The Messiah in Isaiah Bible Study
Isaiah 57:15 - The High & Lofty One Who Inhabits Eternity
by I Gordon
 ↩ You are probably sitting there saying 'yep, right, a-ha' while all the time thinking 'please get to the point!' fair enough. I'll try!
 ↩ We saw a similar 'thus says the Lord' in an earlier study where God, before He gives the message, introduces a key thought that the people needed to remember. This is the verse I'm thinking about.
Isa 43:16 Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters...
You see the little intro? The people needed to remember that their God is a God who makes a way. He makes a way through difficult things. In fact He can even make a way through the things that seem impossible - through the sea and through the mighty waters. That which was impossible with man was possible with God. Not only can He make a way through the mighty waters, He does make a way. God wanted them to remember that it was for them as well so it is spoken in the present tense. God needed the people to remember that... then and now! : )
 ↩ A.W Tozer writes: 'The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men... With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence.' (The Knowledge of the Holy, viii, viii)
So what God's people did in the days of Isaiah, Tozer says the Church has done in his generation (and unfortunately things have only progressed further downward since then). In many ways, the right high and lofty concept of a Holy majestic God has been substituted for one utterly beneath the true God - one that is more to our liking.
 ↩ Of course, God gives us these little examples in His creation not only to show the wonder of who He is, but also to teach us important lessons concerning our own lives. Take the example of caterpillars for example. They are earth-bound little creatures that do little more than eat. Yet, as they go into the place of death in the chrysalis, they are literally 'born again' as they are raised from the place of death into a heavenly creature! God has done this to remind us of our own resurrection where our earthly body that went down into death is transformed into a heavenly body liken unto His body!
 ↩ It defies evolution because Darwinian evolution states that each gradual change must be beneficial to the creature for it to be adopted... and killing yourself on purpose and having your body broken down into a cell soup isn't exactly beneficial! Unless of course there was a designer behind it all who coded this into your DNA knowing all too well that something far more beautiful would emerge from the 'cell soup' if the caterpillar would go into that place of death.
 ↩ My uncle had one of these moments recently. He went tramping and lost his cap. He had been going off-trail so he had no idea where it was. The next time he went tramping he again went off-trail, cutting his own track and as he was walking through the bush a thought came to him that 'a rest would be nice'. So he stopped and put down his pack. And to his amazement as he looked down in the place where he stopped, there was his cap literally between his feet! He knew it was God. And he also knew that God isn't particularly interested in hats and caps! But what my uncle realised in one of those 'who is this God?' moments was that God knows everything - every detail, even the smallest of details such as the location of a lost cap, is known. And if He is interested enough in the smallest details of our life, how can we not trust Him with the larger issues?
 ↩ A Bible teacher that I enjoy is J. Vernon McGee. When he started as a minister he tried, in his own words, to be some great intellectual - someone high and mighty. Later he wrote:
'Let us stop this so-called intellectual approach that we find in our churches today. It's no good. When I started out as a pastor, I tried to be intellectual. An elder in the church in which I served came to me and talked to me about it, and he said, "We would rather have a genuine Vernon McGee than an imitation of anybody else." You see, I was trying to imitate intellectual men whom I admired. We don't need to do that kind of thing - we need to be ourselves. We need to get down off our high horses. Remember that the Lord Jesus is feeding sheep, not giraffes.'
 ↩ Some quotes from greater men of God than I may help:
'A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility.' D. L. Moody
'Be not proud of race, face, place, or grace.' Charles Haddon Spurgeon
'I am sure that there are many Christians who will confess that their experience has been very much like my own - that we had long known the Lord without realizing that meekness and lowliness of heart should be the distinguishing feature of the disciple, as they were of the Master. Such humility is not a thing that will come on its own. It must be made the object of special desire, prayer, faith and practice.' Andrew Murray
'The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life: In himself, nothing; In God, everything. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring.' A.W. Tozer
'God is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.' CS Lewis