Tuesday, 21 February 2017

He lifted me up

Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
That He may seat him with princes—
With the princes of His people. – Psalm 113.6-8

I preach a message on this passage called ‘From the Dung Heap to the Prince’s Seat’ or ‘From Gong Farmer to Prince.’ It is taken from the phrase ‘He lifts the needy out of the ash heap that He may seat him with princes.’

Let me explain. We are fortunate enough that we live in a land full of medieval castles. These castles of course did not have indoor plumbing, but they did have a version of an indoor toilet. This small alcoves were called garderobes. They were simply holes cut in the stone and covered by a plank of wood. The waste usually fell into a chamber at ground level.

The gong farmer was hired to come in and collect the waste to be hauled off for fertiliser. His work would also stir up ammonia which served as a disinfectant to kill lice and such in the clothes hanging in the garderobe.

I can’t imagine a worse job. It was truly the pits. Day after day of cleaning out that waste was a hopeless and thankless job. There really was no future.

Living in the castle above was the royal family. They enjoyed the benefits of the work of the gong farmer and other workers.

Now imagine the king going down one night to where the the gong farmer was getting ready to start work. ‘Put down your shovel, you are coming with me.’ The king took him, had the servants help clean him up, gave him a set of royal robes, and took him up to his new room in the royal chambers.

Imagine the gratitude of the man that night as he climbed into his new bed in the (relative) comfort of the castle.

Sounds a bit unreal, doesn’t it?

But that is exactly, precisely what the psalmist says here about what happens when God delivers one who trusts Him. It is what He did for us when He saved us. Paul even uses the same analogy when he talks about all the good works he used to were nothing but human waste in relation to his salvation. Jesus Christ called him out of that and lifted him up to a royal inheritance.

Ad as believers that is where you and I stand today. We were wallowing in the waste pit of our works and Jesus Christ lifted us up to walk with Him. Our eternity is secure, we have nothing to fear, and we are released from living in the stench.

He has lifted us up.

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