Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Three Character Qualities God Esteems

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. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.


Comment

Interesting to note that Stephen mentioned verse 1 in Acts 7:49  just before the Jews killed him. For there are those who are so zealous and passionate for their local institutions, that they reckon anything outside their little deal is not of God. By doing so they replace God with their own personal local institutional god, even the Jews treated the temple in Jerusalem like Greeks would their own temple gods, rather than God over all creation. So also Christians must at times be reminded that God is not just a Sunday god, nor just a religious god. God is God every day everywhere over everything. He's with you at work, at home, school, social activities and at church. And He expects you to acknowledge Him as God wherever you are.

What are the three primary character qualities prerequisite to you being esteemed in God's eyes?

1. Humility
2. Contriteness
3. Trembles at God's Word
Humility is really prerequisite to everything. It is the most important character quality you can have. Because everything else is dependent upon humility. If a person doesn't have humility then he won't have contriteness. For he figures he's a good righteous person in his own eyes. So also "In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." Ps 10:4 And thus one without humility is without faith in God and has no regard for His Word.

Contriteness is brokenness of spirit. A wild horse must be "broken in", that is "tamed", for it to be ridden safely. When we are broken in we are submissive to God's will and make ourselves willing servants. The LXX uses the a Greek word here which means quiet, peaceable, tranquil. Peter uses that word in describing the inner beauty of a godly wife saying, "it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." 1Peter 3:4 A contrite spirit is one which is tamed, teachable, submissive.

Trembling at God's Word is the natural effect of a humble contrite person hearing the word. And why trembling? Because the first thing God's Word does is convict us of sin, of God's standard of righteousness, and of the judgment to come.  It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Heb 4:12 So also the Psalmist writes, "Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at your word." Ps 119:161  There's wisdom in fear. In fact "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." Ps 111:10  So also those who respect God's Word respect God's messengers. John writes, "We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us." 1John 4:6 And consider how Paul describes the Corinthian Christians receiving Titus, "he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling."2Cor 7:15


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