Wisdom Wednesday: The Most High, All Wise, King of Glory

Wisdom Wednesday: The Most High, All Wise, King of Glory

Submitted by: Debbie’s dad (Ed Waltz)

  I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness

And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

(Psalm 7:17  NASB)

Writers in Scripture sought superlative words to describe the greatness of God. We examine three of these words to describe the unmatched greatness of God and the relationships between the concepts expressed by the writers. We consider the descriptions of God in terms of three-dimensional characteristics:

  • His height above all things–He is the Most High.
  • The weight of His character–He is the King of Glory.
  • And the depth of His wisdom–He is the All-wise God.

These attributes are shown in His way of dealing with each of us as He redeems us from our sin, as He reveals Himself to us, and as He walks with us through life.


  1. God the Most High

Throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew term El Eliyon is used to describe God the “most High”—He is supreme; He is not just high, he is the most high. The name and a directly corresponding word are used in about 40 verses in the Old Testament to refer to his superiority.

The first use of the name is found in Genesis 14, where King Melchizedek comes to bless Abram–a previously unknown man who is acknowledged as “… a priest of the Most High God.” (Genesis 14:18; and confirmed in Hebrews 7:1). Both men acknowledge their worship of the Most High God.

Much later, in the Psalms, this name of God is invoked 20 times. Consider just a few examples:

  • The Most High is praised (Psalm 7:17, 9:2; 50:14)
  • The Most High is exalted as Lord over all (Psalm 83:18, 97:9)
  • Most High is used when referring to God’s power (Psalm 18:13, 21:13; 47:4)
  • God is described as our Most High refuge (Psalm 46:4; 57:2; 91:1,9)

Daniel exclusively uses a corresponding Hebrew word Illay meaning “highest”, which is also translated the Most High God in our English Bibles. In chapters 3 and 4, Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel use the name to recognize God’s power in saving Daniel’s friends from the furnace, then later in restoring Nebuchadnezzar to his kingdom (Daniel 4:2,17,24,25,32,34). Daniel declares that God is Sovern over the kingdoms of the earth, saying,”… the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind…” (5:21).

This expression for God’s height above all is also applied throughout the Gospels, using the Greek superlative hupsistos (highest, or most high) to refer to God the Father.  God the Father was referred to by both the angel visiting Mary to proclaim Jesus (Gabriel in Luke 1:32,35) and Zacharia’s prophecy to proclaim John the Baptist (Luke 1:76).

On one occasion (and the only occasion recorded), Jesus used the term Most High to refer to His Father. In the sermon on the Mount, He said:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Lk 6:35–36).


Among the last words of Stephen, before he was put to death, was his statement that, “the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands…” (Acts 7:48), Stephen was stoned and immediately went to dwell with the Most High God that he proclaimed.


  1. God the “King of Glory”

The next word used to describe the greatness of God is to refer to His glory – the Hebrew word is kabad, which refers to weight – the awesome magnitude of God’s person and character, the sum total of all of His attributes.

In Psalm 24:7-10 David describes the weight of the character of the “King of Glory” that will enter Jerusalem:

Lift up your heads, O gates,

And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

Who is the King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.


Scriptures teach that the very elements of creation do “declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1-6).  God dealt with Israel in order that they would be people for His praise and glory (See Jeremiah 13:11 and Isaiah 60:19-21). God provided visible evidence of His glory, the Shekinah glory – as a cloud manifesting the personal presence of God in the tabernacle and temple (Exodus 40:38; I Kings 8:10-11).

John explained that Jesus, the Word personified, demonstrated the glory of the Father: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Early Christians were exhorted by Peter to live before Gentiles in manner that would result in God being glorified (I Peter 2:12).   The writer to the Hebrews described the sequence of God’s revelation of His glory in the first two chapters of that epistle:

  • God the Father first revealed Himself to the earliest believers, the patriarchal fathers by speaking to certain men (Hebrews 1:1);
  • Next, God the Father spoke to us through His Son (1:2) who revealed His glory, and was crowned with glory and honor (1:3, also 2:9) and;
  • Now, He has brought many sons into His glory (2:10) to reveal Himself, through the power of His Spirit (2:4)

How do we see the glory of God’s character, the visible weight of His person? In the work of His Spirit in our lives surrendered to Christ, seeking to walk with Him daily.

  1. God the Most Wise

In the benediction of Romans 16, Paul prays honor and glory to “the only wise God” through Jesus Christ (16:27). This the third concept to describe God’s greatness in wisdom – His ability to achieve the highest objectives by the best means. In engineering terms, we refer to this as the optimum – there is no better outcome, by no better means. And God the Most High seeks to achieve this for our lives – the best outcome by the best means.

The Scriptures teach us much about the all-wise God:

  • Wisdom is, first, an attribute of God. Paul exclaimed, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33)
  • God’s wisdom is attributed to those who fear Him ( 128:1), who are also encouraged to pray, asking for wisdom (James 1:5)
  • This wisdom from God is spiritually discerned and it provides a path, or “way” through life that achieves God’s highest purpose – to reveal His glory in our lives. This is how we glorify God – by allowing Him to show His character in our lives.

In chapter 10 of Deuteronomy Moses focused on the way that Israel must continue to follow: the fear of the Lord, obedience (introducing the concept of daily walking in the way of the law and commandments), love and service:

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13; see also 5:33 and 8:6).

Joshua reiterated these instructions to walk in all of God’s ways to the warriors of Israel when the wars to capture of the land were over (Joshua 22:5).

The concept of walking in God’s ways – the way of wisdom – was reiterated dozens of times throughout he Old Testament; consider just a few examples:

  • Samuel encouraged the people to walk in God’s ways (I Samuel 2:30; 8:3-5:12:23)
  • David praised the perfect way of the Lord (II Samuel 22:31-32) and wrote many Psalms extolling the way of the Lord. Perhaps the best-known is the 119th Psalm that emphasizes the practical aspects of walking in the way (vv. 1-3) according to the Word of God (v. 9) by meditating to consider God’s way (vv. 13, 26), asking God to direct our daily steps (vv. 35, 59). The Lord provides the light to guide us in the way – a lamp to our feet (each step) and a light to our path (the direction of our travel) (Psa. 119: 106).
  • Solomon, after David, contrasted the Way of the Lord and the Way of the Wicked in Proverbs 4.

As the nation of God’s people divided, the common call of the prophets was to return from wickedness to the Way of the Lord. Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah all warned of the failure to walk in God’s way.

Isaiah described the “height” of God’s wisdom when appealing to the people of Judah to “seek the Lord while He may be found”. Calling for repentance to receive God’s pardon, Isaiah quoted God’s description of the height of His thoughts and ways:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.”

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways

And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB)


The last prophet, Malachi, wrote simply, “… You have departed out of the way…” (Malach 2:7-8)

By the time of Jesus Christ, 400 years after Malachi, the concept of the Way of the Lord should have been clear to God’s people. Jesus warned of two ways of life, a broad way that leads to destruction and a narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:12-14).  But on the night before He was taken, Jesus made the well-known statement, “I am the way … “(John 14:6) that was clear to any student of the Hebrew Scripture. He was the Son of the God Most High, His life demonstrated the glory of the Father, and He was the Way of the all-wise God.

In six passages, the early believers in the book of Acts were called “the people of the Way”, acknowledging they were followers of the personified Way of the Lord.   (Acts 9:2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:14, 22)



We serve a God who is Most High in the superiority over His Creation, whose immense weight of character is displayed as His glory, and whose wisdom is shared with his followers to walk in His ways.  We are followers of the Way.

Theologian John Piper once said, “The highest act of love is the giving of the best gift, and, if necessary, at the greatest cost, to the least deserving. That’s what God did. At the loss of His Son’s life to the totally undeserving, God gave the best gift – the display of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”










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