A Pedestal Too High
by Harley Voogd
God speaks in a great language. His words are brimming and nothing in our experience can counter balance the heftiness of what He trumpets forth. Therefore, our crippling slant is to disbelieve what God has spoken about us, both in our being and doing. Our idea of Heaven and eternal life is as bland as contemporary church building architecture. We doubt hell, firstly because we are illicitly repulsed by it, secondly because we deem ourselves unworthy of it. So when God speaks, we are reluctant to apply His words to ourselves, and instead look to someone else preeminent and greater. We are content to consign God’s words to whomever is on a pedestal too high for our reach.
These days we are being conferred a shallow ‘playground righteousness’. The priests and priestesses of pop culture preach it well: “Now come on children. Let’s all be nice and get along. Everyone needs to feel good about themselves”. Now that’s fine for the playground if all there is is a playground, but for the graduated grown ups we have to go deeper than the sand; we must go down to the bedrock. A standard this deep looks to who God is, what He has set into place, and what He has done to cultivate it all. Here we have to listen carefully to God’s words, and bear the weight of those words, in our place and in our time.
I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. But of course He does. We have humor and we were created in His image. The Bible deals with a weighty matter and so we don’t see God cracking jokes in it. God takes us too seriously for that. In fact, it’s terrifying to think about how seriously God takes us. The bible describes God’s glory. The Hebrew word for glory (kabod) means weight or heaviness. That same glory passes on from God to us. We have an eternal worth that places us on a pedestal much higher than we think possible. And with that worth comes two options: turn to the Giver in faith and worship or spit on the Giver, the gift, and ourselves in disobedience.
When God created the universe (not multiverse) He set each and everything into its place. The sun goes here, the earth orbits the sun at this distance, the ocean stops at this line, each animal will reproduce its own kind, a man marries a woman. Order was brought from chaos. The book of Genesis describes the pre-created state as a dark empty wasteland. God then spoke His massive words, the sound of many waters, and everything that is came into being. Everything being done to the amplitude of never being undone. Everything with the worth that comes with eternity.
God doesn’t foresee anything, He ordains everything. And when the world fell into sin, God enacted the plan that shows us just how much worth the created world truly has. Jesus entered history and established a sovereignty that is beyond anything we could imagine. He became a man. He had to be a man in order to win the world back for men. He was born of a virgin. He had to be born of a virgin so as to not inherit the sinful nature. He lived a perfect life and satisfied God’s law. He died a bloody violent death and satisfied God’s wrath. He rose from the dead so that we who believe will do so also. He ascended into Heaven, the capital city, and established His kingdom. And He never gave up His manhood. A man, like us, sits and rules from a throne, a pedestal too high, but not too high.
**photo credit: http://www.stockfreeimages.com/10808584/Pedestal.html#_