Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 9-10
Today’s Reflection: Nehemiah 9:6
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”
Today, in our relativistic, post-modern world, the idea of absolute truth is assumed to have been completely discredited. Everyone has the right and the freedom to live life their way, as they see fit, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else (and this implies a very specific definition of ‘hurt’—physical injury up to and including death—but doesn’t consider the significant effects of emotional, intellectual and spiritual harms). The ultimate effect of this argument is that many people live their lives by the belief that ‘my life is my own, I can do whatever I want with it’.
In the book of Nehemiah, the worship of the God of Israel was being re-established in Jerusalem after the return of the Jewish exiles. One of the critical tenants of faith they sought to establish early on was that God was the creator of everything in the heavens and on the earth. The implications of this are vast, and include:
1) The God who created everything has dominion—rule and authority—over everything by virtue of having created it.
2) The God who created everything knows the true purpose, value and proper use of everything (and by extension, knows the improper purposes, incorrect valuation and improper uses of everything).
3) The God who created everything is the being worthy of being worship by His creation.
4) God did not merely create everything then set it adrift to be left to its own devices, but He continually preserves His creation to ensure it continues to endure.
There are numerous assurances and blessings here, but also one critical statement of authority. The Creator, by virtue of having created, is Lord over His creation. In addition He sustains His creation. This means God’s creation can’t live without Him. Our day by day, moment by moment existence continues because God wills it to.
And this truth shatters any notions we may have suggesting, ‘it’s my life, I can do what I want with it.’ The reality is its God’s life, and we continue to live it completely by His grace and mercy. He sustains us when we are righteous, and He sustains us when we are disobedient to His laws. It is only because of God’s mercy that we are not cut off from life itself, even when we sin.
Yes God does give us freedom to live our lives as we choose, but His desire is for us to choose to follow His leading. God wants us to follow Jesus example, and be willing to quite literally ‘give our lives away’ for His sake. This too goes against post-modern culture. The world today wants to be able to believe in something and still live the way they want to live. They want beliefs that don’t cost them anything. But we know what Jesus did cost Him dearly and as His disciples we’re encouraged to follow His example.
Luke 9:23 – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Romans 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
After all, our lives truly belong to the creator of all. Is there any better use we can put them to, then sacrifice in God’s cause?
Luke 9:24 – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Revelation 14:7 – And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”