When you walk into a house, what you see reflects the owner’s personality. If you come into my house, you see a mess. That doesn’t mean my life is all messed up; it just reflects that I am too busy or too lazy to clean it up. Some other houses, though, show their owners to be obsessive. The décor is also expressive. The room where I keep my computer and my sewing machine also houses my dragon collection and my pictures honoring my favorite composer, Puccini. Some people decorate in a Southwest motif, others in particular colors. My favorite houses are those where the prominent architectural feature is bookcases. I love to see what books are on the shelves, because that tells me more about the owner than just about anything else could.
God has furnished his house in a particular way. It is beyond anything we can imagine, because God is beyond anything we can imagine. One psalmist acts as a reporter for “Better Deity Homes and Gardens,” and gives us a glimpse of the inside of God’s house.
Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavensA matador’s “suit of lights” is magnificent in its own way, but God’s outer garment is light itself. like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. (Ps 104:1-5)
The first thing the psalmist looks at is what is hanging in God’s closet. Some newspapers and magazines have gotten complaints recently because a news article might describe what a prominent woman is wearing, but not how men in the story are dressed. Even more so with President Obama in the White House, the interest in fashion has been revived by the President’s wife’s wardrobe. People want to know what celebrities are wearing, or these days not wearing. This is not new. This psalmist was part of the trend, thousands of years ago.
So what does the well dressed Creator of the Universe wear? “He is clothed with honour and majesty.” Don’t ask what those items look like. I can’t describe them. But you will know them if you see them.
God is clothed with honor. It seems that this is a pretty desirable garment. Many people who have no other clothing cling to their honor. “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Prov 29:23) Haman the Agagite should have listened to the wise man. When the king asked what should be done for the man the king desired to honor, his reaction was, “To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?” (Esth 6:6) In so doing he lost the last vestige of his own honor. Not only does God wear honor, but he gives it as a gift as well. In fact, he demands that certain people be given this garment. “Honour thy father and thy mother.” (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Eph 6:2) It is a pretty important garment, if he expects parents to wear it.
God wears majesty, and he wears it well. Majesty is such a garment that people tremble before the one who wears it. “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” (Isa 2:19) Yet God’s majesty, as great as it is, is based on simple things. “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.” (Ps 45:3-4) God’s majesty is based on truth, meekness, and righteousness. These are things that we can experience. When we walk meekly, in truth, and covered with the righteousness that God imparts, then we can wear the same majesty God does. Our wardrobe can be the same as God’s, and not just a cheap knock-off, either.
The uniform of a matador is called a suit of lights. It is magnificent in its own way, but God’s outer garment is light itself. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 Jn 1:5) Only one who wears light as his cloak could create the world by saying, “Let there be light.” Several of the prophets describe theophanies, appearances of God. A common theme in each of these is light. “I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.” (Ezek 1:27-28) “And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.” (Hab 4:3,11) God wears light, and is the light of the world. Without God is “outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 22:13)
Apparently God is his own interior decorator. He designed his own house, and decorated it the way he chose. So his décor is certainly reflective of his own personality. It is not influenced by outside sources, by another decorator’s personality. His architectural sense is flawless, if he can lay foundations for the earth that cannot be removed forever.
Frank Lloyd Wright has a reputation as being perhaps the greatest architect of modern times. He was famous for incorporating water into his architectural designs. His best-know house is even called “Fallingwater.” Yet even he never attempted an architectural feat perfected by God. Most people think that the beams upholding the ceiling of a house should be mounted on something solid. Even Jesus said that a wise man builds his house upon a rock. God, on the other hand, incorporates water into his design, even mounting the beams of his chambers on the waters. In this he demonstrates that his power exceeds that of all others. It doesn’t matter that God puts his beams from cloud to cloud. If God places it, it will stay put. If God’s architecture will not be moved, regardless of where it is placed, imagine what that means for us. When we look to Jesus, “the author [or architect] and finisher [or contractor] of our faith,” (Heb 12:2) then we can know that nothing can snatch us out of his hand. When God establishes his kingdom, “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18)
Many decorators will say that the most important element in a room is the window dressing. The right curtains can make or break a design. Curtains emphasize or hide elements, and may even be used independently of windows. If curtains are so important, imagine the effect of God’s curtains. He stretches out the heavens as his curtain. God doesn’t even require a window. When the curtain shows the changeable sky, who needs a window? How would you like to wake up in a curtained bed, and see clear to the farthest star? That is how God decorates his house.
Furthermore, God has interesting air conditioning. Here in the desert, we try to keep the breeze moving, either by fans or by opening doors and windows. God just calls on an angel to cool his house. “He maketh his angels winds.” If he gets too cold, he has a movable fireplace. He makes “his servants a flaming fire.” As his servants, we warm the world.
Jay Leno is famous, besides for his comedy, for the contents of his garage. He has some very nice cars. And that is an understatement. Yet in all of his garage, Jay Leno does not have an item of transportation that compares to God’s. You see, Jay Leno cannot travel on the clouds, and yet God makes them his chariot. My wife and son like looking at clouds. They may identify a shape in the cloud one moment, and it looks like something entirely different a moment later. Clouds move quickly. What better transportation for the King of the Universe? Not only is it a rapid chariot, it is a beautiful one. And powerful. God’s chariot is more powerful than the fastest Indy car. How many horsepower is a cloud? Who knows? But any tornado victim will tell you that it contains more horsepower than anything man can build.
And if God decides not to ride his chariot, he just walks on the wind. The wind in the Chicago area canEven Frank Lloyd Wright never attempted an architectural feat perfected by God. get fierce. The winds in Albuquerque are even stronger. What fun God must have, strapping the wind on like a pair of cross-country skis and striding across the heavens. Not to get anywhere, for God has no need to travel, but just for the exhilaration of riding on the wind! God stores some pretty neat transportation in his garage. As we would put it a number of years ago, God is cool. He is not just another stick-in-the-mud judge of mankind. His garage shows him to be on “fun loving dude.” (Sorry if this description offends, but it is accurate.)
God’s house is an interesting place. If Disneyland claims to be “the happiest place on earth,” then God’s house must be the happiest place out of this world. While Disneyland may charge “an arm and a leg” to get in, God’s house costs more. He wants both arms and legs, and more. His price of admission is your whole life, and maybe even literally your life. But just as some people consider the high price of admission worth it to see Mickey Mouse, the price of admission to God’s house is but a small thing compared to what you get for it. He asks for your life, but once you are in he gives a full refund, with interest. When did the Disney parks ever do that?