Psalm 113:5-8 - Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.
In some legends and fairy tales, the king on his throne, surrounded and sheltered by soldiers and court advisers, grows curious about the lives of his subjects. So one day the king lays aside his royal robes and dresses in ragged clothing. Avoiding his guards, the king slips out the back door of the palace (if the palace has a back door) and walks, unrecognized, through the town. He sees how his people live and work and listens to their troubles. He learns lessons that hopefully will make him a better and wiser king.
According to the psalmist, the Lord is seated on His heavenly throne, looking far down on the heavens and earth over which He rules. In an account that is no legend or fairy tale, but the absolute Gospel truth, our Heavenly King laid aside His glory and descended to earth. He took on human flesh and was born among us, as one of us. The God-Man, Jesus Christ, did not just mingle with His subjects for a day or a few days or weeks. He lived and worked and healed and taught among His people for some 30 years. Then, at the appointed time, the King who had laid aside the glory of heaven was crowned, not with gold but with thorns, stripped of even His common, earthly garments and nailed to a cross. Jesus our King not only took onto Himself our human flesh, but He bore our sins in His own body on the cross. He suffered the penalty of death that we deserved for our sins and by His death and resurrection He lifted us up from the dust and ashes of sin and death.
Joined in Baptism to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, we have been raised up "to sit with princes"—and princesses, our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. Our God and Savior looked down on us with compassion and love. He left His throne and came to earth to live and die and rise to make us His own people, His royal priesthood, His holy nation. God made us alive together with Christ and "raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). Now, like our risen and reigning King, we can reach down and lift others up through faith in Christ so that they too might join in fellowship with us, now and for all eternity.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, by Your death and resurrection we have been raised up to new life as Your holy people. Lead us to be faithful witnesses for You and to serve others with compassion and love. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. How has God become like one of us?
2. Why would God care about lifting the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap?
3. The world is full of beat-down people. Does your heart go out to them? Are there human conditions or circumstances that move/touch your heart more than others?
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