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ISAIAH -CHAPTER 57: 15-21 - The High and Lofty One Print E-mail

“THE HIGH AND LOFTY ONE WHO INHABITS ETERNITY AND WHOSE NAME IS HOLY”

Isaiah 57:15

Sunday, March 7, 2015, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

In the days of Isaiah, then as now, the masses of the nation along with their earthly monarch had lapsed into apostasy.  The Lord issues a royal edict or manifesto.  In His character as Sovereign, He declares two of His titles and His two palaces to His loyal subjects in every age.

 

His Titles:

 

(1)   “The High and Lofty One”

(2)   “Whose name is Holy.”

 

His Palaces:

 

(1)    “Who inhabits eternity”.

(2)    “He dwells with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit.

 

Isa. 57:15: “For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy.  I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

 

The nation had lapsed into unblushing idolatry.  They had surrendered their traditional creed degrading it with the abominations of the Phoenician and Assyrian mythologies.  In addition to altars of Baal, crowning the high places, statues of Astarte were erected amid the groves of Terebinth.  The King had paid unworthy homage to the grasping world-power of that era.  He had become the cringing and subservient to the King of Assyria.  He had the coward baseness to forget his pledge of allegiance to his country and Jehovah.  He sent ambassadors with the message to the Assyrian King, “I am your servant and son.” 

 

57:11: “Of whom have you been afraid or feared, that you have lied and have not remembered Me, nor laid it to your heart?”…”

 

Amid this awful deterioration and wide-spread atheism, even the prophet might give way to despair.  But God calmed his fears and ours by a royal edict of His glory and goodness—“I am alone the High and Lofty One.”

 

O Christian, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our only help and shield.  He makes the challenge in verse 13: “Test the power of your idols---test the ability of your government leaders in the day of need.”  They will only show their utter impotence.  “The wind shall carry them all away.”  The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low.  The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.

 

He shall be left on His glorious throne, alone, but Omnipotent, to vindicate His royal title and name---Thus says the HIGH AND LOFTY ONE.”

 

He is invested with the most exalted moral attributes: holiness, purity, righteousness.  He alone is absolutely Good, as well as absolutely Powerful.  Omnipotent and unchanging, His emblem is the Rock.

 

His true people can only exult in His power when combined with righteousness.  The psalmist exclaims, “He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Ps. 92:15).

 

The Holiness of God is a study more for angels than for men, but Jesus prayed that we would Behold His Glory.  You have made man a little lower than the angels, crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the work of Your hands…we see Jesus…crowned with glory and honor… bringing many sons to glory.” (Heb. 2)

 

We see Jesus and see the moral perfections of deity gloriously reflected in the Person and character of Him who is “the image of the Invisible God,” and who is “the Holy One.”  The glory of Christ was revealed in his pure, sinless flesh nature.  In Luke 24, Jesus revealed Himself when he walked out of the tomb, in his glorified flesh, “Behold my hands and My feet, that it is I myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me have.”

 

This was prophesied by Isaiah:

 

57:1-2: “The righteous perish, and no man lays it to heart…He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds (tombs), each one walking in his uprighteouness.”

 

The spirit that walked so uprightly on earth with no divergence from the path continued in a glorified state of existence before ascending to the right hand of God the Father.  Before ascending, he later told his disciples not to touch him, but it is a fulfillment of this prophecy that His flesh walked out of death in his uprighteousness.  

 

At the moment when Holiness satisfied the demands of the law on the Cross, the sun hid its face, and the rocks were rent.  The earth trembled.  We can hear the angels singing, “ Let us praise His great and terrible name, for it is HOLY” (Ps. 99:3).

 

At the cross, God’s holiness was solemnly displaced in the mightiest transaction of all time.  We have this confidence, this proof, and this pledge that all subordinate transactions with His Church and people will be sealed with the same unspotted, inviolable righteousness.

 

There is an intimate union between Christ and his church.  Christ died and suffered for our sin and became one with His Body, His Bride, His Church.  This union took place by his choice, and because of it believers see him as glorious indeed.

 

During the time of Isaiah, as in the 21st Century, it appears that monster iniquity and crime stalked forth unchallenged in the earth.  This kind of moral evil in any nation is due to immoral government, and apostasy of the people.

 

This we know, “the Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works”.  It is for us to pray and watch the full development of His divine plans and purposes.  The day is coming, when from every corner of His creation, and from every tongue of His ingathered Church, we will proclaim---“righteous are you O Lord!’.

 

Now what of God’s two royal Dwellings---the two palaces of the Lofty One and the Holy One?

 

The first is the Palace of Eternity.  Our feeble attempts to scan the marvels and glories of this divine dwelling-place are inadequate at best.

 

Psalm 99:1-3: “The Lord reigns; let the people tremble.  He sits between the cherubims.  Let the earth be moved.  The Lord is great in Zion.  He is high above all the people.  Let them praise Your great and terrible name; for it is Holy.”

 

We have seen glimpses of His glory by vision, visitation, creation, His Holy Word and His Omnipresence.  Like the Apostle Paul, there continues to be saints who have been caught up into the third Heaven.  2 Cor. 12:4: “He was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.”

 

The second Palace of the High and Lofty One from the halls and corridors of eternity is to the human heart.  Wonder, O heavens! And be astonished O earth!” (Jer. 2:12) the omnipotent Jehovah, who is seated on the pinnacles of His universal empire and whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, stooping to fellowship and dwell with the children of the dust!

 

The Greatest of all is the Kindest of all.  The mysterious inhibitor of eternity and the dweller in the contrite heart is One. 

 

Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 21:3).

 

There is a two-fold description here of the human heart:

 

1.      Contrite:  “Those whose souls are melted and broken for sin; those who feel the bitterness of their separation from God, and long to be in His presence.  These are the crushed.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

 

Isa. 66:1-2:  “ Heaven is my throne, and the earth is My footstool; where is the house that you built to Me? And where is the place of My rest?  For all those things has My hand made, and all those things have been, says the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My word.”

 

He promises to revive the spirit of the crushed and broken and “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.”  On those laid low by the sharp, cutting scythe of conviction---, the rain descends, the fragrance of the crushed and prostrate heart rises like sweet incense.  I will restore comforts to him and to his mourners.”

 

After contrition, comes humility.  God dwells with the humble.  He resists the proud.  He gives grace to the lowly.  Men love to sound their trumpet before them.  Existence with many and the popular is an ambitious scramble to clutch the bubble reputation---to fight their way to worldly and social position,---to be accounted great, wise and influential. 

 

The godly and saintly method is the reverse; to avoid parade and show; to love goodness more than greatness.  “The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price.” 

 

Our Lord’s contrition was not for his sin, but his cry from the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”, was Divine Holiness’ “contrition” for all man.  He is the perfect pattern of humility.  He, the Lord of all, became the Servant of all. 

 

“He shall not strive nor cry, neither shall he lift up his voice on the streets.”  Be clothed with humility. 

 

In these two attributes of His sinless nature-purity of soul and humility of life---He stands forth as our Savior. 

 

“Except you be converted (turn from sin to holiness), and become as little children (in humility) you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”

 

This free offer of grace and salvation was first to the Jew.  But after Israel is addressed, the invitation is widened.  Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, says the Lord…”

 

However, there is no peace, says my God, to the wicked  “They are like the troubled sea which cannot be still.”

 

“O thou whose Palace is on high,

By myriad angel-hosts adored;

Who cease not day nor night to cry,

“All holy, holy, is the Lord!”

 

A lowlier, humbler home than this,

Is dignified as your abode;

The heart for sin that broken is

Become your dwelling-place, O God!

 

Let such a lowly heart be mine;

Such incense from life’s altar rise;

Conquer my pride, O grace Divine!

Its demon-spirit exorcise.

 

The High and Lofty One awaits

To enter in;---Prepare the way!

Undo the bolts---lift up the gates---

Welcome the Heavenly Guest today! (John Ross MacDuff) 

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – O entered into the labors of John Ross MacDuff, Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye. (public domain) -  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I glean.

 
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