“All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things are mine, says the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look,
to the humble and contrite in spirit,
who trembles at my word.”
~Isaiah 66:2 (NRSV).
Sandwiched into the section of Isaiah proclaiming the New Heavens and New Earth (65:17–66:24) is this recurrent biblical theme—a worship that God demands.
Over all creation, through all time, and of the scouring of the lands for evidence of creation’s readiness for that type of redemption—the final kind—the Lord looks for the humble and contrite of spirit.
His focus is on that alone.
Gaining God’s Attention
Many of us are stricken with all manner of ailment (physical through spiritual) that we wish the Lord’s attention for. We call out in prayer and make all sorts of sacrifices to redeem this attention.
But without an approach to the Throne of Grace that speaks of humble contrition—a trembling at God’s Word—we waste our time. God’s not looking our way unless we’re spiritually attired; our heart dressed for the occasion.
Dressing the Heart – Hearts that are Dressed
Adorned with self-scorn but with no semblance of self-condemnation, we will know the measure of our sin and we will own up to it—all of it.
Self-condemnation still has pangs of guilt and shame and these at some point honour pride; a thing God can have nothing to do with.
Now it’s seen why grace is abundantly the Lord’s—for grace is simply truth. That is, the right-sizing of us before God. Guilt and shame beyond getting us to repentance have nothing to do with the Divine. So, self-condemnation, and condemnation in general, is the devil’s work.
The Lord comes to those who are heart-dressed, ready and waiting. Indeed, he’s actively looking for such souls and the reply of his tongue comes not before time. It’s measured and consistent, as are all things in the eternal realm.
In Faith We Shall Know
Those “trembling” at God’s Word know with as much respect as they can muster just how important it is that they believe; the Holy One is keenly in their corner, interceding powerfully in life.
The Bible tells us these things and, therefore, we’re to believe.
We know now who God is coming to. Let us be dressed, ready, waiting in obedience. No guilt, no shame—just a circumspect thankfulness, and a blast of praise, for all that God’s done, is doing, and is going to do.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.