Holiness of God, Humility of Man (Isaiah 57:15) - Radical

Holiness of God, Humility of Man (Isaiah 57:15)

“For thus says the one who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
– Isaiah 57:15

Think about the picture here of God. Isaiah 57 describes him as the one who’s high, lifted up, inhabits eternity. His name is holy. He dwells in the high and holy place. But here’s the beauty of Isaiah 57:15. Not only does God dwell in his high, holy place, but he also dwells with the one who’s lowly in spirit and contrite.

Isaiah 57:15 Emphasizes the Holiness of God

So there’s a picture of the holiness, the highness so to speak, of God, and humility, and lowliness of man. So if we want to know God, if we want to walk with God, we want to be with God, we want to glorify God, then the way to know him, walk with him, is by putting ourselves low, and being contrite in spirit before him, being humble before him. This is the path to knowledge of God.

If we want to know God and walk with Him, we should put ourselves low and be contrite in spirit before Him.

I remember one day, I was at a sporting event in this massive stadium, and we had seats that somebody had given us on the top row, like the very height of the stadium. So I guess you had a good view of everything in the stadium, but it was not, maybe, the best view of the details on the field. We had this seat at the very height of the stadium.
So there was this man and this woman that were climbing up these stairs to sit on our row, and as they got to the top, you could tell that he was just really frustrated, and he just kind of yelled out in exasperation, “Can you get any closer to God than this?” And she just really sharply, quickly said right back to him … He had just asked, “Can you get any closer to God than this?” And she said, just sharply and quickly, “Get on your knees.”

This Verse Encourages Us to Pursue Humility

Like, this is the way to commune with the high God, by getting on your knees. Physically, yes, in prayer, but then in a much greater way just an attitude of our hearts. If we want to know God then we must have humility in our hearts. And so we pray for that. I want to encourage us to pray for humility, to ask God to save us from all of our sinful, prideful, selfish tendencies, to exalt ourselves. When we humble ourselves, this is the path to knowing God, the path to life, by being lowly in spirit.

So God, we pray today for humility. I pray for that in my life. I see such tendencies toward pride in my own heart. God, please help me to grow in humility. I pray this for every one of us who’s listening to this right now, God, just to help us. Help us to be humble. Help us to see ourselves rightly. We want to know you, and the thought that we even get to know you in all of your holiness … You are high and lifted up. You inhabit eternity. The thought of knowing you, this is not something we deserve, and yet we praise you for this privilege, so we humble ourselves before you and we pray for increasing humility in our lives.

God, help us not to exalt ourselves in any way. Help us to humble ourselves before you, before others. Help us to live lowly in spirit, and in the process, to dwell with you, all day long, to dwell with you in your high holiness, by an increasing humble lowliness in our hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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