A God Worth Exploring (Psalm 89:5-37)

God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways,
    the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!
Search high and low, scan skies and land,
    you’ll find nothing and no one quite like God.
The holy angels are in awe before him;
    he looms immense and august over everyone around him.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you,
    powerful and faithful from every angle?
You put the arrogant ocean in its place
    and calm its waves when they turn unruly.
You gave that old hag Egypt the back of your hand,
    you brushed off your enemies with a flick of your wrist.
You own the cosmos—you made everything in it,
    everything from atom to archangel.
You positioned the North and South Poles;
    the mountains Tabor and Hermon sing duets to you.
With your well-muscled arm and your grip of steel—
    nobody messes with you!
The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule;
    Love and Truth are its fruits.
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
    who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
    who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
    you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
All we are and have we owe to God,
    Holy God of Israel, our King!

A long time ago you spoke in a vision,
    you spoke to your faithful beloved:
“I’ve crowned a hero,
    I chose the best I could find;
I found David, my servant,
    poured holy oil on his head,
And I’ll keep my hand steadily on him,
    yes, I’ll stick with him through thick and thin.
No enemy will get the best of him,
    no scoundrel will do him in.
I’ll weed out all who oppose him,
    I’ll clean out all who hate him.
I’m with him for good and I’ll love him forever;
    I’ve set him on high—he’s riding high!
I’ve put Ocean in his one hand, River in the other;
    he’ll call out, ‘Oh, my Father—my God, my Rock of Salvation!’
Yes, I’m setting him apart as the First of the royal line,
    High King over all of earth’s kings.
I’ll preserve him eternally in my love,
    I’ll faithfully do all I so solemnly promised.
I’ll guarantee his family tree
    and underwrite his rule.
If his children refuse to do what I tell them,
    if they refuse to walk in the way I show them,
If they spit on the directions I give them
    and tear up the rules I post for them—
I’ll rub their faces in the dirt of their rebellion
    and make them face the music.
But I’ll never throw them out,
    never abandon or disown them.
Do you think I’d withdraw my holy promise?
    or take back words I’d already spoken?
I’ve given my word, my whole and holy word;
    do you think I would lie to David?
His family tree is here for good,
    his sovereignty as sure as the sun,
Dependable as the phases of the moon,
    inescapable as weather.” (The Message)

Christ the Redeemer photo by John Dalkin

The Lord’s in it for the long haul.

Yahweh’s faithfulness never wavers nor diminishes over time; it’s always there, always operative.

The angels in heaven know it. All creation knows it.

Sometimes, perhaps oftentimes, and most certainly ironically, much of humanity doesn’t know it. They’re late to the celebration party. Like clueless ants on the sidewalk of life, they fail to look up and observe the big picture of the universe – as if the busywork they’re doing is all there is to living.

Silly us.

When push comes to shove, the only thing we puny people really want is someone who will love us for who we are. We just need someone who will have our back, all the time, and always be there for us, no matter what.

So (in the face of a faithful, loving, and caring holy Being) why do we act as if there’s no one home in heaven? Why does such a large chunk of humanity simply dismiss God as some antiquated idea from pre-modern people who didn’t understand the things we now know?

Aside from those questions being not much more than hubris, it assumes ancient people were downright stupid – except for maybe Plato or Cicero, bless their hearts. Yet even those guys knew better than to ground their ethics – not to mention their lives – in something and someone higher and bigger than themselves.

I tend to think that it all comes down to a matter of listening – of which we people have proven to be, at best, rather dull about; and, at worst, completely tone deaf to the continual voice of the universe.

Because if we would but just stop our ant-like busy-bodying for but a minute and listen, we would discover a constant cacophony of voices lifting praises to a Creator for whom they owe their very existence to.

The bald fact of the matter is that there are presently, right now this very moment, and every minute 24/7, a vast choir of angels offering praise to their Sovereign.

We would hear the ocean churning it’s affirmation that there is One greater than it’s own mighty waves; and the mountains and volcanoes rumbling their collective recognition that someone greater than their great chains of rock makes their very presence possible.

We could begin to hear the voices of history proclaim that there is an invisible force much stronger than the visible forces we believe to be so powerful.

Most important, we can hear the voice of the Lord – not with our actual physical ears – but with the spiritual ears which so many forget they even possess.

If we would get our heads out of the metaphorical sands of skepticism, we might begin to acknowledge and appreciate the voices of others for whom we have suppressed for too long: Native Americans; Australian Aboriginals; indigenous African spirituality; and any society with an historic and robust theology different from our own.

Both the cosmos way out there, as well as the children next door, discern and know what others do not: There is a God in heaven; and that God is deserving of praise – not the weird God you might think you know who is capricious and fickle – but the Lord who is more dependable than the most faithful friend you’ve ever had.

That’s a God worth exploring.

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