“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you.” “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.” “Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in.” 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 8:1,3-6; Isaiah 40:21-22
I have recently been involved with several situations that have challenged my thinking on the exaltation of God and man. I’ve heard one say we are not that special, only one notch higher on the food chain; advice to a survivor of abuse that we can be and do anything we put our mind to; and yet another that starting with self in prayer turns us to God. The Bible offers truth for each of these perspectives, teaching that man is indeed special as the crowning-glory-creature made in the image of God; that apart from Jesus we can do nothing; that Jesus taught His disciples to pray our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. We are high, but not as high as God; He can work in us His healthy highest view. (Genesis 1:26-28,31; John 15:5; Matthew 6:9)
What I have rued over time is the high view of God diminishing in our culture, exacerbated by everything from education to political correctness to architectural design of churches to language to self-esteem psychology. We have distorted the view of man by majoring on our touchiness, exaggerating our differences, rewarding achievement that is questionable at best, esteeming our subjective opinions but belittling others’. Certainly we are marvelous creatures, fearfully and wonderfully made by a magnificent God to know and love and serve Him like nothing else in His creation, and we can come anytime to Jesus just as we are. But what we are is stained by sin, which wreaks havoc on a proper view of things, so we must come reconciled to the holy Father through Jesus alone. Contemplating Him first and fully keeps His divine hierarchy and intention in perspective. (Psalm 139:14; John 14:6)
Where am I getting in the way of seeing God for Who He is? Have I so elevated myself that I come to Him thinking about me? When my mind is immersed in His majesty and reign, He adjusts the lens through which I see all else, He elevates my understanding of how beautifully and sovereignly He has ordered and given meaning to His world.
Lord on high, I exalt You above the heavens and here on earth. Thank You for making me Your child and willing subject. Teach me to live confidently with the highest view of You, bearing Your glorious image day by day. (Psalm 57:5,11)