Walking The Tightrope, (Again)
Read Isaiah Chapter 66
Isa 66:1 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? 2 Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word.”
I think it is impossible for any of us to have much of an understanding of just who God is and how majestic He is. Our minds simply cannot comprehend the greatness of the Creator and all the thoughts about Him which that entails. Mankind in general, and even Christians sometimes, treat Him much too lightly. It’s nice to know that we are reconciled to God through belief in Christ, but even as we accept that truth and follow Him, we don’t really know just what a chasm we have crossed. The difference between sinful man and our Creator/Savior is enormous. Actually, that is a monstrous understatement. The two are actually incomparable.
The image put before us from this passage can get us a little bit closer to understanding. Imagine if you will a visual image of God sitting in Heaven, and at the same time resting His feet on the earth. That’s a powerful image. He is even more majestic than that, but at least it gives us a general idea of His greatness.
Despite all this, He has provided us a way of being reconciled to Him through Christ. However, that reconciliation can only come as we recognize at least to some extent just how far away from God we are without Christ. The latter part of verse 2 is awesome! Despite the lofty position God holds in comparison to us, He is willing to ESTEEM us!! He is willing to reveal Himself to us and bring us unto Himself if we are “humble and contrite in spirit, and tremble at His word.”
What has mankind attempted to do? He has attempted to come to God without any thought of being humble, contrite in spirit, or trembling at His word. The gulf which separates us from our Creator cannot be crossed by some feeble attempt to think we are in any way equal to God. The pompous and arrogant of our world somehow have gotten the idea that they have this “God” thing figured out. “He wouldn’t send anyone to Hell. He is a God of love, so He just wouldn’t do that.”
Every time man disagrees with God on any issue or premise, he is in effect saying that he is equal to God, or even worse, better than God. He is placing himself on the throne, attempting to explain away or change the truth about God and the truth from His word. What is the attitude of our “enlightened” church leaders today – the ones who have decided that God didn’t really mean what He said about homosexuality? Are they humble and contrite in spirit? Do they tremble at His word? Certainly not! They have decided that they know better than God and all the writers of scripture. It takes an extremely arrogant attitude for any man to believe that he has a better word than what is recorded in our bibles.
Your and my attitude must be different than that. As we search God’s word, its effect upon us should bring us to a state of extreme humility, a lowly and contrite heart, and a deeply humble respect of God’s word. As we take in His truth, there is nothing written which exalts ourselves. Even as we repeat what we have learned, relating it to others, our attitude must continue to show that we respect it, and tremble at its revelations. The real tricky part is that we must also boldly pronounce His truth to a lost and dying world. How in the world can we boldly tell others that they must repent of their gay lifestyle, and at the same time say it with a humble and contrite heart?
We can only do so as we recognize how finite we are in comparison to God. We have no righteousness of our own. We deserve Hell. We have done nothing to earn or deserve our forgiveness. The bottomless chasm which we have crossed to be reconciled to God was in no way anything of our own doing. Knowing that we are so undeserving and lowly gives us more of a heart of love and understanding for anyone who has not accepted God’s word in regard to homosexual behaviors. I hope I do that. I certainly don’t ever intend to present myself as anything or anyone other than that of being unworthy of God’s love, grace, and mercy. But at the same time, I know what God said about homosexuality, and I tremble at His word. I cannot water it down just to be politically correct.
Prayer: Father, it is with the utmost humility and contriteness that we present ourselves to You today. We have trembled at Your word. We still do and plan to always do so. Give us the ability to tell others about You and Your word, and at the same time realize that we are no better than the worst of all sinners.