Reflections of the Pastor

Thus says the LORD: ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me?  And where is the place of My rest?  2For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,’  Says the LORD. ‘But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word’. [Isaiah 66:1-2 (NKJV)].

            Contemplate with me what is written of God in these verses.  Many people believe that God is so lofty and transcendent that He cannot condescend to take note of humans.  This was the view of the ancient Greeks who believed in a divine being who created all things.  But after his creative work, he went away and left the universe to fend for itself.  They even created a technical term in the Greek language to describe this divine state.  They called it “apathy”.  Apathy is complete indifference and disinterest.

            Now contrast this with the Biblical view of God.  The Bible agrees in God’s creative activity; all that exists in our universe is the work of His hands as verse one declares.  But in the Biblical view of God, God does not distance Himself from His creation.

            There is agreement that God dwells in a lofty place called heaven.  The universe in which we live is the footstool upon which God places His feet when He sits down.  We think of our universe as being wonderfully created and filled with new discoveries yet to be found.  God looks upon it as a place to rest His feet.

            But the Biblical view of God does not distance God from His creation and especially from the human race.  He looks upon humanity and wherever he finds individuals who possess a broken and contrite spirit, He draws close to them.  Isaiah 57:15 puts it this way, “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones’.

            The Hebrew term translated ‘contrite’ is ‘dak-kaw’ which speaks of a person who is broken, crushed, and beaten down; a soul borne down by a sense of unworthiness by sin and guilt.  In Matthew 5:3 Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  The term ‘poor’ that Jesus used is synonymous with the Hebrew ‘daw-kaw’.  The word Jesus used is ‘ptochoi’ which describes a person who cringes before others and conveys the idea of utter destitution.  It is used by Jesus to describe the beggar Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.

            The creator God, who sits in heaven and uses the universe as His footstool is prepared to sit down with that person who recognizes their utter spiritual destitution and lift them up by His grace to sit in heavenly places with Him.

            This is the God who loves the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.  You can place your faith and trust in this God.  Take His hand and be sustained by His love, mercy, and pardon.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You for Your greatness.  But most of all, I thank you that You came down from Your eternal dwelling to save us sinners.  I place my trust in You.  Amen.

Pastor Ivan Schwenn – 2021-01-11