#550: Double Sight

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Reflections by the Pond
May 7, 2012

O Lord, what is man...

I was standing outside this morning listening to the insistent yet joyous voice of a wren calling for a mate. He was up high in the branches of the community of oak trees behind our house, flitting from tree to tree, branch to branch, mostly hidden in the clusters of fresh new leaves.

And I thought, how different everything must look from up there. How different must our land and house look from high in the trees looking down, rather than looking up into the trees from the ground. I consider myself to be the lord and master of my realm, but to that tiny wren I am probably just another of the lumbering beasts far below who haven't the gift of flight. How thunkish and leaden humans must seem to a lilting aerobatic, acrobatic bit of feathers who knows little of gravity's pull.

° ° °

Just for the sake of a mental exercise, set aside any relationship you may have with God through Christ. Just for a moment (only a moment, for any longer might be too painful) forget about grace and Jesus and redemption. Just think about God Almighty, high in His heavens, looking down on mere humans walking about this earth.

O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You think of him?
Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

Psalms 144:3-4

How thunkish and leaden we all must seem to Him: soft, mushy blobs of flesh scurrying or meandering about, tiny flecks of insignificant this and that, feet glued to the primordial clay of this globe. God in His heaven does not know the pull of gravity, the pull of the soil, the constraints of flesh. He goes here and there with ease, at will, without constraints of any kind.

How small we must seem to Him.

° ° °

But now let us set aside fanciful thought-games and return to reality.

Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,

Psalms 8:5-6

The Christian has been handed the gift of double sight—two different perspectives, both implemented by the indwelling Spirit: We can look up and see God, and we can look down to see ourselves as if through His eyes.

The believer, through God's word written and translated by the Holy Spirit, has the privilege of looking up and seeing God as He really is: high, mighty, terrible in His majesty, awesome, all-powerful.

"For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'"

Daniel 4:34-35

Even so, the believer enjoys a second privilege of seeing himself from God's perspective—that is, through the eyes of the awesome, terrible God whose enmity with man has been removed by the blood of Christ. Those who have placed their trust in that blood do not and will not experience His wrath. So when the Lord God looks down upon those who are His in Christ, He sees not "tiny flecks of insignificant this and that," but beloved children.

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

Romans 8:14-15