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Day Twenty Three : 20th December

Kneeler Twenty Three

Isaiah 57

14 It shall be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the way,
remove every obstruction from my people's way."

15 For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the heart of the contrite.

16 For I will not continually accuse, nor will I always be angry;
for then the spirits would grow faint before me, even the souls that I have made.

Brueggemann (2):

p 181 verse 15 '…asserts the character and identity of Yahweh in a peculiarly nuanced way. Here speaks the one who is high and holy, who us elevated in regal splendor beyond circumstance. The imagery recalls the vision of 6:1-8, a vision of massive, unapproachable sovereignty. The wonder of this proclamation, pertinent to the larger horizon of biblical faith, is that this one high and holy is the one who "dwells" with the lowly and crushed. These latter terms do not refer to guilt, penitence, or remorse over sin or "theological" humility. They refer, rather, to those abused and exploited, who are endlessly taken advantage of and rendered powerless. In the context, the phrasing surely refers to the marginalized Jews for whom and from whom the poet speaks.

The juxtaposition of high-holy and lowly-crushed is at the core of Yahweh's self-disclosure, the mystery of God who is the subject of biblical faith.'