“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth 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” (Isaiah 57:15).

This is one of my favorite descriptions of God in the Bible! The “high and lofty One” describes His majesty, and His awesomeness.

It also describes the One that “inhabiteth eternity” meaning His eternal existence. God has always existed, He brought everything else into existence. When God sent Moses back into Egypt to deliver His people from bondage, Moses asked God who should he say sent him. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13, 14). The name I AM means the eternal, self-existent one.

God is such a complex being that it takes many names to describe Him. In the verse above we also learn that God is Holy, everything about Him is holy including His name. In Isaiah chapter six we hear heavenly creatures declaring His holiness, “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

Also, we see in this same verse that God, even though Omni-present, dwells in a particular “high and holy place.” This shows us that there is a tremendous chasm between man and God in both distance and character.

This high, lofty, and holy God is out of reach of comparatively insignificant man except for what is declared in the rest of the verse which describes God, the Father dwelling with His Son, Jesus Christ, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).

This is truly an illustration of God’s multifaceted character; not only holiness, but of love, compassion and mercy as stated in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And as the Apostle Peter wrote, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

In other words, Jesus bridges the gap between us and the Father through His death on the cross, burial, and resurrection three days later. His shed blood was the payment (atonement) for our sins. His resurrection was the assurance of God’s acceptance of the payment and our promise of eternal life with Him in the “high and holy place.”

However, this can only be attained through humility and repentance (contrition) for our sinfulness as reflected by God’s holiness. If Jesus humbled Himself to bring us to God, we must have the same attitude in coming to God through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

Roy Delia is pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.

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