Psalm 113. High God in Low Places.

Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 113. (MsgB)

God is higher than anything and anyone, outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God, so majestically enthroned, surveying His magnificent heavens and earth?

He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best.

They say opposites attract. But, quite honestly, most people and things in this world seem much more compatible with each other when placed alongside like-minded objects.

Take black and white, for example. Even though sociologists, theologians and well-meaning politicians have been telling us for years that diversity is the best thing for society, it’s still intriguing to see how people of all colors tend to stay with people of the same color when placed in a room of diverse color.

So racial issues are too sensitive for you. Let’s talk cars. When a person is looking for a new car, one of the first choices we make before ever stepping onto the showroom floor is the color of car we want. Even if the red car is $1,000 cheaper and includes a DVD player, if I want a silver car, nothing is going to convince me to buy red.

So what’s my point?

The God of the universe that is presented to us in the Scriptures seems to have no problem playing the opposites game. As a matter of fact, this Holy God, known as YHWH, is so able to attract opposites; it’s downright confusing to the human mind.

Take Psalm 113 for example.

Here we find the Most High God. So high above His creation, nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever hope to reach to levels of His highness.

God is higher than anything and anyone, outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God, so majestically enthroned, surveying His magnificent heavens and earth?

But, hold onto your seats, folks. Here comes ‘the opposites attract’ thing.

In the very next breath, we find this same High and Mighty God, who stands taller than the tallest Sequoia tree in California, stooping down so low that He is barely visible to the naked eye.

Imagine that.

A God who actually seems to enjoy getting so low that He ends up mingling with the dirty people of the world and the trash found scattered at the dump.

He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best.

Maybe this is why it’s so hard for human beings to find God. All other religions paint their gods as untouchable deities, so high above humanity that only the pure and upright can stand in God’s presence. But not the God of the Bible.

This God, who indeed stands higher than any other, can be found stooping down so low that He can barely be seen at times.

Wait. There He is. Walking amongst the poor and the outcast. No wait, there He is standing next to that tramp in the food line at the Salvation Army. I thought I saw Him yesterday holding the hand of that misfit kid who was doing drugs over in the alley.

I mean how confusing is that?

Your human reasoning says look for a High God in high places. But no. With the worldview our Scriptures give us, the best place to look for a High God is in very low places.


Maybe that’s why we have such a hard time finding God in church now-a-days. Could be that God would rather be doing church out there in the dirty places of the world than hanging out in high-n-mighty places where the lowly aren’t invited.

I’m just sayin’.

My prayer: Father God, at times, Your ways are confusing to me. I expect to find High and Mighty in high places, only to find that You, the Highest of all, love to reduce Yourself to walking in dirt-filled rooms and junkyards. Empower me, Lord, to better appreciate Your confusing mannerisms. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: How have I stereotyped God to be like society’s other gods? While I might be very uncomfortable with High mingling with Low, what might it look like for me to journey with my High God while He traffics very low places?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?

Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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