“For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Have you ever met someone who was too big for their britches? We like to give lip service to the idea that people are people no matter who or where they are, but in reality we don’t really believe that. We don’t believe it whether we think we are something or whether we’re sure we aren’t. Our celebrity culture makes this as plain as day. Celebrities are a little (or sometimes a lot) like spoiled children. The worst of them act in the zany ways they do not only because they think they can, but because all the people around them enable them to do it by catering to them.
Have you ever seen a list of celebrity riders? Riders are the things a celebrity will include in a performance contract. In addition to being paid for their appearance and the application of their talent, many celebrities include a set of additional demands that run the gamut from strange to insane. Jay-Z has to have seven dressing rooms when he goes somewhere to perform. Justin Timberlake needs a whole hotel floor to himself as well as someone to sanitize every backstage doorknob every two hours. Beyoncé wants her dressing room set to precisely 78 degrees at all times. Mariah Carey wants someone whose sole job is to throw away her gum when she’s finished with it.
Now, we look at these kinds of things and laugh at the utter ridiculousness of such demands, but these things are well-known not only because they’ve been demanded, but because they’ve been granted. Someone decided they wanted them to appear badly enough that they were willing to grant these requests in order to make it happen. Rest assured, none of these folks are interested in having anybody near them who doesn’t make their cut.
Our God has a rider too. But His is a bit different. His rider isn’t about demonstrating to others how high and mighty He thinks He is. His is about acknowledging who He really is. The average celebrity rider comes from a place of pride and arrogance. God’s comes from a place of humility.
How can that be? Because people really are just people even if we don’t believe it. No one is really worth that kind of bizarre, exclusive catering no matter how talented they are. But God really is glorious. He really is higher and mightier than we are. He is all these things and we are not. Anyone who thinks they are can’t get close to Him because their delusional orbit repels His. In order to get close to Him, we must be honest about who we are in relation to Him. In fact, the more honest we are about who we are, the closer He wants to be with us.
Humility draws God near. Pride drives Him away. So, the question we need to answer is this: Do we want to play celebrity with a God who really is great and drive Him away, or do we want to be who we really are and have Him close? Our God regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar.