Psalm 113: 4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, 6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap…
In these words of praise the writer portrays a God that is physically distant “who looks far down on the heavens and the earth”. It reflects a majestic God not bound by the confines of our universe, but who dwells above it all as its Creator.
In downtown Dallas there is a place called the “Perot Museum of Dallas”. It’s a museum designed to engage children with interactive exhibits exploring various dimensions of physical science. If you’re ever in Dallas and have a few hours to kill, it’s a great place to go – especially if you have young people with you. They do a great job of bringing science to life.
One of my favorite exhibits allows the user to turn a wheel which goes in two directions – one direction displays things in an ever smaller trajectory. For instance you might start with a beachball. As you turn the wheel you see a marble, then a small insect, then a mite, then a molecule, then an atom, and so on. Turn the wheel the other way and you go from a beachball to a basketball… to a house to a city to a country to a planet… to a solar system – and so on. Eventually you get to a universe comprised of billions of solar systems. It’s mind-boggling how large the universe is believed to be. So when I read about God “who looks far down on the heavens and the earth” I imagine a God who is on the extreme far side of the universe. Can’t get much farther away than that.
And then in the book of Acts we meet the Holy Spirit of God, the third person of the Trinity who is sent by Jesus after his resurrection. In the Spirit, God doesn’t just get close, but gets inside the very hearts of believers. God who is impossibly far away becomes as close as possible in the Spirit. I like that. A lot.
In these difficult days I need a God who is near indeed. Lord let it be so. Amen.