Nehemiah 9:6 (ESV) “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.
This week’s memory verse is on the doctrine of creation and emphasizes God’s sole sovereignty. The verse is part of a passage describing a renewal of the people of God after their return from exile in Babylon. Judah had just celebrated the happy “Feast of Tabernacles” and were now gathering for a more solemn public confession of their sin. When they came together, the book of the Law (first five books of the Old Testament) was read aloud. The main theme of the confession is the faithfulness of God and the faithlessness of His people.
This was a renewal on Judah’s part to keep the covenant made at Sinai. There at Sinai Moses was given the Law which included the Ten Commandments. In this passage, the LORD was being praised for having led the nation of Israel down through the generations up through the present time. The praises to God begin with the acknowledgment that the LORD God Himself exists eternally, prior even to creation, stretching on down through the ages to the prophets who were presently ministering among the people. The Levites sang from the depths of their hearts, mentioning eleven specific facts about God and His wonderful works.
In our verses, we are considering three of those facts.
First, the people praised God for His being, His sovereignty (vv.5-6a). God is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, and His Name is glorious. Therefore, His name is to be exalted and praised. Nevertheless, in praising the LORD, the worshipper must realize that God is so exalted and His Name so glorious that all human praise is inadequate. The glory of His Name far exceeds any and all praise that could be ever offered up to Him.
Second, the LORD is also to be praised because He alone is God (v.6a). No other God exists, not a true and living God. All other gods are merely the creation of people’s imaginations, gods invented by the human mind and hands. Accordingly, the Name of the LORD, and His Name alone is to be praised. All praise and worship is due the LORD. Because of who He is, the one and only true God who exists from everlasting to everlasting.
Third, the people praised God for creation (v.6b). He alone made the universe, heaven and earth and all that is therein. The stars of the sky and the earth with all its vegetation, seas, and animal life were all made by the Lord. Furthermore, the Lord alone preserves life. As the great Creator of the universe, no person or being in heaven or earth can be compared to Him. Because of His creative power, He is deserving of worship and praise.
The host of heaven are mentioned here as those who were created and possibly present at God’s creative act and those who worship Him in heaven. The heaven hosts compromise a group of beings like angels and others to carry out the divine will of God. The glimpses we have in the Bible are not detailed but they exist in the heavenly realm and are generally revealed as worshipping God.