The pageantry of this past weekend’s “Miss America” competition calls to mind the familiar terminology of similar contests, where titles such as “Most Beautiful” or “Most Talented” are liberally awarded. Though frequently overused, “most” is one of those brief, authoritative trump cards of the English language. In short, “most” wins.
Lately, various circumstances have drawn my meditations repeatedly to the characterization of God as the “Most High.” The image is elegant in its simplicity yet shrouded in a bit of mystery, like the mountain heights. However, the superlative authority conveyed by the image is anything but mysterious. God is definitively superior to me and my circumstances. We tend to prefer the one superiority to the other, readily claiming the comfort that comes from the knowledge that God is “Most High” to every challenge that looms while grasping after personal autonomy, but that is not possible. God is “Most High” without condition.
A co-worker recently shared a similar thought in a devotion from Ezekiel. Now, there’s an awful lot about the book of Ezekiel that I do not understand. What I do get is that God commanded Ezekiel to say and do many things that were not only difficult but absurd, humanly speaking. What simultaneously sustained Ezekiel’s courage and obedience? The answer lies in the beginning of his writings, where Ezekiel shares a beautiful vision of the enduring glory of the Almighty. Once Ezekiel caught a glimpse of the “Most High,” everything else became subordinate.
There is a trump card for every doubt, fear, and fatigue when we willfully submit them all to the “mostness” of God; for “he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1, ESV). Look up, friend, and rest in the shade which is yours to indwell. All else is transient shadow.