Church Crookham Baptist Church

Seeking to know Jesus and to make Him known to others

Neglecting the House of God

The Wednesday evening homegroup is currently studying the book of Nehemiah and this week looked at the covenant / agreement the people made in 9v38 – 10v39. Their overall objective, summarised at the end of 10v39, was to avoid neglecting the house of God. The covenant stated, therefore, that they would obey all God’s commands, not allow inter-marriage with non-Jewish people, observe the Sabbath requirements, provide what was needed for temple worship, dedicate their firstborn sons and animals and contribute the firstfruits and a tithe (tenth) of their crops to God.
The people’s commitments are impressive and it was a time of great joy, praise and thanksgiving as the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. Yet tragically, within a very short period, Nehemiah returns from a trip back to Babylon and discovers that the people are no longer keeping the covenant terms. He asks in 13v11 “Why is the house of God neglected?”
Moving into the New Testament we find that the house of God may refer to our individual bodies, to the local church and to the global church, as well as, of course, to heaven itself. In a wonderful way God dwells with His people at all these ‘levels’. The challenge before us is to seek to ensure that we care for and don’t neglect these houses of God. The principles within the various terms that the people signed up to in Nehemiah’s day surely now relate to commitments to Godly obedience, prayer, financial support, meeting together etc. – in short, lives which are dedicated to God. I believe that the outcome will be true joy in the Lord. Indeed we shall experience the Lord’s fulfilment of His promise in Psalm 23v6: “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Peace and Grace