I appreciate so much the way Isaiah presents God’s truth in such vivid pictures. Listen to Isaiah 57:15, “For this is what the high and lofty One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite.’”
Notice what it says about God: He is the high and lofty One, who lives forever and whose name is holy. This speaks of His transcendence, His eternal being and His holiness. He is the totally “Other,” in the “I” – “Thou,” equation. It is as though He is beyond approaching.
Out of this transcendence He speaks. What does He say? “I live in a high and holy place.” That is fitting for Him. It reinforces His “Otherness,” and “Unapproachable-ness.” This is truth that is profound and should evoke awe and reverence from us.
But when we grasp something of this truth it often brings fear, like when the Israelites were afraid to approach the holy mountain, Sinai, as recorded in Exodus 20. Isaiah had such an experience, recorded in chapter 6.
He also knew what the Lord goes on to say in this verse: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.” We are unworthy to stand in His august presence, but He will bow low and dwell with us if we are contrite and lowly in spirit. When that happens, He will revive our hearts.
It is true – the more you know about God the less you think of your worthiness, and the more contrite and lowly in spirit you are, the closer God comes to you and revives you.