Friday, April 20, 2007

Praise for the Creator

Sometimes John's teacher rides with me on field trips and if we don't have a precise street address, I invariably get us lost. In between, "Where on earth are we now?" we've discovered a lot of common ground, laughed hard, and anticipated future opportunities to work our way toward wherever it is that we're going, using the few extra minutes of "traveling" time to chat.

Getting lost is not such a crisis any more because Todd gave me a GPS navigator. So the days of white-knuckled terror doing donuts around the highway with a quivering lower lip are mercifully past. My GPS rights the course and gets me where I need to be. The peace that I have when I set out for unfamiliar destinations is almost incalculable. Whether or not I can discern north from my south no longer really matters. The GPS figures it out for me. "I love that thing!" I tell Todd. What I must avoid, however, is the tendency to focus on the thing versus the God who made the thing possible! We should save our utmost praise and gratitude for God, not the gadget.

We meet Melchizedek, an enigmatic king and "priest of the Most High God" in Genesis 14. He is thought by some to be a Canaanite priest of spiritual parity (or greater) with Abram. Melchizedek was quick to appropriate divine credit to mortal achievements:

He blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth. Worthy of praise is the Most High God who delivered your enemies into your hand."
(GN 14: 19-20)

Abram is fresh from victory over four kings who had captured his nephew Lot. Melchizedek extends hospitality to the victor and praises the conquest. Noteworthy is the way in which Melchizedek keeps the focus on God, giving credit where credit is supremely due.

Question: Who or what do you praise? Is your joy and dependence upon the thing or the One who makes all things possible?

(Photo by LinBow. See for restrictions.)

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