment to not intertwine their lives through the giving in marriage of their daughters or their sons to those considered foreigners. Also they renewed their commitment to keep the Sabbath day on a weekly basis and for every seven years to allow the land to rest or have a Sabbath; which included a releasing of debt owed.
Under the Law there was an “offering”, not a tithe, of one half shekel for the maintenance of the house of God; however, most likely due to their extreme poverty, this amount was reduced to one third of a shekel and later reinstituted to the half shekel.
For the first time we read of a “wood offering” that was to be brought into the house. There is debate as to whether this dealt an actual offering or wood for the sacrifices and/or offerings already in place. There was a reinstitution of the firstfruits offering of the ground, fruit, first born sons and animals. They also recommitted bring the tithes into the house of the Lord as well.
Note the last phrase in this chapter, “we will not neglect the house of our God.” The context deals with offerings and tithes; however the broader context can be applicable to us today. YES, that includes tithes and offerings, but goes beyond that to connecting with those of like precious faith, fulfilling our ministry gift to the Body and being in a place where the spiritual diet is consistent and hearty for the soul.
In the New Testament, we admonished to not forsake gathering ourselves as the “day” approaches, which is the end of time. If there has ever been a time that we need one another in the Body of Christ it’s today. Genuine, authentic relationships can be fostered around the Word and fellowship with one another.
Let’s be faithful to be part of the “one another’s” in scripture