TEXT: Isaiah 57:15ff
READING: Psalm 51
SUBJ: The exalted dwelling of God and His ability to dwell with sinful men.
AIM: That we might seek out and cultivate such knowledge of God through humility and contriteness.
INTR: It is the most amazing realization that any will come to that One so high and Holy should dwell with such as are broken and lowly because of sin.
1. The thoughts of this passage (according to some commentators) look to a future time of comfort given to a penitent and broken people – perhaps in the end time.
2. A present reality is that the nature of salvation is described in this way in that God identifies with people in their humility and brokenness.
3. To do this, God could not compromise His holiness and so a means of bringing this union about had to be provided. Christ is that means!
THESIS: It is presumption to think of God coming down to man without a mediator – He is and always has been the God Who is described here and who would dare to approach Him as such?
I. Where God dwells – in eternity
1. His identity is confirmed by undeniable credentials:
1) He is the High and Lofty One and has ruled as such – See Isaiah 6:1 and Psalms 97:9 For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
2) That inhabits eternity (we supply a physical address) – “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2) and see also: 1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
3) Whose Name is Holy! “…Hallowed be thy Name.” S.F. Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. AND Psalms 99:3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
2. Consider His associations in eternity – The Son and The Holy Spirit – complete harmony
3. We note the purity of His dwelling – such an unspoiled eternity
4. The absence of offense there: Habakkuk 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
II. With whom God dwells – the contrite and humble
1. With him that is contrite – literally crushed to powder or dust
2. And humble of spirit – Low or humiliated -- (spirit = breath or mind; manner of living)
3. The reason of their brokenness is that they are sinners and they know of their offense before God. See David on this: Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
4. How can this be:
1) Only in Christ (It is here important that we note that these things that qualify us for dwelling with God are seen in Christ in His entire earthly ministry).
2) There must be a Spirit wrought awareness of one’s condition
3) There is a cry He will not refuse – MERCY!
4) And there is a proper reaction – “I create the fruit of the lips…” v. 19
III. Why God so dwells – to revive
1. We would note that true revival is visited first upon such as are in this state of humility and contrition.
2. The reason of Christ’s coming – to preach good tidings: Isaiah 61:1-3 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And thus we are reminded of Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
3. To revive the spirit (breath, mind) of the humble – that is to create a comfort and delight in identity with God – to make us alive unto God. “He giveth more grace.”
4. To revive the heart of the contrite – to apply forgiveness with assurance to the inner man and teach us to go to Him for cleansing. He is faithful and just to do so.
5. We note in the verses following that God had contended with these and had smitten them, but the redeemer did not (will not contend forever.
6. It was His design to heal; to lead; and to restore.
7. God sent His Son to die and raise again that we might be brought to a precious awareness of dwelling with Him – the High and lofty One, Who dwells in eternity, and whose Name is Holy and that in an eternity of delight in Him.