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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Psalm 113:5-6, "Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!"

This morning, one of the more fascinating things to watch is different people's behaviour as they occupy different places. While proper place should be given to a situation, such as understanding that worship service is a solemn occasion and the playground is a place to "cut loose," many people modify the way they act because of their own perceived sense of place and authority. For example, in the hierarchal structure of the workplace, people seem to act differently around other people depending on their perceived notions of superior or inferior place to them. People with much of the world's financial fortunes sometimes speak and interact differently with those of their own fiscal standing than they do to those beneath them. Yet, one of the truly awesome things to behold is that the Richest of all behaves quite differently than that, even though He has the fullest right to not ever interact with those that are under Him.

The Psalmist declares that none is to be compared to our God. Who is like unto Him? Not one. Who could stretch forth the heavens and comprehend them as a span and measure the waters in the hollow of his hand as our God? No, not one. He is the only eternal being, and the very concept of eternal existence and eternal self-sufficiency with infinite knowledge, power, and glory makes my head ache after just a few moments. As I heard an older minister declare, "When there was nothing and before there was anything, there was God." So, who could hold a higher place than He? Again, there is no person, place, or thing that compares to Him in the least regard. As He is the only One and none like unto Him, what is His right? His right is to do as He pleases and as He sees fit. When someone asks, "Why did God do it that way?" the answer many times is that He was pleased to do it that way. There are things that He has done and told us the reasoning behind them. He did certain things to show His glory, power, love, and judgment, but He is not required to give account of them to anybody.

Yet, even in the fullest sense of the eternal nature of God, we can take great consolation in that everything that pleases Him is good and without iniquity. (Deuteronomy 32:4) When He does things according to His purpose and pleasure, notice that it is always according to His "good pleasure." There is never "bad pleasure" to be found in Him, for His ways are goodness and justice coupled with Divine mercy and everlasting love. Therefore, as the only one with the sovereignty to do as He pleases according to His good pleasure and will, could He justly never have dealings with us? Certainly that is within His power and scope of authority. Could He have never communicated to us anything in regards to His goodness, mercy, salvation, promises, covenants, and doctrine? Again, that is most certainly His right to do or not to do. But, notice where God dwells and what God does.

As one that can do as He sees fit, God is pleased to dwell on high. He can dwell wherever He pleases, but His throne is exalted on high above all things both which are in heaven and which are on earth. Even though we read of His presence being everywhere (Psalm 139), He dwelleth on high, with His matchless throne in the highest plane. But, even though that is where He dwells, what does He do? The Psalmist says that He humbles Himself to visit with us. Even though His name should be revered above all things and the earth keep silence before Him (Habakkuk 2:20), He condescends to men of low estate to see them and visit with them.

There is a ridiculous notion about God's sovereignty that goes around from time to time in religious circles called "deism" that I prefer to to term the "clock-maker theory." This idea states that the God that created the universe by His own power and design has basically left it to its devices until the day that He returns to burn it up, and therefore Divine intervention on a day to day basis becomes nullified. To me, this idea of God is like a clock maker that wound the universe up, left for a few thousand years while it ticks and tocks, and will return when the buzzer sounds the alarm. Beloved, the Psalmist was assured that, while humbling to Him, God was pleased to behold and view the things that transpire. Not everything that happens pleases Him, but He is pleased to view and behold the events as they unfold and transpire.

Why is this thought that God views and beholds us a humbling to Him? Since none is like unto God (perfect in every sense), what on earth is there to behold that is perfect? What could be drummed up before His presence to say, "Master, look at this?" Even when we offer up thanks unto Him with the praise of our lips, are our efforts perfect? Since nothing that we do or will do in life is perfect in every sense, for Him to be well pleased with anything that He sees, He had to be humbled for anything to come forth that pleased Him. The answer is clearly seen in Philippians 2, in that even though Christ was God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, He still made Himself of no reputation and took the form of a servant. Being made like unto His brethren, tempted as we are tempted, suffering as we suffer, and experiencing and taking part of the same (though never with the taint of sin), He is humbled to know and feel our present circumstance. Feelings of loss and isolation enwrapped Him as He felt the sorrow of His brethren's desertion. Feelings of deep compassion came as He saw those in dire need and circumstance. Finally, feelings of deep woe and misery engulfed Him as He bore our penalty, experiencing the ultimate isolation (that we will never feel) of being forsaken by God the Father.

Through His offering, we have the ability to please Him. Through His work, we have the right to approach unto Him, and because He lives, we shall live also. Therefore, it was through humbling that God looks at us with compassion and mercy, even in our failings and shortcomings. His eyes are of purer sense than ours to behold sin, and we understand that to mean that He cannot behold sin and be content with what He sees. As He sees and knows all, there is never going to be a sin that He does not punish. But, the fact that we today, in the midst of our sins and errors, can still be held in tender thought by Him is because He was humbled. He humbled Himself to come here and die for us. He humbled Himself to see our plight and rescue us. Finally, He today humbles Himself to care for us as we journey and struggle here.

Many times, I talk to people who have being going through a rough patch, and they say, "God does not see, and God does not care." Dear friends, He definitely sees, and He most certainly cares for those that He loves and what they are going through. We are commanded to cast all our care upon Him, for He careth for us. (I Peter 5:7) He is pleased to visit us, and we should be pleased to have His presence with us. Yet, what manner does He come to us with? As the One that rules and reigns on high, He could come as the august and noble ruler that demands (rightly so) that we bow in complete submission from dawn till dusk. Yet, when He comes unto us, He comes knocking (Revelation 3:20). This knocking that He does is not for those to receive Him as their Saviour. He is coming to those that He already is their Saviour, and the desire and pleasure is to eat together. He comes in a humble way, not because we are above Him, but because He is pleased to
call us brethren and behave Himself accordingly. May we think upon Him, as He (while on high) thinks upon and visits with us.

In Hope,

Bro Philip