“Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?” (Psalm 77:13)
Modern English may be the only living language that capitalizes the first person pronoun, “I.” In most languages that have capitalized letters, the first person pronoun is not capitalized, just as we do not capitalize “she,” “he,” “we,” “you” or “they.” We do think a lot of ourselves don't we? The “I” is capitalized just as we capitalize the names of cities, states, towns, and honorific titles such as “Mr. and Mrs.”
While the capitalizing of “I” may seem like a fine, if not slightly irrelevant point, it does speak to our modern individualism. The “me” generation, the value on the “self,” the overt concern with our personal happiness and our all things that affect our lives. The “I” is in fact a kind of “god,” the least high of “gods,” -the placing of self on the throne of our hearts, the perspective that the world revolves around “me” and “my needs” and “my perspective.”
Psalm 77 provides an interesting take on these two “gods.” Psalm 77 is divided into three parts: the lament of the “god least high,” the self (77:1-9), a transition (77:10-12), and the recognition of “God Most High” (77:13-20).
In the first section (77:1-9), “god least high” manifests in a recitation of woes: “What about me?” The “I” cries aloud, moans, faints, pines over years past, speaks of troubles, and wonders whether or not God has forever ceased to love and keep his promises. “Has his steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious?” (77:8-9). The “I,” the “god least high” is consumed with self, and unable to find any hope or consolation.
However, in 77:10-12, once the “god least high” recognizes “God Most High,” things change. When the “I” now begins to recite the deeds of God Most High, and recognize that the “god least high” is no match for God Most High, hope, comfort, and the certainty that “things are going to be ok” returns. The remainder of the Psalm, 77:13-20 we hear the confidence of the Psalmist return. God Most High is, in fact, with His people, never leaves His people, and is so powerful that even the Psalmist's grief can be changed (77:10): “It is my grief that the right hand of the Most High has changed!”
Thus, where should our focus be, on “god least high” or “God Most High?” Let us be intentional about reciting to ourselves and others what God has done. Let us be mindful that it is God Most High who can bring about change, renewal, and vitality. Nothing is impossible for God Most High!