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God, the Creator of the universe

By Sophia Sinclair, CCCNZ Communications Manager

'Ko koe, ina, ko koe anake a Ihowa; nau i hanga te rangi, te rangi o nga rangi, me o reira tini mea...'

Neemia 9:6 'O oe, na o oe lava o le ALI'I; na e faia le lagi o le lagi o lagi, ma 'au uma o i ai o le lalolagi ma mea uma o i ai.'

'You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host...'

 
Nehemiah 9:6
 
Towards the end of Ezra-Nehemiah we find a community of God's people gathered to hear God's Word. They respond by acknowledging God as the creator of the universe, and confess their sin as they remember God's faithfulness.   
 
Ezra-Nehemiah tells the story of some of God’s people returning to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. They are finally able to put their lives back together—re-learning what it means to live as God’s people.

It’s a homecoming, but nothing is quite as good as it was before. The rebuilt temple is not the same, and their efforts to re-establish their community are plagued by both opposition and their ongoing sin. 
 
Chapter 8 describes a joyful re-gathering of God’s people. The tone shifts in chapter 9 as they confess their sin against God—the One who set the stars in the heavens, who created and sustains all things. 
 
As they confess they remember. They recall God’s mercy in response to their past sin. They recount his mighty deeds and saving power. They remember that God is righteous, slow to anger, and abounding in compassion. 
 
The context of their troubled homecoming isn’t left out. They acknowledge the reality of their own sin and commit to obey God's commands—a promise they soon fail to keep.
 
The book ends with a frustrated Nehemiah considering the ongoing sin of the people and we’re left longing for a saviour who can bring true spiritual renewal to God’s people.

Consider the Creator
 
As New Zealand pauses to consider the stars and mark the changes in seasons, let’s consider the one true God who created the stars and who sustains the seasons.
 
Perhaps it’s an opportunity to confess our sin and remember God's faithfulness to us?
 
Let’s remember God’s saving mercy—generously shown through what Jesus has done for us:

'We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water'.

Hebrews 10:19-22

Let's rest in knowing that our hearts are made new and sustained by the living God.



 

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