Above all else

“There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,

            nor are there any works like yours.

All the nations you have made shall come

            and worship before you, O Lord,

            and shall glorify your name.

For you are great and do wondrous things;

            you alone are God.”

Psalm 86:8–10 (ESV)

At first glance, you may not notice what’s happening in this section of Psalm 86. These three verses are a bit of a shift in Psalm 86. This Psalm is about the steadfast love of God. How great is the steadfast love of God! But in the daily grind, we may be identifying with the first several verses — simply crying out and hoping for an answer.

The shift is in verses 8–10 though. It’s visceral. It’s real. It’s real because there is a heart shift from something to Someone. It starts with kind of a weird statement comparing God with false gods. What’s weird is that it almost seems like the Psalmist is saying that there are other gods in verse 8: “None like you among the gods.” Something there should rub us a little. Hopefully, it bothers you. Are there other gods?

Yes and no. Ask yourself, “What consumes my thoughts, conversations and finances? Is there a repeatable pattern in my life where I turn to something to please or fulfill me?” If you are human and being honest, the answer is yes. Those are your sins, your elevated love of self or things or others above who God is in your life. I’ve been there. I’m still trudging through that valley at times. This is the place where we should be comparing the truth of who God is to the fleeting fulfillment (read: unfulfillment) of these lesser things. Don’t get me wrong. School is good. Money can be used for good. Relationships are good. But none of those things are God. So take a second and compare.

What is greater than God? Who creates better sunsets and sunrises than God? Who gifted people with such beautiful gifts like song, writing, wit, intellect, loyalty, love, humility? I’m sure you can keep going with that list as well. Who has cared for you to this day better than God? Who else has orchestrated history and the lives of so many to bring about this day, this moment, where you are reading this post? The truth is that no one compares to God.

That’s the truth that hits hardest. So yes, we fashion gods from all sorts of things. But no, there is only one God. He alone is God. And all the nations will gather. Revelation 7 paints a picture of various ethnicities gathering around and proclaiming, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:10). Nations will proclaim who God is and how great God is.

And today is your day to do so as well. In Christ, you’ll be numbered among those people on that day. But today you have the opportunity to exalt Christ before the nations in a different way. You don’t have to simply cry out hoping for answers. You can see that the Almighty is answering you now. The Psalmist realized this as well. He concludes the psalm with a phrase: “Because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.” The Hebrew phrase translated as “have helped” is indicating that the action, the helping, is perfected even if it hasn’t actually happened yet. That means that God is already working His perfection in your life regardless of whether or not you see it. So make much of God. Sing of God. Speak of God. Read from God. He alone is God, and He is with you, never leaving or forsaking you to some valley of despair. Like the good shepherd, He is carrying you.

Don’t be fooled by the lesser things around you. Look to the incomparable God!

Adore Him above all else. Hopefully, this song will help you with that today.


 

James Hammack

James Hammack is a regular contributor to The Rope. He also is digital services manager for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. He also serves as worship pastor at Sovereign Grace Church, Prattville. He and his wife, Alicia, have three children.

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