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? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” says the LORD.
But on this on will I look:
“On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word."
This quote that I typed here ends with only the 2nd verse. There are 24 verses in Chapter 66. However, I pause here because I am struck with many thoughts, and need to ponder upon these verses.
Movements will always be underway within the church on earth. God originates some, others begin by man.
Being a student of the Bible since I was in my twenties (some three decades now), I have learned to try, or shall I say test, words and claims out by the entire Word of God, not by an isolated verse.
The “Words in Red” movement (there is even a hashtag used by believers in it #wordsinred) state that the Words Jesus spoke in the Bible and that are published in red in some versions trump all other verses in the Bible. Of course, a lot of Biblical problems abound in this theory. But, the red-letter-Jesus-lovers are attracted to his gospel messages of love and compassion for the poor and now the alien/foreigners, what some would call the social justice parts of the Bible.
For many reason, too many for me to list, I can’t fall into this philosophy. I tremble at the thought that I --a mere human-- would think I was able to decide what parts of the Bible are more valid than others. And I understand that simply because one is financially poor does not make him/her spiritually poor, much less contrite.
The Lord looks on “him who is poor” and “of a contrite spirt” and “who trembles at My (his) word”. These are not comprehensive in themselves but a listing of characteristics that God seeks as the “place of My (his) rest.”
Can God find his rest in me? Can he find it in you?
Jesus said, “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Here in the Word, blessed means happy. A person who is “poor in spirit” will be happy; a person is aware that his condition in life is low, who has reckoned himself to be a sinner that is in need of God. Usually, if not always, this person will have asked and received the grace of God to continue in life, and to have eternal life hereafter.
Interesting to me is that often it takes a person who is poor and contrite in spirit to also tremble at God’s Word.
I tremble at the thought that I might dare to pick and choose verses of high value. Who am I to do this? And certainly if I did I would error. This does not mean I can’t have favorite verses or even a life verse, but I know of no verses that cancels out others. I know of verses only that clarify others. And as I age, I discover verses that did not mean as much to me at one time in life, becomes more meaningful and needed during others times in life.
I smile writing this because this is the sweetness of the Bible to me -- that it never changes but as we change it can become more to us. As it is with our own personal relationship to God. While we all go through seasons of shallow walking, He is so faithful to meet us when we return with hunger.
And for this reason, among so many more, I feel so blessed, yes--happy, that God knows me.
(Photo Credits: Bible by delbarital and Little sunny friend by Mariaforhisglory on DeviantArt)