December 10, 2014
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Some of you remember the old song: "The old gray mare, She ain't what she used to be, Ain't what she used to be, Ain't what she used to be ...." According to a report made by researchers from the University of Oxford, there is a great deal of truth in that song. The old, gray mare ain't what she used to be; she is better than she used to be.
Let me explain.
The researchers monitored the interactions that took place between the public and police officers. Some of those officers were on a horse and some of those officers were on foot. The study discovered
1. people appreciated the higher "visibility" of mounted police and used the horse as an icebreaker for their conversations with the officer;
2. officers on a horse had six times more positive interactions with people;
3. people showed greater trust toward an officer on horseback than they did one on foot.
The great question is why? The officers were the same; the laws were the same; the situations were the same. Why did people react better to an officer on horseback than they did when they were looking that same officer in the eye?
That last line probably gives us our cue. When you speak with someone face to face, you are on the same level as they are. You realize you are visiting with another human being who has the same limitations and shortcomings as you. But, when you look up at someone, when you recognize they have a power stronger than yours, then a level of respect must be given.
The same principle may hold true when people think of the Lord.
For most of human history the Lord has been looked on as Someone far above humanity. We admitted He was more powerful, wiser and, in every way imaginable, better than us. But in the last few hundred years, much of humankind has demoted God and given themselves a promotion.
Today, far too many people believe God should be grateful if they go to church "once in a while," and He ought to be appreciative if we give Him a few crumbs, which fall from our table. Even worse are those who demand God to justify Himself when something happens with which they disagree. Ask yourself how many times you heard someone challenge, "If God really is a God of love, why did He allow this or that to happen?"
The truth is this: the Lord is now and always will be the Creator, the Redeemer, the Sanctifier of our souls. We can no more understand the Lord's thoughts and actions than a flea can do our tax returns. Indeed, all we can really do is be grateful for the salvation He has given through Jesus' blessed sacrifice or, as Luther said, "It is our duty to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give me a heart of humility and gratitude that acknowledges Your authority and gives thanks for the Savior's blood-bought salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries