Psalm 113:4-8 The Lord is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God…? He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap, that He may seat him with princes.
At the time of the Psalmist’s writing, the people burned their trash. The people he is describing are the poorest and neediest of all. They go to the dump to sift through the smoldering refuse in hopes of finding a morsel of food or something of value in the ashes for which to trade. The odor of burning trash permeated their skin and clothing, overpowering the senses and revealing their lowly state. Our culture does not afford a worthy comparison, but it’s about as needy as one can get.
What strikes me about this passage of scripture is the rhetorical question, “Who is like our God?” Who else has power and prestige comparable to Him, yet values people to the point that they are willing to go to a smoldering trash heap, lift out the needy, and set them with princes? Who would dare? No one, no one but God.
The Cinderella story of rags to riches is familiar to us all. I’m not sure if at first glance we see ourselves in this story, but we are. God has picked each one of us out of the ash heap. Do you recognize this? God Almighty, surrounded by all the glory of heaven, looks down upon the earth, sees mankind in all of our sinful rebellion, and still cares for us as individuals. God, who sees each of us for who we really are, still treats us shamelessly and without partiality. He is colorblind, beauty blind, rejects celebrity status, and has no financial interest in us at all. After all our years of sinfulness and the worn, broken parts of our lives, we are still of value to Him. He has not thrown us away, but picked us up from the ash heap and considers us the apple of His eye, His treasure, His prized possession.
A close friend reminds me often about her position with God when she confidently proclaims, “I am God’s favorite!”
With the right understanding of your true position, you can be His favorite too.