Isaiah 33:16
he will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the mountain fortress; his food will be provided and his water assured.
God's Witness to CharacterR. Tuck Isaiah 33:16
The Fortress of the FaithfulAlexander MaclarenIsaiah 33:16
In the Presence of the Holy OneW. Clarkson Isaiah 33:10-16
Living Near to GodE. Johnson Isaiah 33:13-16
Bad LiteratureHomiletic ReviewIsaiah 33:15-16
Shutting the Eyes to EvilJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 33:15-16
The Citizens of God's KingdomProf J. Skinner, D. D.Isaiah 33:15-16
The Good ManIsaiah 33:15-16
The Rocky Fortress and its InhabitantIsaiah 33:15-16
Dwelling on HighJ. G. Govan.Isaiah 33:16-17
Hidden in the RockJ. R. Miller, D. D.Isaiah 33:16-17
Rest in GodA. Maclaren, D. D.Isaiah 33:16-17
Sale in the RockWestminster Teacher.Isaiah 33:16-17
The Christian Should be JoyfulIsaiah 33:16-17
The Life of Surrender and TrustG. H. C. Macgregor, M. A.Isaiah 33:16-17

Connect this verse with the description of the righteous man given in ver. 15, observing how very practical is the righteousness which God requires and approves. The good man walks uprightly, speaks worthy things, wants nothing that is his neighbor's, will neither be bought nor forced to do that which is wrong, refuses to listen to evil, and shuts his eyes that he may not see it. God is on the side of such a good man, and whatever may be the disabilities in which he is placed by his fellow-men, he may be quite sure of safety and provision. "God is a Refuge for him." "None of them that trust in him shall be desolate." "The Lord doth provide."

I. THE GOOD MAN MUST BE IN THE WORLD, BUT HE SHALL BE ABOVE IT. Our Lord prayed thus: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." Put into Eastern figure, before earthly troubles the good man is as safe as a people hid behind the "munitions of rocks" when the invader is in the land. God makes no new lot, no fresh circumstances, for the good man. He does not promise any man that he will alter his earthly conditions, or altogether relieve him of his troubles. He lifts the good man up above his earth-scenes, by "strengthening him with strength in the soul," making his soul bigger than his circumstances. A man is not lost until he has lost heart. But if God supplies inward strength we never shall lose heart, and so we never shall be lost. Outwardly, a man may be tossed about, worn, wearied, wounded, almost broken, yet inwardly he may be kept in perfect peace, his mind stayed on God; he may be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." He may "dwell on high," "out of the reach of present troubles, out of the hearing of the noise of them; he shall not be really harmed by them, nay, he shall not be greatly frightened at them." This is the portion of the good; God's witness to character.

II. THE GOOD MAN MAY HAVE LITTLE, BUT HE IS SECURE OF ENOUGH "Bread and water" represent his necessities, not his indulgences; a sufficiency, but not a luxury. So good Agur prays, "Feed me with food convenient for me." The figure here is taken from the limitations of a time of siege. The "necessary," as distinguished from the "luxurious," is so difficult to decide. What has become a necessity for one person another still looks upon as luxury. One great evil of our age is the development of fictitious wants. We are called back to simplicity by the promises of God. "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." All that is needful is pledged to us, but for all the rest we are dependent on Divine grace; then what "monuments of grace" we must be! - R.T.

He shall dwell on high.
I. A LIFE OF EXALTATION. "Shall dwell on high." Those who are kept safe, are kept rejoicing, and that constantly; it is not an intermittent experience. "He shall dwell." The same thought is given in Psalm 91:1, and in John 15:11. It is always constant because it does not depend on circumstances, but on God. The surrendered man has learned to live in God, and in His presence is fulness of joy.

II. A LIFE OF SAFETY. "His place shall be the munition of rocks." Because of the safety there is perfect peace.

III. A LIFE OF CONTINUAL SATISFACTION. "His bread shall be given him." There is no leanness in the surrendered life; it is fed with the very Bread of Life. One of the greatest blessings of this life is the deeper communion, the greater reality of spiritual things, as the soul learns to feed on Christ. "His waters shall be sure."

IV. A LIFE OF BEAUTY AND OF REFRESHMENT. Jeremiah speaks of the same life under the figure of a tree planted by the river, whose leaf is sways green. Continual freshness and perennial beauty. The "beauty of the Lord our God upon us," and the "fruit of the Spirit" manifest.

V. A LIFE OF VISION. The unmistakable sign of the fulness of the Holy Ghost is the power to look into the glorified face of Jesus Christ (John 17:24).

VI. A LIFE OF UNLIMITED OUTLOOK. "Shall behold the land of far distances." As we stand and look down the vistas of eternity we learn a little of what this life means.

(G. H. C. Macgregor, M. A.)

In the ascent of a mountain, the objects which we leave beneath us become insignificant as we ascend, until the things we at first passed become as mere specks in the distance, and we get into prate, clear air, and see the extent of land around us, of which we had never dreamed. So in the spiritual life, as we "dwell on high" with the holy God, the things of earth are of less importance to us, even earthly friendships becoming insignificant as we "behold the King in His beauty," and all around us is the "far-stretching land" of His full, unlimited salvation.

(J. G. Govan.)

A man in some high hill-fortress looks down upon the open where the enemy's ranks are crawling like insects across the grass, and he scarcely hears the noise of the tumult, and no arrow can reach his lofty hold. So up in God we may dwell at rest, whate'er betide. Strange that we should prefer to live down amongst the unwalled villages, which every spoiler can harry and burn, when we might climb, and by the might and the magic of trust in the Lord, bring round about ourselves a wall of fire which shall consume the poison out of the evil, even whilst it permits the sorrow to do its beneficent work upon us.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Two birds went out to build their nests. One found a tree by the river's edge, and made her nest among its branches. The river murmured below, and the sunshine played among the leaves. But one night there was a storm, and the tree was torn out, and carried away in the floods — nest and nestlings and all. The other bird found a crag in a mountain, and built its home in a cleft of the rock. The storm swept over it, and the floods rushed through the valley, but the nest with its nestlings was safe in the rock.

(Westminster Teacher.)

In the Pitti Palace at Florence hangs a picture which represents a stormy sea, with wild waves and black clouds and fierce lightnings flashing across the sky, Wrecks float on the angry waters, and here and there a human face is seen. Out of the midst of the waves a rock rises, against which the waters dash in vain. It towers high above the crest of the waves. In a cleft of the rock are some tufts of grass and green herbage, with sweet flowers blooming, and amid these a dove is seen, sitting on her nest, quiet and undisturbed by the wild fury of the storm, or the mad dashing of the waves below her. The picture fitly represents the peace of the Christian amid the storms and trials of the world. He is hidden in the cleft of the Rock of Ages, and nestles securely in the bosom of God's unchanging love.

(J. R. Miller, D. D.)

I have been so long away from England that I do not know where our Queen is residing just now; but if I had the wings of a dove, and could mount into the upper air, I would soon find out. I should look for the Royal Standard. I should see it floating over Windsor or Osborne, and by this token I should espy the royal abode. Fling out the banner to the breeze when the King is within. Is the King at home with you, dear brother? Do not forget to display the standard of holy joy. Hoist it, and keep it firing. The Prince of Peace is enthroned in our hearts! The Lord is exalted, for He dwelleth on high (ver. 5), and we dwell on high with Him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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