Isaiah 54-58: God of High and Low

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.

Sometimes, theologians talk about God’s transcendence and His immanence. In other words, His highness and His lowness, or His distance and His nearness. God transcends creation. He is higher than the heavens. He is not bound by time and space. He is altogether something other than His creation.

At the same time, He is closer than we could possibly deserve. He does not stand far off. Instead, He associates Himself with the most lowly of creation. He sees each sparrow that falls from the sky and He knows every hair on our head. More than that, He is fond of those who view themselves in the proper light, as sinners in need of grace. That is what it means to be lowly and contrite of heart, to see yourself as nothing in comparison to the utter transcendence of God. But when we see ourselves that way, when we acknowledge that there is nothing we have to offer that is worthy of such greatness, He finds us most worthy.

How can this be?

Philippians 2 explains that it is because Jesus did that very thing for us. He has become our model of godliness and our means of access to God. He made Himself nothing, lowly and humble, being obedient to the point of death on a cross. And through His death, we have access to the Father. Through the death of Christ, we who are lowly are made worthy, for God is with us if we place our hope in Christ as our great Savior.

God is high above the heavens and yet He is with us in our lowliness because Christ became lowly, so that we might become worthy of such great affection from the almighty Creator of all things.

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