Tom Hayes


Genesis 11:18

I read an interesting story about one of the Shahs of the Eastern World. He loved to disguise himself and go out in the public, appearing to just be another ordinary person. One day, he visited a servant in a little hut. He enjoyed his visit so much that he returned to visit again and again. Eventually, he identified himself to the servant. After he had revealed his true identity, the Shah told the servant he could make any petition he desired and it would be granted. The servant sat in shocked silence, so the Shah asked if he understood the magnitude of his offer. He could make him rich. He could make him a ruler. He could do most anything for the servant if he would just make his request. Finally, the servant told him that he didn't need to do one more thing for him. He said, "From your high and lofty position, you have come down and visited me in my low estate. I could ask no more that what you have already given me - - your self."

In studying the Bible, we see that the high and lofty One . . . Whose name is Holy (Isa. 57:15), has also stooped down to man's low estate. It is difficult for us to grasp how One so exalted could become so humble and condescend. In the Scriptures, we see that not only God, the Son, but the Triune God has often condescended and visited with poor, helpless man. Looking briefly at the God Who Condescends, we see that:

1. God Condescended In Intervention

There are times when the Lord has to purge the earth from sin. We can not imagine the depths the human race would have plunged to if God had not intervened on occasion with retribution or judgment. In Noah's day, God sent the flood to correct the atmosphere. All through time, God has judged nations and societies.

A. God Condescends To Intervene In Retribution

In our first text, we see that God came down to visit the earth in an hour when man was at his worst. Nimrod and his followers had determined to build a tower that would "reach unto heaven" (Gen. 11:4). It was then that "the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded" (11:5). In verse 5, the phrase, "Go to, let us go down" no doubt refers to the Triune God.

When God came down to intervene in this scene, His plan for these people was to "confound their language" and "scatter them abroad" (11:9). He had observed the iniquity of Nimrod's society, and He stated, "Nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do" (11:6). Therefore, He came to confuse their language, rather than have them of "all one language" (11:6). This is what the word "Babel" means and is why the tower was so named.

In Genesis 18, God came down to check on Sodom and Gomorrah. He said, "I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know" (18:8). Abraham was interceding for the people before God, but the Lord still purposed to intervene in judgment on the wicked acts of the people. "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground" (18:24, 24). God gave retribution to the wicked situation.

We also find that:

B. God Condescends To Intervene In Revelation

Sometimes, God condescends in grace just to reveal Himself to man's heart. He must condescend to meet us where we are, because we certainly cannot elevate ourselves to meet Him.

Exodus 19 gives us the account of a meeting between the Lord and Moses. "The LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount" (19:20), and, after calling Moses "up to the top of the mount" (19:20) there with Him, He revealed Himself to Him and gave Him the law. Moses was completely overwhelmed there with the glory and the presence of God.

We also see that:

C. God Condescends To Intervene In Renewal

He condescends in spiritual renewal and anointing. He comes to revive men's hearts. The story is related in Numbers 11 of how the tabernacle has been built, and afterwards God met with Moses and some of the others there at the tabernacle. "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him (Moses), and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease" (11:25). Moses and these seventy elders in Israel were especially blessed and anointed by the Spirit because God came down and manifested Himself at the tabernacle. When these seventy men received this spiritual renewal, they all began to prophesy.

God also met with Aaron and Miriam at the tabernacle. "The LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth" (Num. 12:5). God gave them words of instruction concerning prophets and their genuineness. Looking further at the God Who Condescends, we see that:

2. God Condescended In Incarnation

The New Testament gives accounts of God coming down to earth and taking upon Himself the form of human flesh. God, the Father, came down to intervene, but God, the Son, came down in incarnation.

When we study this subject in the Scriptures, we cannot help but think of:

A. God And His Entire Being

In John's Gospel we read, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man Which is in heaven" (3:13). God did not come down in a lesser form than he had previously experienced. He came down just as much God as He had been God in heaven. He was God in His Being. He was not half God and half man. He condescended as full God. He did become man, but He was still completely and totally God. This is a case of where one plus one did not equal two, but one Who is God plus one who is man equaled one Which was the God-man. God put on human flesh to come down to earth. He was one hundred per cent man and one hundred per cent God.

Again, this subject confronts us:

B. God And His Earthly Body

In John, we read: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). God came down and took upon Himself the form of a man. He "was made flesh." (Was made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7)). When Jesus was born, the Bible does not say, "He was born in a manger." It says that He was "brought forth" and then Mary "laid him in a manger" (Luke 2:7). When Mary wrapped that little baby up in "swaddling clothes" (Luke 2:7), she was wrapping up Deity, or God. When she nursed that baby and when she burped that baby, she was taking care of God. The God of all eternity, Who clothes and nourishes His people, so condescended that He let one of His people clothe Him and minister to His needs as a baby. The mystery of all mysteries is that God was manifested in human flesh.

Why did God, in His full being, take upon Himself a human body? It was so that He could bestow heaven's blessings here on this earth. Also, the incarnation confronts us with:

C. God And His Excellent Blessings

God's blessings were manifested here on the earth in the Lord Jesus. Look again at a portion of that same verse we previously quoted, "And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Yes, God did take on a human body. Yes, God did live in human flesh. But, flesh could not veil His Deity. So, "we beheld His glory." The glory of God was in His face. It was full of grace and truth, and running over. John testified that all the time there was just more grace and truth and more grace and truth because God "dwelt among" them (1:14). He was dwelling in their midst.

John went on to tell us, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, Which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him" (1:18). This might be rendered "He hath revealed Him." This is saying, Jesus is the exegesis of God. God has revealed Himself through the Lord Jesus, and Jesus has brought God down to earth. Even in the performing of His first miracle, the Bible tells us that Jesus showed "forth His glory" (John 2:11).

A final look at the God Who Condescends reveals that:

3. God Condescended In Inhabitation

Not only did God condescend to minister to us in grace and truth and to bless us, and to manifest Himself, but God, the Holy Spirit came down to take up His abode in His people.

Simon Peter sets forth the way in which the gospel was revealed to us from one age to another. "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Pet. 1:12). God, the Holy Ghost, has come down to inhabit the church of the living God. Peter says that the angels desired to looked into this mystery - - someone preaching in the power and the demonstration of the Spirit, someone declaring the gospel with "the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven." The angels did not know the story of redemption as we know it. They had not experienced the grace of God as we have, and they want to "look into" this and find out what is going on.

"The Comforter has come, The Comforter has come!
The Holy Ghost from heav'n, The Father's promise giv'n;
O spread the tidings round, wherever man is found,
The Comforter is come!"

When God condescended in the Holy Spirit, He came to:

A. Indwell Us With His Presence

God came down to indwell or live in our human bodies. It is not strange that the Holy Ghost would want to live in a body. He has already lived in the body of Jesus while He was on earth. It is that same Spirit who wants to live in us. The Spirit of Jesus lives in all those who savingly believe. Today many large buildings are designed to incorporate many things inside of them, and this is truly amazing. But, it is much more amazing how somebody as big as God can live in someone as small as a human being.

Many texts in the Bible tell us of this Spirit that comes to indwell us.. Paul says, "The Holy Ghost Which is in you, Which ye have of God" (1 Cor. 6:19). He also writes, "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Rom. 8:9). "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:16). "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6).

Not only did God condescend to live in our bodies in the Person of the Holy Spirit, but He also came down to :

B. Infill Us With His Power

The Bible exhorts us, "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18). Over and over we can read where the early church was filled with the Holy Ghost. He would invade and permeate the atmosphere where they were worshipping and fill the place with His Spirit and infill the temple or bodies of the believers, as well.

God still fills with His Spirit today. We can empty ourselves before God, and let the Holy Spirit fill us with His power. He can demonstrate Himself in our lives.

The Holy Spirit has come down to this earth to live in us and fill us with His power and grace. The Christian life is nothing more than religious activities and routines apart from the Spirit's enablement. Oh, may it be said of us, as it was said of Ananias, "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord" (Acts 11:24).

A little girl, dressed in dungarees, walked into a pet shop and asked about buying a puppy with a lame leg. The shop owner was taken back somewhat by the request. Yet, when she tried to talk the little girl into buying a puppy that could run and play, the little girl then proceeded to pull up one leg of her dungarees to reveal a brace. Why did she want a lame puppy? She wanted a puppy that she could identify with.

Why would God, in all His holiness and perfection, condescend to the sphere of lame sinners like you and me? We've attempted to give a few answers to that question. Yet, all in all, He wanted to identify with us that we might, in turn, identify with Him. Paul wrote, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). Thank God for such grace! Amen.