by Eden Bishop
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Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high. He raises the poor from the dust (Psalm 113:5,7a).
The subversion of expectations is often employed as a device in music and literature. We expect a novel to go in one direction or a particular musical phrase to end in a certain way, but it goes off on another path. We have expectations based on our familiarity with a literary or musical genre, and when an author or composer doesn’t follow a particular pattern exactly, this can be extremely effective and engaging.
God subverts a lot of our human expectations. We can see this in his great plan to save us: send his Son to be a servant and die in the most shameful way possible. We would expect something much more glamorous.
This psalm highlights how God subverts our expectations. God is Lord over all things, ‘high above all nations, and his glory is above the heavens’. Yet, he is concerned with the wellbeing of the poor, the lonely and the needy. He puts them in places of honour and blesses them. This is not what we would expect of a great ruler – why should he be concerned with the lowest of society?
God has done the same for us. He came to us while we were still sinners and brought us into his presence. We are no longer lost, helpless or empty because we have been brought into a relationship with him. We can bless and praise the Lord, for God brought himself down to save us. We can ask ourselves, in what way might God subvert our expectations to bless us and give him glory?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for subverting human expectations and calling us sinners into your presence. We ask you today to continue revealing more ways you have subverted our expectations in accordance with your glorious will. Amen.
Eden Bishop lives in Adelaide and is a member at St Paul Blair Athol. She attends the University of Adelaide and is in the final year of her Advanced Economics degree. Eden enjoys reading (particularly The Lord of the Rings), playing the piano in church, knitting and learning fun facts about dinosaurs.