A recent study in Scotland has found that tall people are more intelligent than short people. However they came up with this study is beyond me and in no way am I going to try to justify whether this is right or wrong seeing I myself am over six foot tall and it would be easy for me to speak about the wonderful results of this study.
When I read about this though, I was reminded about some of the tallest people in the bible compared to one of the shortest. Do you remember in Deuteronomy 1, the Israelites were afraid to enter the Promised Land because of their stature and strength? They had it all there right infront of them, yet they didn’t trust God. God told them not to be fearful or disheartened by their stature, but trust him, yet they disobeyed and were sent packing, wandering the desert for the next forty years.
Of course the obvious example of ‘tallness’ is Goliath who was defeated by David. His gigantic stature brought fear to the enemy, but was he not defeated by such a small person at the time in David? In fact, if you remember the story well, he laughed at David and scoffed at him saying, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (1 Samuel 17:43) when he saw the Israelites choosing such a diminutive man who couldn’t even put any armour on because he was so small. Yet with God on his side, David won the battle.
Just before in 1 Samuel 8, Israel demands that God gives them a king. Someone who is strong and powerful and looks like mighty warrior. Someone who fits the bill for what a king should be. And of course we get Saul chosen to be Israel’s first king in 1 Samuel 9. In verses 1 & 2 it tells us,
“There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.”
You notice the only description we get of this man Saul is his outward appearance. Nothing to do with how wise or intelligent he might be but how he appears as you look at him. Obviously Saul is Kingship material based on the description we get of him. But does he turn out to be a good king. Later on, we find out he disobeys God big time and is stripped of his reign. This king in shining armour doesn’t live up to God’s expectations of what a leader should be like. And that’s because God’s looking at the inside, not the outside.
But the example of the shortest man I know of in the bible in Luke 19 is Zacchaeus. He’s so short he has to climb a tree to see Jesus. This guy started off as the most hated man in Jericho because he was a dishonest tax collector but Jesus came and loved him like he would love a tall intelligent man. Zacchaeus was despised by all but Jesus came to him, looked up in the tree and told Zacchaeus, ‘This is your day.’
“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5).
And thru those words and that love shown to Zacchaeus, he becomes a changed man. The short man stands tall because of repentance and grace.
“Today salvation has come to this house….For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)
So if taller people are more intelligent, there must be so many basketball players holding higher IQ’s than poor old Rugby league hookers. It’s all really relative isn’t it? It’s like driving on a freeway and anyway going slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is a freaking maniac. Why is it that I’m the only sensible driver on the freeway? You may agree with this study of tall people or you may disagree with it. As I see it, there is no standard here of right and wrong, smart or dumb, and the shoe doesn’t fit for everyone does it?
In the same way a short man can change his life around thru repentance and grace, a tall man can fall harder in the face of pride. The bible doesn’t tell us that Jesus died only for tall people. When it comes to the greatest and smartest people, what really matters is understanding the truth. The truth about Jesus and the truth about the gospel. Romans 8:37-39 puts it best when it comes to the height of all truth.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
From the highest point in the universe to the lowest depth of the oceans, Jesus’ love for us is far reaching. Nothing in death or sin or the corners of the galaxy or within the created world can separate us or disconnect us from Christ’s love.