God is great, and yet...

Psalm 99Many humans function with the agenda of “and so…” We have a platform, and so… we try to keep it. We don’t have a platform, and so… we strive to find it.

We have power, and so… we use it. We don’t have power, and so… we seek it.

Whatever we do have, we fear losing. Whatever we don’t have, we fear not getting.

And so… we walk through our lives grasping.

God does not grasp.

He does not respond to His own greatness with the agenda of “and so…”

God responds to His greatness with the freedom of “and yet…”

God is the biggest player on the world’s stage.

The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. –Psalm 99:1

God mighty beyond compare.

Great is the LORD in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. –Psalm 99:2

God is holy, set apart, in a category all His own.

Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. –Psalm 99:5

Truly, He is worthy of any worship we bring to Him.

God could grasp for that worship, like a power hungry dictator looking for grovelers to validate His ego, and yet…

When we come into God’s presence, it is not a one-way interchange.

He could choose only to receive praise, and yet… He responds with care for us.

they called on the LORD and he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; -Psalm 99:6-7

God is set apart, and yet… He reaches down, answers us, and forgives us.

LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God –Psalm 99:8

God is holy, and yet… He forgives the sins of His people. God is powerful, and yet… He enters this world in humility. God is justice, and yet… He covers our misdeeds with grace. God is great, and yet… He chooses to love.

May we learn to respond with “and yet…” instead of “and so…” in our own lives.


That was my reflection on Psalm 99. Link up with your own thoughts below. Or stop back next week with thoughts on Psalm 100. (I have almost blogged my way through 100 Psalms! Whoa.)

The Majesty of Branches

branches

-----

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him –Isaiah 11:1-2

The days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will do what is just and right in the land. –Jeremiah 23:5

-----

There is something special about the sight of a bare tree in the winter. The majestic branches once hidden behind flashy leaves now become the central showcase. The arms that worked to deliver nourishment the rest of the year, in this season are able to rest and flaunt their own artistry.

It is the branches that contain the life of the tree. Their veins and structure which hold everything together. It is suiting imagery, then, for Christ. He is but one branch from a family tree of kings, yet He is so much more. It is Christ who is the shoot, that new growth that brings with it the fruit of life.

-----

Giver of life, what a stunning creation you have made. Thank you for the way You use it to reflect Your character to this world. May we see the beauty of Your righteousness come to us in the form of Christ, the good King who reigns without flashiness, but with the life we truly need. May we look to Him for guidance, strength, and nourishment throughout our days. Amen.

-----

I have heard it said that Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics to the beloved “Silent Night” while on a walk in the woods of Austria during the winter. As he felt the stillness, saw the moonlight reflecting off the snow, and the noticed the majesty of the trees surrounding him, he was brought to worship. It was a silent and holy night, that made him think of that most holy night that had transpired so many years before.

 

Silent Night (Emmanuel) – Matt Maher


NoticingImmanuel

Noticing Immanuel: a series for Advent. Each day starts with noticing: a picture of an everyday Christmas moment. That picture leads to a verse, a meditation, a prayer, and a song. My hope is that when we see those Christmas moments a second time, they will strike us differently. That we might feel the presence of Immanuel this Christmas season, whether we are sitting in quiet or moving in chaos.