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Pray by Day
Bite-sized reflections from Pray by Day

Author: Paul Beckman, from the Word of Life in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

God of the Great and Small

The Psalmist says, “The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?” (Psalm 113:4-6)

Human celebrities are very often well-known for their vanity, self-importance, and indifference to the “little people” of the world. As I think about such wealthy, powerful, influential persons, I’m struck by our passage from Psalm 113. The writer describes God’s own celebrity status: He is the one who is “far above the nations; his glory is above the heavens” – all of which he made by his own hand. And yet he is the one who “stoops to look down on the earth” so that he can bless the poor and lowly.

This is the strange humility of God, which is fantastic news for us. It would be tragic if the Lord were able to do great things, but not willing to do them. It would also be tragic he was willing, but not capable. Instead, he is both capable and willing. He has the stature and status to accomplish whatever he wills. And he is full of grace and loving-kindness so that his sovereign rule is directed to our good, and not to our destruction. The Scriptures tell us that even when he disciplines us, the Father is treating us as well-cherished children (see Hebrews 12).

What happens when power meets love? The Psalmist uses the images of raising up and sitting on high. The most marvelous instance of this is Jesus’ death and resurrection, where God shows his ultimate purpose in the darkest of all hours. On the cross the meekness of the Messiah becomes the door to everlasting life for us. There, everything comes together: justice and mercy, our sin and his righteousness, our deep need and his perfect provision.

Today, we rejoice that the Most High entered our world so that we could have access to his.


Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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