The Most High God
J. Foster Crane, New Zealand
Among the many names and titles used to describe God in the Bible is the term 'the Most High' God - used some 34 times. It is used first by Melchisedeck and Abraham both of whom refer to God as 'the most high God (El Elyon), possessor of heaven and earth', Gen. 14. 18, 19, 22.
Moses refers to 'the Most High' who 'divided the nations', Deut. 32. 8. David refers to Him, 'the Lord most high, a great King over all the earth', Psa. 47. 2, and 'Jehovah . . . the most high over all the earth', Psa. 83. 18, 'exalted above all gods', Psa. 97. 9.
Isaiah refers to 'the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity', Isa. 57. 15. Daniel writes, 'the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will', Dan. 4. 17, 25. Stephen, in his defence before the Jews says, 'the most High dwellth not in temples made with hands . . . heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool', Acts 7. 48, 49; Isa. 66. 1. Satan refers to God as 'the most High', Isa. 14. 14.
As with God the Father, so with the Son. When the angel Gabriel was sent to announce the birth of Jesus he said to Mary, 'the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee' and 'that . . . which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Highest', Luke 1. 35, 32. Later, demons were to recognize Him as 'Son of God most high', Luke 8. 28; Paul and Silas they called, 'servants of the most high God', Acts 16. 17.
During the time of His sojourning on earth, the Son veiled His supreme authority as 'Son of God Most High', taking a servant's form but, on the completion of his work of redemption, He again 'ascended up on high . . . far above all heavens', Eph. 4. 8-10. God 'highly exalted him', Phil. 2. 9, and He 'sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high', Heb. 1. 3. All authority in heaven and earth has been committed into His hands, Matt. 28. 18, and He is 'far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion . . . in this world, that which to come', Eph. 1. 21.
The Most High God is a Being to be revered and feared, loved and obeyed. He is infinitely holy, just and righteous and no mortal man dare treat Him with lightness or indifference. Though invisible and eternal He has revealed himself to men in many ways, thus men are without excuse. By the inner light of 'conscience', Rom. 1. 19; 2. 15, by creation, Rom. 1. 20, by audible voice, Exod. 19. 19, by angels and men, Heb. 1. 1, 14, and in the person of the Son, Heb. 1. 2, God's power, love and holiness are clearly made known.
But how has the world responded?, We would expect that beings in heaven and earth would give to God all honour, love and obedience, but such is not the case.
Satan, called 'Lucifer, son of the morning' was surely without excuse, yet he said, 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will be like the most High', Isa. 14. 13, 14.
And what he wanted for himself he now offers to men, 'Eat of the forbidden fruit', he suggested to Eve, 'then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods', beings with supernatural knowledge and wisdom, Gen. 3. 5. Adam and Eve listened to the voice of Satan, but in disobeying the command of the One living God, they became 'fools' - their minds blinded, their bodies depraved, they became like the 'gods' of their own making - unclean 'beasts' and 'creeping things', Rom. 1. 19-32.
The people of Babylon built a tower 'whose top may reach unto heaven', and to make themselves a name, Gen. 11. 4, thus commencing the vast, Satan-in spired 'religion' of the Gentile nations that would reject the authority of the eternal God and lead millions of souls into spiritual darkness over the ages of time.
Pharaoh, king of Egypt said, 'Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice?', Exod. 5. 2. Nebuchadnezzar, in the pride of his heart, built an image of gold, set it up in place of the living God, and commanded that men should worship it, Dan. 3. 1-12. Belshazzar, king of the Medes 'praised the gods of gold and silver, of brass, of iron, of wood', Dan. 5. 4. The people of Capernaum, who had witnessed and rejected the mighty works of Christ, were 'exalted unto heaven', Matt. 11. 23.
King Herod was smitten to death by an angel because he accepted the worship of the people and 'gave not God the glory', Acts. 12. 22, 23. Antichrist, when he appears, will 'oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God', 2 Thess. 2. 4.
Ultimately, the Lord Jesus will 'put down all rule and all authority and power' and all enemies will be 'under his feet', 1 Cor. 15. 24, 25. Every knee in heaven and earth shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, Phil. 2. 10, 11. He will 'rule the nations with a rod of iron' and the Lord God omnipotent will reign, Rev. 19. 15, 6.
But in the meantime the Most High God continues to reveal Himself to those who seek Him in humility and truth; 'Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity . . . I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit', Isa. 57. 15. 'To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word', Isa. 66. 2. 'Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you', 1 Pet. 5. 6. He puts down the mighty from their seats and exalts them of low degree, Luke 1. 52. 'Casting down imaginations (reasonings)', writes the apostle Paul, 'and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ', 2. Cor. 10. 5.
In all of this the Lord Jesus, God's own beloved Son, sets a perfect example. Though equal with God Himself He 'thought it not robbery to be equal with God'. On the contrary He voluntarily 'made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant', Phil. 2. 7 - performing the menial duties of a slave in washing the feet of His disciples, John 13. 1-5. To glorify the Father and obey His will was the one passion of His life, and because of this, God has made Him 'King of kings and Lord of lords' and through Him God will eventually become 'All in all'. The 'kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever', Rev. 11. 15.