Ruby. Diamond. Silver. Gold. Granite. Pearl.
When choosing to describe His proverbial throne, God had literally every precious stone and material under the Sun (and potentially even beyond it) from which to choose.
In light of the resources at His disposal, His selection is simply shocking.
Yet, You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3.
In poetic imagery, God seems to be telling us, “Of all the ways I could show off My majesty and My kingship, I choose to show it off through you, through your praises and your lives.”
Not that I am in a place to advise God on His interior designing choices in His heavenly palace, but if I were in such a place, I think I would have advised Him otherwise. It would have gone something like this:
“Holy God, set apart One, One free from impurity and injustice, unchanging, immutable God, are you quite certain that You prefer to sit on the fickle praises of a fallen people? Have I shown you the new marble slab we found? The largest pearl ever discovered from the undiscovered depths of the sea? There are so many other great options, with all due respect, Lord of the Universe.”
If God sits enthroned upon the praises of His people, does that mean that our lives and our praises or lack there of, have an effect upon the glory and majesty of God?
No and yes.
God was, is and always will be glorious. If it were not so, if He were not so, He would not be God. He has essential glory that nothing can affect. Whether it is recognized or celebrated does not change that it is essentially and eternally true. If my 2 year old son is in a contrary mood and refutes everything that is factual (just hypothetically speaking, of course), his mood and his opinion do not change the truth. He can say the sky is green until he is purple, but the sky remains blue.
God’s essential glory cannot and will not be affected by mankind. And yet, God chooses to manifest His glory by and in the lives and praises of fallen humans. It did not have to be this way, yet in His great wisdom and knowledge, He chose it to be so. He chooses to sit enthroned upon the praises of His people.
Our lives, our praises, and our responses to our God, our globe and our neighbors make His essential glory manifest to the watching world. Our days, our dispositions, our decisions make up the threads of God’s throne.
What a simultaneously soaring and sobering thought.
The great news is that I most manifest His essential glory when I most clearly declare the mysterious gospel. In my weakness, in my failure, in my ability to hit the mark in every arena of life, I have countless opportunities to point to the essential glory of my God.
“For consider your calling, brethren, that there not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
On second thought, I think God made an impeccable choice for His throne. After all, what else could show off His essential glory, beauty, wisdom and goodness than a fallen, broken, weak people who are being made beautiful, strong, and righteous by Him?
What an unexpected but perfect pairing. God’s strength with our weakness; God’s beauty with our brokenness; God’s ability with our inability. What strange threads of His most glorious throne.
Lord, may You be lifted up, exalted and worshipped on your chosen throne. May our threads, our moments of admitting weakness, neediness and sinfulness be woven into a beautiful tapestry for your throne. May your essential glory be made manifest in the paltry praises of your people. Amen.