Tehillim Fifty-Three: Looking Down

“God looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see whether there is a man of understanding, who seeks God (Psalms 53:3).” What’s interesting to me in this verse is the idea of God looking down on humanity, judging our character and capacity to seek and understand Him. While obviously God is in a class by Himself (that goes without saying), in general, this doesn’t seem like a great method. If someone, whoever or whatever they are, looks down from on high and and passes judgment on the perceived morals and values of individuals, their perspectives are inherently skewed. As an educator, if I place myself as an authority above my students, I set us up as ‘other.’ Our relationship is transactional, instead of symbiotic. I can judge them from what I see from the head of the room, without meaningfully interacting with them or seeking to understand their motivations. But in doing so, I won’t get an authentic view of them, or as thoughtful of a portrait, and I would definitely be the one who misses out.

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