“The LORD is high above all nations,” sings the songwriter. His glory is above the heavens. He is seated on high.
If there’s anything we are to get about our God it’s that He’s a “high above” God. A lofty God. In terms of spiritual geography, His address is located above the sky, past the stars, and beyond the heavens. Think about that. Look past the galaxies, that’s where our God resides. He is exalted. He is enthroned on high. Look up. Look way up. Keep looking up. Got a crick in your neck yet?
And what gets me this morning is that such a high above God looks down.
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 ESV)
As the songwriter marvels at the thought of his high above God, what strikes him as making this God unlike any other god is that He “looks far down on the heavens and earth.” The CSB and NIV says He “stoops down to look.” Not gonna lie, I really like the NKJV translation–the LORD is God who “humbles Himself” in order to see the things that are in the heavens and in the earth. Our God makes Himself low in order to look on His creation.
But this self abasement, if we can use that term, is not just for the purposes of looking far down out of a divine curiosity. It’s not some passive peering over a heavenly balcony for entertainment. But it’s so He might intervene in the affairs of men. So that He might raise the poor; lift the needy; give the barren women a home, sings the psalmist (113:7-9).
Our God looks down in order to lift up. Our God stoops low to set a needy people on high. Our God humbles Himself in order to raise up others.
And you can’t chew on this very long before you’re reminded that not only do we worship a high above God who looks down, but we worship a high above God who came down.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
God came down. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory (Jn. 1:14).
Far from keeping His infinite distance from a fallen world, He entered our world. He “passed through the heavens” so that He could know firsthand our weaknesses, tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:14-15). Being made “like His brothers” (Oh, that He would own us as family!) in all things so that He might raise the poor; lift the needy; make fruitful the barren. And this, by becoming “a merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God,” making “propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17).
For because He himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.
(Hebrews 2:18 ESV)
Our high above God looks down. Our high above God came down.
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
(Psalm 113:3 ESV)
What amazing grace. All glory be to our high above God.