psalm viii – both low and exalted

I assume you’re sitting down. Do this with me. Focus on your breath. The lungs expanding and contracting. With each expansion and contraction, God’s power is evident. The world is not a system of cause and effect, it is continuously upheld by the stream of God’s providence. No ungoverned moment passes. Back to the breath. Each inhalation and exhalation is divinely given by grace. It is not owed to you, but God gives it. Now realise as you read this, you are conscious of the fact that your whole neural network is not firing on its own power, but by the grace of God. Thinking is not owed, it’s a gift of God each moment. Not a single self-sufficient moment passes. Now onto your chair, which does not support you by innate ability but by God’s gracious providence in the current moment. Now onto the floor, which does not swallow you up because this moment God upholds it. Now onto the Earth, which does not rotate by its own power but is kept in this moment in orbit around the sun along with the rest of the solar system. The universe only exists each second due to God’s constant decision to supply it with being. Nothing has being apart from God, and nothing continues to exist apart from His will.

And yet…we are made ‘a little less than God’. We have been given this creation in Christ, like the second-in-command that carries out the will of the Leader. Nothing belongs to us, yet in Christ all is ours. Not to do with as we wish, but to cultivate according to the will of the One who gives it to us. We are so lowly, but we are God’s exalted instruments.

The key word here is ‘instrument’. We aren’t like a kid given a cheque for $100 from his Grandma at Christmas, mind now set on just how many toys s/he could buy with this new wealth. We’re like the kid sent into town on a bike with $5 to pick up bread and milk for Mum with her money. We use what we’re given and return what we gain back to the One we owe all.

The kid who got bread and milk learns to be more responsible like his/her Mum. And we learn to be more like our Father when we return to Him what He gives us

Lord, our Lord,
how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!
You have covered the heavens with your majesty.
From the mouths of infants and nursing babies,
you have established a stronghold
on account of your adversaries
in order to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I observe your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you set in place,
what is a human being that you remember him,
a son of man that you look after him?
You made him little less than God
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all the sheep and oxen,
as well as the animals in the wild,
the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea
that pass through the currents of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
how magnificent is your name throughout the earth!

psalm viii (csb)

<— psalm vii psalm ix —>