Monday, August 5, 2013

Pastoral Pings ~ When the Highest Place Sees the Lowest Child

          The more I consider the meaning of the four living creatures in Revelation and Ezekiel, the more convinced I am that this is an easy-to-remember picture of God enthroned above the highest of his creation in both the physical and spiritual realms. The point is to assure suffering churches to live by faith in what is true about God, rather than by sight of whatever is happening to them here below.

          Here is another Scripture that draws our attention to the connection between the one who is enthroned above all of creation, and yet relates to the struggles of the lowest of his children.         

Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord.[1]

          Whenever I hear people tell me what they believe about life, what religion they follow, or why they reject God and religion altogether, I have this basic question go through my mind: “Says who?” I then compare their answer to mine. Who says the things that I believe? “the LORD!” This is the God of the Bible, Jehovah, Yahweh, Jesus Christ. What the One True God says has authority over anything anyone else has said, or could say.

          The essence of what God says here, as confirmed by the vision of God’s throne above the four living creatures,[2]is that God’s throne is in heaven. He is above everyone and everything else. In contrast, the earth is like his footstool.

          The point is that God doesn’t rule from his footstool, he rules from his throne. Everything we see with our eyes is down here on earth. Whether we are at the mercy of governments, beasts, antichrists, false churches, or even spiritual oppression from the prince of darkness, it is all happening down here, on earth, on God’s footstool.

          Where is God at the time? Up on his throne, of course. He is in heaven, ruling over all these earthly things with a plan and purpose that no one on earth could possibly defeat. Even when every army on earth rises up against Jesus Christ, they are still on God’s footstool, and God is still ruling over all things from his throne in heaven. There is no way that footstool-events will ever triumph over throne-purposes.

          If God is on his throne in heaven, enthroned above the most powerful of his living creatures, and the most powerful of his angels, how does he relate to people who are stuck down here on his footstool? Here again, we must put aside all our thoughts and imaginings in this regard, and seek to know what the LORD says. In his own words, the God who sits on the throne declares: “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”[3]

          God doesn’t give us this hopeless picture of how he hob-nobs only with the mightiest of his angels. He doesn’t show us how he is “enthroned on the cherubim,[4] above the cherubim,[5] upon the cherubim,”[6] to create a sense of distance between himself and his people. Rather, he shows how gloriously exalted he is over all his creation in the earthly and heavenly realms so that the lowliest of his children can feel the assurance that their Father in heaven, the Shepherd of their souls, has no difficulty handling all his enemies who play their silly little games on his footstool.

          Everyone who receives what God says in his word has the assurance that God is safely and securely exalted on his heavenly throne, where even the red dragon cannot go and taint paradise with his evil heart. This God over heaven and earth is looking upon those who humbly receive Jesus Christ by faith, who are contrite and poor in spirit over the condition they are in, and tremble with fear and reverence at the glorious message of grace and hope that invites the brokenhearted into his presence through the blood of Jesus Christ.

          I not only find my hope and satisfaction in this amazing picture that the highest person in the whole of the physical and spiritual realms would look with loving interest at the lowest and most brokenhearted of his creation; but I find my hope and satisfaction in this picture because of the one who says it is so.

          From my heart,


© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Isaiah 66:1-2
[2] Ezekiel 1
[3] Isaiah 66:2
[4] I Samuel 4:4; II Samuel 6:2
[5] 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Isaiah 37:16
[6] Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1

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