Summary: Luther often said there is a great divinity in pronouns. There is a vast difference between the Lord is the shepherd, a shepherd, and the Lord is MY shepherd. In this message I will talk about spiritual mountain top experiences.
Hinds Feet on My High Places
Hab 3:19 The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
This text speaks to me of spiritual mountain top experiences. Though God may not want us to live on the mountain top (cf. Mk 9), for that is what we get when we get to heaven, and we are not in heaven yet. Still, I believe that it is in the purpose and plan of God that His children experience many spiritual mountain tops. This text is full and running over with wonderful truths and with God’s help we will try to break it down for you today. Today I want to discuss the Divinity in pronouns, what are spiritual high places, and how can we get there.
1. The Divinity in pronouns.
Martin Luther was often heard to remark about divinity in pronouns, and what he meant was that there is a world of difference between the Lord is a shepherd, and the Lord is the shepherd, and the Lord is MY shepherd. That difference is of great spiritual benefit, hence what he calls a Divinity. It is the same difference in saying that is an amazing Corvette and that is MY corvette. One denotes a fact, the other denotes personal ownership or relationship. In the scripture we are looking at today you will notice the prophet uses personal pronouns 4 times. God is MY strength, He will make MY feet, He will make ME walk..., MINE high places
It is one thing as a believer when we recognize God is able to do certain things and quite another when we appropriate them for ourselves. Jesus is a savior, or Jesus is MY savior. I believe that even though the prophet was speaking about his personal relationship and expectations from God, that we can without any harm to the text, claim them as our own. In other words the me and my in the text apply to us as individuals, and are not something that relates to the prophet only. In much the same way we can say with Paul the following:
2Ti 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Though there are many personal pronouns in the text, again we do it no harm if we appropriate for ourselves as individuals that we can trust God about our salvation. So having established that we can claim this verse as our own, what do we mean when we say that God will make me to walk about MY high places?
2. What are spiritual high places?
Some think the prophet is speaking of the physical return of the scattered Jewish people to hills of Israel. I don’t think that is what is intended, if so I think he would not have spoken in the singular, or described Israel by its high places, because the high places of Israel is where they were continually sinning and offering sacrifices to false Gods.
It makes more sense that the prophet is speaking of God bringing him to spiritual high places no matter what life may throw at him. Let me give a few examples of spiritual high places, but I want to first again, reiterate that you need to see this from a personal vantage point. What high places does God have for you personally. Paul speaks in Ephesians of standing in the evil day, I believe everyone has a day that will be the worst day in your life (I pray you have already passed that point), in like manner I think we have day(s) plural that will be the best day(s) plural of our life. The prophet says, "He will make me to walk upon mine high places." Notice that the high places is plural. I believe God plans many delightful days for His children. So let me quickly list a few spiritual high places in life.
High Places of Personal Communion with God:
Once you had a sin blackened heart, and were alienated from the presence of God. But there came a day when God took away your heart of stone, and in its place gave you a heart of flesh. He opened the treasury of heaven and placed within your bosom His only begotten Son and His precious Holy Spirit. On that day the angels of heaven sang , and your heart did leap for joy. Had you a trumpet, you would have blown it so loud all the world would have heard it, and joined in singing with you and the angels. You felt Him take away your filthy rags, put a royal robe on your back, and a ring on your finger, and you tasted of the fatted calf. What a day, glorious day that was. It was a high place in God. Since that time there have been many other glorious meetings with your wonderful Savior. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus your heart has burned within you, like John you have fallen at his feet like a dead man, like Moses you have been permitted to see the hinder parts of His glory, and like Zacchaeus you have rejoiced that He has come to your house to fellowship with you. Thank God that He causes us to walk upon such wonderful high places of personal communion!