God is worthy of the most palatial dwelling place with the most lavish furnishings, overlooking the most majestic scenery, while being surrounded by none but the most mighty and holy creatures. Revelation 21:11 describes such a place, the eternal city, the New Jerusalem, “having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” Furthermore, “the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23). “Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false…” (Rev 21:27). Heaven is God’s most spectacular dwelling place, providing for full and unhindered exhibition of the His multi-faceted glories.
We also understand from Scripture that God is “Holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3), unparalleled in His perfections of purity, love, power, knowledge, and supremacy. He, being the standard of holiness, is incompatible with anything or anyone which is less than holy. He consistently reveals Himself as “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). What an astonishing contrast. Although God is unapproachably holy, He graciously humbles Himself to come close to sinful people who have a contrite heart attitude toward Him. These lowly in spirit people are the ones of interest to Jehovah.
The purpose for God coming to dwell with such people is to revive their spirit and heart. But why some may ask? Since the person is already humble, what more do they need? The answer is that they need God’s own righteousness, His holiness imbedded within them to make them acceptable to Holy God. That’s what humble yet sinful people need. Only then can they be an acceptable dwelling place for the Lord.
The Hebrew word Isaiah uses for ‘revive,’ basically means to ‘give life.’ Taking the spiritual heart which is dead because of sin He gives it spiritual life. This regeneration of the dead spirit, giving first time spiritual life, is wholly the work of God. The sinner has no roll to play other than being contrite, which means being broken and crushed before a holy God over sin (Psa 51:13-17).
In the New Testament, we see the ultimate fulfilment of this through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Those who were “dead in trespasses and sins,” who were “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:1-2), God “made alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5).
Despite a sinner’s unworthiness, God responds to their faith in Christ. For “it is God who establishes us… in Christ… 22 and has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The once dead heart is regenerated through the life breathing ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who seals and guarantees the reborn sinners’ position in Christ, appointing a new heavenly destination. The heart, which was once a grave, is now a living dwelling place (temple) of the Holy One (1Co 3:16). Hallelujah!
Jesus words remain true, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). True and lasting contentment can only be found in Christ, and only once the Holy One steps in with eternal life, bringing His peace and joy. Believers enjoy the most privileged relationship with God through Christ and His Spirit, for which we give Him all the praise. Indeed, our God is a merciful Saviour God by nature.