“Who is like the Lord our God,
Who is enthroned on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?” -Ps. 113.5-6
In his masterpiece on the Psalms, The Treasury of David, Charles Spurgeon wrote that the subject of Psalm 113 was “the greatness and condescending goodness of the God of Israel.”
There is no faith but that of the Old & New Testaments which brings to mankind the revelation of a God who is full of majesty and holiness, while simultaneously characterized by humility and kindness. We cannot fathom this glory with mere human logic, for we have never known a man who bore great power and authority, while exhibiting perfect humility and love toward those who were beneath him.
It is no wonder that the Psalmist was filled with wonder. Through the life of praise, and a meditation on the Law of God in the Tabernacle, he had come into a vision of Yahweh that induced the question, “Who is like the Lord our God… enthroned… Who humbles Himself to behold things… in the earth?”
We are easily duped by showmanship humility. A sports star says, ‘hello’ to us or signs an autograph, and we say, “He’s so down to earth and kind. It’s so good to see a man using his platform to set an example.” We put their posters on the wall and devote hours upon hours to watching them play, and we delight in personal details about them.
The psalmist was wrapped up with another glory altogether. No man has ever exhibited this kind of humility, save the Man Christ Jesus. The singer had come into a revelation of God’s exaltedness, declaring that the “Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.” (v. 4) By His word the galaxies were formed, the great mountains were raised, the deepest valleys were laid, the oceans were filled and made to roar, and the streams were made to flow. As elevated as are the thrones of kings, as high as are the heavens, as powerful as are the greatest of angelic hosts, the glory of the Lord is “above” them all.
Our minds cannot grasp the height of His exaltedness, but when we are touched with His mercy, we receive a glimpse of the greatness of God, and we are overcome with trembling and awe.
The remarkable thing is, we would never have heard His name, nor seen His character, had He not been a God “Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth.”
Who is like Him? There is no one. It is Jesus only, Jesus from eternity past, Jesus in this moment, and Jesus in the age to come. The Son of God has stooped lower than the profoundest of human minds could imagine. When He came, He did not merely walk by to sign an autograph and say ‘hello.’ He came into the earth, took on flesh, lived a common life amongst common men, spoke life-words, performed heavenly works, and just when men wanted to exalt Him in an earthly sense, He died the death of shame upon a Roman cross. In this He humbled Himself, not only to behold things in the earth, but to save mankind and creation altogether. That means you, and that means me! Hallelujah!
The psalmist is not begrudgingly walking through some Davidic liturgy when he says to “Praise the Lord.” He is calling his people to the only sensible response to such a glorious and condescending God! Praise Him, O servants! The Gospel is not an opinion formed by Christian men. It is the full-orbed revelation of Son of God Himself, who is enthroned transcendently above the heavens, but Who humbled Himself to the point of death to make dead men live in the glory of the Father. What “condescending goodness!” What remarkable mercy! Do you remember the darkness from which you’ve been saved?
“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.” (vv. 7-8)
Praise the Lord!