My wife Diana and I did something this weekend that we practically never do … something we only do when there is finally no other alternative than we must do it … something we have not done in over eight years. We bought a car.
If you are getting this devotional on the Monday that it is sent out and you read it in the earlier morning hours, you might pray for me that the car I’m trading in will indeed make it the last couple of miles to the dealership without conking out, as I go to take possession of our modest set of wheels.
We are not car people, but having said that, we also are very cautious about getting the very best deal for the dollars invested. A great deal of research went into this selection process, and the sales person did not likely do well in terms of commission per hour invested. We selected the best deal. That’s what we all do when we buy something.
When you got married – be it last month, last year, last decade, or last century – you did not settle for just anyone. You did not look to find the least attractive and lowest person imaginable for a spouse. No, you looked to get the very best.
If you own a business and need to promote a new person to a management position, do you look to find the individual with the fewest qualities and least talent, intelligence, and experience? No, you look to discover and settle upon the very best and most capable person to fill the role.
Choosing the best … it is the natural way of doing things.
But it is not necessarily God’s pattern when it comes to displaying his glory and greatness. Over and over in the Scriptures we read of God’s glory and grace being made evident in his choosing of the least, the despised, the lowest, the poorest, the worst.
The prophet Isaiah wrote of how we as God’s creation are nothing more than the clay in the hands of a potter: “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)
Moses told the people of Israel that God had not chosen them to be his special people because of their awesome resume: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” (Deuteronomy 7:6-7)
And of the salvation of those in the early church in the city of Corinth, Paul wrote to these early Christians that they were not chosen because they were the winners of life’s material lottery, “26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
None of this is surprising if we reflect back to the very beginning of it all – back to God’s creation and the pinnacle moment of it in the creation of man. One would expect something more magnificent than a human being to be placed by God on Planet Earth in order to rule over his creation. You would expect one of the previously-created heavenly beings like an angel to have the honor and achieve God’s highest personal affection.
Rather it is a lowly human, and a sinner on top of it all. The least. It is a story worthy of a song about how majestic is God’s name in all the earth.
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.
1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,8 the birds in the sky; and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!