You Stoop Down
You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.
Psalm 18:35 (NIV 1985)
What an unusual statement, "...you stoop down to make me great." I remember the first time I noticed this phrase. I thought, "Isn't this backwards? Isn't it all supposed to be about making God great?"
A Humble God
Maybe you are wondering if the translation is accurate? The word for "stooped down" is anvah (Strongs # 6035) which means "humility and meekness." So, I will admit that the translators took a little poetic freedom, but they certainly captured the thought behind the word. David is saying that God was so humble that he reached down to help one of His poor servants (a shepherd) to become great.
Isn't that really the message that we teach at this time of year? Jesus was so humble that He stooped down to become man. Jesus did this so that He could lift us out of the mud of our sinful existence.
What a beautiful picture! I see a slave who has fallen into a pit of mud and cannot get himself out. The King, a strong and mighty warrior, looks down, removes His robes and slides down into the mud to lift His servant out. He is not too proud to take on the mud of His servant to raise Him up to safety.
Humility Makes His Greatness Shine
Jesus set aside all of His glory to become a man, even a helpless baby, and live in our dirty and sinful world. He did this so that humanity could be lifted out of its sinful existence and once more achieve the greatness that God had intended for His creation.
Yes, we have a great God. But it is His very humility, His willingness to dirty Himself with helping His fallen creation, that makes His greatness shine all the more! Never forget that you have a God that loves you enough to stoop down to help you in the middle of your messed up life. Don't believe it? Just meditate on Jesus!
Question: This translation can only be found in the older NIV version. Do you think the image of God stooping down is an accurate picture? Please leave a comment.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory