The Kind of Person (and Church) God Pays Attention To...
In the very last chapter of one of the largest and most majestic books in all the Bible, Isaiah, God says the following:
“But this is the one to whom I will look…”
When you read something like that in the Bible, immediately you should sit up and lean forward. You should be on full alert and anticipation for what comes next. Your eyes should focus, your ears should tune in, and your heart should prepare itself for what you are about to read.
God is about to reveal the kind of person he values… the kind of person he gives his attention to. You could hardly find a statement in Scripture with more weight and significance and consequence than this.
What do you expect it to say? Is it the one who is most obedient? Perhaps the one who offers the most sacrifices or has the best record of church attendance? Is it the one who never misses the Lord’s Supper on Sundays? Could it be those who give the most money to the work of the Lord? Or maybe it is the ministers and missionaries. You know, those who give their entire lives to serve the kingdom vocationally?
By now you can probably guess it’s not any of those qualities. So what is it? Who is the one to whom God will look? Here’s the full verse:
But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2, ESV)
Three qualities: humility… contrition… and trembling at his word.
God looks upon those who are humble. Those who consider others more important than themselves (Philippians 2:3). Those who refuse to believe they deserve good treatment from God, or from others for that matter. In fact, this means those who forget about themselves completely and instead their daily thoughts are consumed with God and others.
God looks upon those who are contrite in spirit. Jesus might say “the poor in spirit.” (Matthew 5:3) These are those who know they are spiritually needy. They have nothing in and of themselves to commend them to God, or to save their own souls. They see their sin and are mournful and repentant. James 4:7-10 is a good reference here.
And finally, God looks upon those who tremble at his word. Those who read and feel the gravity of the fact that these are the words of the Creator of the universe! Those who seek to read every word of Scripture because they know these words carry an importance and a power that cannot be found anywhere else. If God’s speaks, they listen. And not only do they listen, they tremble. They feel the blood-earnestness and eternal significance of God’s words.
Let’s be a church full of people like this. God will pay attention to us if we are. And he will bless us.