Isaiah 66:1,2—This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.
When God makes a declaration in Scripture reminding the reader that He is the Creator and King the context is usually unhappiness with His children. Imagine how you would feel if you were the leader and you called and no one answered, you spoke and no one listened, and you established standards of conduct which were ignored and blatantly disobeyed (6:4).
People wonder what it takes to gain God’s favor and in reality the answer is simple. Obey what He commands and operate with a contrite spirit. Someone says, “Obey what—the Bible?—that is just man’s dated interpretation.” So they determine their own courses of action, their own relevancy and then wonder why life is a mess. Others dispute the whole notion of remorse as an unnecessary symptom of weakness or sign of fear. So they do whatever they want to do, wear clothing of entitlement, and treat those of differing conviction with disdain. Prideful living reaps enemies and feeds discontent.
The world would have us think that compliance with God’s dictums only proves we are misguided fools. How absurd. Check out the world’s ways and measure for yourself how successful they are. Who is the real fool, the one who listens to a sovereign God or the one who listens to a selfish flesh? Satan hated God and was the grandmaster of pride. He leads the quest to rebel from God. His end will be destruction and his adherents will not escape God’s wrath (Rev. 20:10-15).
God did not establish commands and ask us to live humble, morally righteous lives to make us miserable. He communicated principles to help us succeed. He knows that if we approach Him contritely we are teachable, respectful, and capable of growth. If we revere His Word He has our attention and we are focused on making correct application. Obedient living is not stifling. Contriteness is not demeaning. It shows remorse for our sin condition with an accompanying desire to do and be what is right.
This very day I had to reprimand a leader who erred in judgment. He took reckless action that hurt others and caused embarrassment to our command. When I corrected him, his voice was subdued. He felt bad and owned up to his error. Then he corrected his action and reconciled with those who were offended. This is a leader who can be trusted, a man with whom it is an honor to serve. We look with favor on those who choose humility because they are trustworthy. We learned this from God.
God is looking for a broken and contrite heart and a willingness to obey. Without these elements as the focus of our lives, from a biblical perspective, what hope do we have?—Walt Henrichsen
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)