The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
In 1904 Mr Rolls – a salesman & Mr Royce – an engineer, joined forces to make and sell cars. Not just any cars, but Rolls-Royce cars. They would be incredibly well-engineered – precision to the fraction of an inch. They would run far longer than any other car on the market. They were built by hand. They were expensive. They sold incredibly well. An in English, they created a new phrase: the Rolls-Royce of …..X.
If you want to say that something is the best in its class, better than all others – this phrase is (or at least was) a shorthand to describe it.
So, you could say that the iPhone 11 is the “Rolls-Royce of mobile phones”. The Teslar is the “Roll-Royce of electric cars”. The Titleist Pro-V1X is the “Rolls-Royce of golf balls”. You get the idea.
Psalm 135 describes the Rolls-Royce of all the gods:
5 I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
Our Psalm writer is unapologetic – the LORD (Yahweh, Jehovah) is the best in the class. It’s not that there aren’t other gods – it’s just that He’s the best.
Now I have friends who talk like this about Apple phones & computers, or Fender guitars or Callaway golf clubs. Whilst I’m not doubting their enthusiasm, I know that their opinion is subjective.
However, the Psalm isn’t expressing an opinion – for them it is a fact. They go on to explain why the LORD is the greatest:
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. 7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn of people and animals. 9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
The Psalm describes the LORD’s power in nature – and then in miracles (in particular in the Exodus). Apparently, no other god even comes close:
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 17 They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
It’s obvious why the LORD is the greatest. The other gods can’t do much – but the LORD can do so much.
So saying that something is the best isn’t arrogance – if you have the evidence to support it.
To say that Usain Bolt is the best 100m runner in the world is not boasting – it’s a fact. The numbers support you.
So, I agree with the Psalm. The LORD. God. The God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the best. He is the Rolls-Royce of gods. This isn’t arrogance or intolerance. It’s just a fact – and there is a lot of evidence to support it. My challenge is to communicate this with kindness and respect – and not with smugness or superiority.
Have a good day.