Investigation of Scriptural References
We find one hundred and ninety times the Hebrew verb rûm, “to be high, or to be exalted” in the Old Testament. Basically rûm represents either the “state of being on a higher plane,” or the “movement in an upward direction.” The second emphasis represents what is done to the subject or what it does to itself. Like the stormy wind that lifts up the waves of the sea (Ps. 27:5). God is the Most High, the great king over all the earth and exalted far above all gods (Pss. 47:2; 83:18); 97:9). He alone rules over mankind and grants dominion to whomever he wishes (Dan. 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21). Therefore Israel in response must exalt him above all others as they are his people. It must result that all nations and all creation are called to praise God and exalt him (Ps.148:13). Fanning concludes that all of life is put in its proper perspective only when God is exalted in this way. In the Old Testament “exaltation” is related to the Kingdom of God, reflected by God’s chosen people, Israel. We will see later in this point that these reflections have priestly, prophetically and royal tendencies.
In the New Testament various Greek verbs are used to express “exalt”: hupsoō “to lift up” for the exaltation of Christ by God the Father (Acts 2:33); huperupsoō “to exalt highly” with reference to Christ (Phil. 2:9); epairō “to exalt oneself” for being lifted up with pride (2 Cor. 10:5); and huperairō “to exalt oneself exceedingly” for the exceeding self-exaltation (2 Cor. 12:7). In this regard we note that exaltation is an act of God alone (Luke 1:52). The exaltation causes also a social effect (2 Cor. 11:7) and contains an eschatological element (1 Pet.5:6 and explicit Phil. 2:5). In the New Testament follows “exaltation” often after “humiliation.” It is the reflection of Christ’s course of life: he was humbled in his incarnation, suffering and death, but God highly exalted him in his resurrection, ascension and enthronement. This paradoxical path becomes the way for all his followers: suffering and then glory; obedient service and then greatness. When Christ returns to the earth in glory, his exaltation will be complete, and he will receive all the glory that is due to him as the God-man who has purchased our redemption. Christ is than exalted as the Kingdom of God is established.
For a true understanding of that Kingdom of God we have to start at the very beginning of mankind. We see the Kingdom of God revealed in the Garden of Eden. Here Adam and Eve lived in willing obedience to the word of God and God’s rule. In this setting, the Kingdom is destroyed by the sin of man and the rest of the Bible is about the restoration of a people to be the willing subjects of the perfect rule of God. God restored the relation with a sinful people. To Abraham God promised that his descendants will possess the Promised Land and be the people of God underneath his authority. Later God installed a “kingdom of priests” with the...