God is way far above us. I know we know that in theory, but like, no really, He’s way above us. If I were as far above you as God is above us, I guarantee I’d let you know on a regular basis!
When I beat my kids at Candy Land or some other dumb game when they were 5, I’d let em know they lost and I won! Little did they know I cheated the entire time just to make it go quicker. I was so far above them, they had no idea I was totally fooling them! Ha! Losers!
If I can’t handle that sort of superiority, wow, you better be glad I’m not on God’s level.
We’re told that we are made in God’s image. Does that mean my gloating and pride in my superiority is from God? Nope. The concept of superiority and betterness is from God, but sin, resulting in pride, is what takes any degree of superiority I have and turns it into fleshly pride.
But God who is infinitely above us, is not tainted with sin and has no fleshly pride, nor does He grind our faces in our inferiority. A great passage to illustrate this is Isaiah 66. Verse 1 says God resides in heaven, there’s no dwelling place on earth that we can make that would contain all He is. Verse two says the reason why is because God made everything!
The one who made all things does not need us to rearrange the things He made into a nice building for Him. He’s fine without our efforts!
OK, so now what do we do? If there’s nothing I can do to house Him, if He doesn’t need me, why would He pay attention to me? If I were so superior to you that I didn’t need you, I’d ignore you. There wouldn’t be really anything you could do to get my attention. Who needs you?
But God does pay attention to people, but not the people who can build Him stuff or do great things, which is merely rearranging stuff He made. Verse two lets us know who the all-superior God pays attention to:
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
Wow, what a verse.
Want God’s attention? It’s not by “doing great things” for Him. You might get my attention by doing great stuff for me, but that’s because I need stuff. God doesn’t. The way to get His attention is by being completely unable to do anything, by being inept, by understanding I got nothing.
“Poor” here means afflicted, needy, weak, depressed, and lowly. Not too impressive. But it gets worse. “Contrite” means smitten, maimed, or lame. The only other place this Hebrew word is used is in reference to Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son that David wanted to honor. Mephibosheth is described as being “lame in his feet.” His feet were broken, they didn’t work. That’s the only other usage of this word! God listens to people with lame hearts.
How do you know you are poor and lame? Is it an emotional state that proves it? No, that’s not it. It’s also not some kind of mopey, sad countenance, trying to act the part. It’s a genuine understanding of lack and humility. You know you need something outside of you. It’s demonstrated by trembling at God’s word.
Do you tremble at God’s word? Do you thirst for it as a new born baby craves milk? Do you submit your will to how God says to do things? Like, even the parts in the Bible you don’t like?
Being broken hearted and weak, resulting in complete dependence on God’s word, those are the people God pays attention to. Fascinating stuff. Do you believe this? Do you tremble at these words?
So many Christians think faith looks like health and wealth, your best life now, a happy materialism with Jesus. But faith looks like dependence on God and His word because you are broken and weak and have no alternatives.
God, who is so far above us, does not choose to associate with people who think they are above others. The God who is so far above us likes to associate with the lowest of the low. While competing for dominance and preeminence down here, we get further from God. You cannot serve God and mammon.
And, here’s the real kicker: the proof you are poor and contrite and tremble at God’s Word is that you become more like God. That’s why Paul tells us in Romans 12:16 to associate with people in a low position. He tells us elsewhere to esteem others better than ourselves.
People who are poor, contrite, and tremble at God’s word associate with those who are lower. Spiritual strength never results in holier than though aloofness, it always results in bearing the burdens of the weak; that’s how strength is shown.
God, the ultimate source of strength in the universe, condescends to men of low estate: you and me. When you get that, you relax and quit the rat race. You depend on Him. You also have compassion on those around you that others have no use for, those who are lame, and weak, and depressed, and lowly.
Wow. What a God. What a charge to keep. Man, I need humility.