Stanza 2: We are Subordinate under You Lord (9:5-6)
And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said: “Stand up and bless the Lord your God Forever and ever! “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it,The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You."
Confession to God requires an acknowledgement of our absolute submission to Him. It is in submission that we gain His power. When we acknowledge God’s power, and our yieldedness and subordination to it, we are getting in position to experience His forgiveness, cleansing, and spiritual energy. When we are absolutely and completely under the control and power of God, beautiful and powerful things can happen.
When J. Wilbur Chapman was in London, he had an opportunity to meet General Booth, who at that time was past eighty years of age. Dr. Chapman listened reverently as the old general spoke of the trials and the conflicts and victories.
The American evangelist then asked the general if he would disclose his secret for success. “He hesitated a second,” Dr. Chapman said, “and I saw the tears come into his eyes and steal down his cheeks, and then he said, “I will tell you the secret. God has had all there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I, men with greater opportunities; but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart, and a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth there was. And if there is anything of power in the Salvation Army today, it is because God has all the adoration of my heart, all the power of my will, and all the influence of my life.””
Dr. Chapman said he went away from that meeting with General Booth knowing “that the greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”
Stanza 3: We are Sorry to You Lord (9:7-35)
In this long passage of Scripture, the history of God’s people in Israel is laid out by the worshipers in Jerusalem. Because of its sheer length, it will not work to fit into this blog. These are the historical story and divisions of this recounting:
9:7-8 - Abraham’s calling and moving from Ur.
9:9-21 - Bondage in Egypt, deliverance, and forty years in the desert.
9:22-31 - The days of the judges that repeatedly showed a pattern of sin, judgement, and grace among God’s people.
9:32-35 - An acknowledgement of the sin of the forefathers with a declaration and remembering of God’s faithfulness and grace in spite of it.
Confession is not making an excuse for sins but confessing to the one who we offended. Sin hurts a lot of people, but first and foremost it offends a holy God. As the Israelites confessed the sins of their forefathers, they were not trying to seek forgiveness as much as declaring God’s patience, grace, faithfulness, and power. Though we certainly cannot seek forgiveness for the sins of those who went before us, we can acknowledge that, in spite of their sin, God has still allowed us to stand in this day.
All Christians are standing today, not because we are so good and our ancestors in the church were so good. We are here because a gracious, merciful, powerful, patient, omnipotent God has enabled us to be here. And, though many before us took wrong steps in the church, God still allows us to stand. We cannot change the sins of our past – or our spiritual ancestors – but we can affect what is now and in the future because of our great God.