For thus saith the high and lofty One "For thus saith Jehovah, the high and the lofty" - A MS. adds יהוה Yehovah, after אמר amar, and edition Prag. 1518. So the Septuagint, Alex., and Arabic. An ancient MS. adds יה Yah .
With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit - Twelve MSS. have את eth, without the conjunction ו vau . Pro ואת veeth, forte legendum ואראה veerah : confer Psalm 113:5, et Psalm 138:6. - Secker. "We should perhaps read ואראה veerah, instead of ואת veeth . See Psalm 113:5, and Psalm 138:6."
For thus saith - The design of this verse is, to furnish the assurance that the promise made to the people of God would certainly be accomplished. It was not to be presumed that he was so high and lofty, that he did not condescend to notice the affairs of people; but though he, in fact, dwelt in eternity, yet he also had his abode in the human heart. Many of the ancient pagans supposed that God was so lofty that be did not condescend to notice human affairs. This was the view of the Epicureans (see the notes at Acts 17:18); and the belief extensively prevailed in the Oriental world, that God had committed the management of the affairs of people to inferior beings which he had created. This was the basis of the Gnostic philosophy. According to this, God reposed far in the distant heavens, and was regardless of the affairs and plans of mortals, and personally unconcerned in the government of this lower world. But the Bible reveals him as a very different being. True, he is vast and illimitable in his existence and perfections; but, at the same time, he is the most condescending of all beings. He dwells with people, and he delights in making his home with the penitent and the contrite.
The high and lofty One - One manuscript reads ‹Yahweh,‘ before ‹saith;‘ and Lowth has adopted the reading; but the authority is not sufficient. The sense is, that he who is here spoken of is, by way of eminence, The high and holy One; the most high and the most exalted being in the universe. He is so far above all creatures of all ranks that it is not needful to specify his name in order to designate him. No one can be compared with him; no one so nearly approaches him that there can be any danger of confounding him with other beings.
That inhabiteth eternity - (Compare the notes at Isaiah 9:6). The word ‹eternity‘ here evidently stands in contrast with the ‹contrite and humble spirit;‘ and it seems to be used to denote the elevated place of an eternal dwelling or heaven. He dwells not only among human beings, but he dwells in eternity - where time is unknown - in a world where succession is not marked - and long before the interminable duration was broken in upon by the revolutions of years and days.
Whose name is Holy - (See the notes at Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 30:11; Isaiah 41:14; Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 43:8, Isaiah 43:14; Isaiah 47:4). “I dwell in the high and holy place.” In heaven - uniformly represented as far exalted above the earth, and as the special home or dwelling-place of God. Thus, in Isaiah 63:15, heaven is called the habitation of the holiness and glory of Yahweh.
With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit - The word ‹contrite‘ (דכא dakkâ' ) means properly that which is broken, crushed, beaten small, trodden down. Here it denotes a soul that is borne down with a sense of sin and unworthiness; a heart that is, as it were, crushed under a superincumbent weight of guilt (see Psalm 34:18; Psalm 138:6).
To revive the spirit - literally, ‹to make alive.‘ The sense is, he imparts spiritual life and comfort. He is to them what refreshing rains and genial suns and dews are to a drooping plant.
The idea that prayer is not essential is one of Satan's most successful devices to ruin souls. Prayer is communion with God, the Fountain of wisdom, the Source of strength, and peace, and happiness.3 CG 518.1
Tragedy of a Prayerless Home—I know of nothing that causes me so great sadness as a prayerless home. I do not feel safe in such a house for a single night; and were it not for the hope of helping the parents to realize their necessity and their sad neglect, I would not remain. The children show the result of this neglect, for the fear of God is not before them.4 CG 518.2
Formal Prayer Is Not Acceptable—In many cases the morning and evening worship is little more than a mere form, a dull, monotonous repetition of set phrases in which the spirit of gratitude or the sense of need finds no expression. The Lord accepts not such service. But the petitions of a humble heart and contrite spirit He will not despise. The opening of our hearts to our heavenly Father, the acknowledgment of our entire dependence, the expression of our wants, the homage of grateful love—this is true prayer.5 CG 518.3Read in context »
The life in which the fear of the Lord is cherished will not be a life of sadness and gloom. It is the absence of Christ that makes the countenance sad, and the life a pilgrimage of sighs. Those who are filled with self-esteem and self-love do not feel the need of a living, personal union with Christ. The heart that has not fallen on the Rock is proud of its wholeness. Men want a dignified religion. They desire to walk in a path wide enough to take in their own attributes. Their self-love, their love of popularity and love of praise, exclude the Saviour from their hearts, and without Him there is gloom and sadness. But Christ dwelling in the soul is a wellspring of joy. For all who receive Him, the very keynote of the word of God is rejoicing. COL 162.1
“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. COL 162.2
It was when Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock that he beheld the glory of God. It is when we hide in the riven Rock that Christ will cover us with His own pierced hand, and we shall hear what the Lord saith unto His servants. To us as to Moses, God will reveal Himself as “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, 7. COL 162.3
The work of redemption involves consequences of which it is difficult for man to have any conception. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. As the sinner, drawn by the power of Christ, approaches the uplifted cross, and prostrates himself before it, there is a new creation. A new heart is given him. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require. God Himself is “the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:26. And “whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Romans 8:30. Great as is the shame and degradation through sin, even greater will be the honor and exaltation through redeeming love. To human beings striving for conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay of heaven's treasure, an excellency of power, that will place them higher than even the angels who have never fallen. COL 162.4Read in context »
The soul of the prophet, emptied of self, was filled with the light of the divine. As he witnessed to the Saviour's glory, his words were almost a counterpart of those that Christ Himself had spoken in His interview with Nicodemus. John said, “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.... For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” Christ could say, “I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” John 5:30. To Him it is declared, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” Hebrews 1:9. The Father “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” DA 180.1
So with the followers of Christ. We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, or accept Christ by faith, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full.” Colossians 2:9, 10, R. V. DA 181.1
The disciples of John had declared that all men were coming to Christ; but with clearer insight, John said, “No man receiveth His witness;” so few were ready to accept Him as the Saviour from sin. But “he that hath received His witness hath set his seal to this, that God is true.” John 3:33, R. V. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” No need of disputation as to whether Christ's baptism or John's purified from sin. It is the grace of Christ that gives life to the soul. Apart from Christ, baptism, like any other service, is a worthless form. “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” DA 181.2Read in context »