By Rich Lambert
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” - Psalm 8
Of all the witnesses in heaven and earth commissioned by God to wear his glory, whether bright blazing nebulae or ringed planets or mountains that reach to the ceiling of clouds or down to the bottomless ocean floor, none wears his glory better than a crying squawking infant, with balled fists and cinched-tight, tearless eyes, and a raspy froggy wail. God wears these cries like a suit of armor—a show of strength that makes the enemy and avenger swallow his tongue and choke on his lies and slanders and threats.
Of all God’s loved creation, he loves humanity most of all. Humanity is a little lower (less spectacular) than the angels but fitted with a crown that angels will never get to even try on for size. Only humans are loved from the desire of creation, through the treason of the fall, and into the super-abundant fullness of redemption. No other creature or being in the universe has been the recipient of such a thorough-going love.
And THAT is the whispered scandal of the Psalm and the downfall of the enemy and avenger. AFTER the fall, humanity should no longer turn to God in need, but we do. AFTER the fall, God should no longer turn toward us in mercy and grace, but he does. Every infant cries for the fallenness and disharmony of the world it is born into. Every infant cry is answered by the cries of Jesus in the manger, born to be our redemption. Every infant cry is answered by the cries of Jesus from the cross, giving himself up as our willing atonement. Every infant cry is answered by the cries of the women who find the tomb where Jesus was buried broken open from the inside and empty. Our insurmountable need is God’s glory because it is the stage for his unfathomable grace—and the chorus of glory that rings through the universe and the reach of time is our cry of helplessness answered by God’s own “Hallelujah” and “Amen” in Christ Jesus, echoed and punctuated in the howls of anguish from the defeated enemy avenger! The most beautiful hymn of glory resounding in heaven and earth is the needy cry of infants. And adults, too.
Faith and Practice:
Do you believe your cries of anguish and need, when brought in faith and dependence, are actually hymns of glory? What stands in your way of believing this? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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