Nehemiah 10: The Idols of Love and Money
I know that I have written multiple times about the seriousness of making a promise to God, and in Nehemiah 10, the people are making a promise that they would essentially be in the world but not of the world.
Neh 10:29 They clave to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes;
Neh 10:30 And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:
Neh 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day: and that we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.
I pulled out these two verses along with the one referring to the curse, which in Hebrew simply means an oath according to Strong’s numbers, because they highlight a few important things that went along with this promise.
For one thing, they weren’t going to intermarry with the people of the land. This is not because of nationality or race whatsoever, but it is most likely a matter of religion. You can see a similar message in the New Testament encouraging Christians to marry Christians.
2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
The other main point was that they were not going to violate their belief system in order to do business. They weren’t going to buy from these other people on Sunday. For them, following God was more important than doing business.
I pull out these two points because I think that human love and money are two of the most common idols in the world today. We assume that love transcends all. We assume that it is some kind of emotion that ought to be our ultimate pursuit in life. This even can be a discussion that goes beyond just marriage. We idolize the love and acceptance of others in our social circles more than we desire the love of God at times. It can definitely become a hindrance.
Money hardly needs discussion. We see people who are willing to cut ethical corners to make a little bit more money. They don’t realize that it is more important to do business the way that God would want us to. When money becomes a top priority, many bad things can follow.
The people of Jerusalem behind the leadership of Nehemiah very interestingly but I think appropriately named these problems first as things that they were going to avoid.
Some people would argue that the Bible is outdated or is not relevant to today, but as I have been going through it, I have seen that people then had a sin nature just like people now. Human love and money are still idols that need to be put in the right place. They are both great things, but they are definitely not God.