4 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani—stood on the stairway of the Levites and cried out to the Lord their God with loud voices. 5 Then the leaders of the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—called out to the people: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, for he lives from everlasting to everlasting!” Then they prayed:“May your glorious name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise! 6 “You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you. 7 “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him from Ur of the Chaldeans and renamed him Abraham. 8 When he had proved himself faithful, you made a covenant with him to give him and his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites. And you have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word. 9 “You saw the misery of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their cries from beside the Red Sea.[c] 10 You displayed miraculous signs and wonders against Pharaoh, his officials, and all his people, for you knew how arrogantly they were treating our ancestors. You have a glorious reputation that has never been forgotten. 11 You divided the sea for your people so they could walk through on dry land! And then you hurled their enemies into the depths of the sea. They sank like stones beneath the mighty waters. 12 You led our ancestors by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night so that they could find their way. 13 “You came down at Mount Sinai and spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and instructions that were just, and decrees and commands that were good. 14 You instructed them concerning your holy Sabbath. And you commanded them, through Moses your servant, to obey all your commands, decrees, and instructions. 15 “You gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water from the rock when they were thirsty. You commanded them to go and take possession of the land you had sworn to give them.”
Not only did their confession accurately expresses their sorrow over sin but also their confidence in their Savior. That is why we see the people not only confessing their sins but secondly:
- Confessing their confidence in God.
Forgiveness frees us to focus on God not our guilt. Are you focused on the Father or your failures? As the people confessed their confidence in their Savior, they proclaimed the:
a. Greatness of God
Your view affects your voice, many of us are voicing failure and frustration instead of the Father. As we learned last week, they longed for the Word, listened to the Word, learned the Word, and lived the Word. And here we see that their longing for the Word had not subsided because verse 3 tells us that they spent three hours reading the Bible and then three hours in confession and worship. The order here is significant when we read the Word, we will see how far we fall short which leads to confession. But as we contemplate our sinfulness we will begin to understand more about God’s greatness. The Word brings both weeping and worship. It’s not just about confessing our sin but also confessing our confidence in the Savior. If you’re struggling with your faith today, it may well be because your view of God is too small or too narrow. David Wells, a theologian, refers to this view as the “weightlessness of God.” He writes that our sense of inadequacy or ineffectiveness can be traced to our limited understanding and experience of God: “God rests too inconsequentially upon the church. His truth is too distant, his grace too ordinary, his judgment too benign, his gospel too easy, and His Christ too common.” Look at verse 6, it is a clear statement of God’s greatness that is grounded in the opening verses of Genesis: “You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” All you have to do to see the greatness of God is to look out and look up, creation cries out God’s glory: Psalm 19:1 clearly states: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” During the French Revolution, many people wanted to get rid of Christianity forever. On one clear night an atheist boastfully proclaimed his beliefs to a poor peasant: “Everything will be abolished churches, Bibles, and the clergy. Yes, even the word “God” itself! We shall remove everything that speaks of religion.” The peasant gave a quiet chuckle. The atheist wanted to know what the believer was laughing about. The peasant then pointed to the stars and replied, “I was just wondering how you’re going to manage to get all of those bright lights out of the sky!” Not only does creation proclaim the glory of God but so should the crown of His creation you and me. I am going to ask you to take out your phone and take a selfie then text it to yourself with this caption: Am I going to use my life to proclaim God’s greatness or my glory? Am I going to life my life for God’s glory or my greatness? Instead of starting with the greatness of God we tend to focus on what He will give and what we can get. God is replaced with greed and we worship Him not for who He is but for what we can get. Do you see God as great today? Or, is your God too small? We must glory in the incomparable magnificence of our grand God. Take a moment and thank God for His greatness.