“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 one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word’” (Isaiah 66:1-2).
Throughout the book of Isaiah, God expresses His frustration with His people Israel, because of their rebellious attitude towards Him: “I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts; a people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; who sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves, and spend the night in the tombs; who eat swine's flesh, and the broth of abominable things is in their vessels; who say, 'Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am holier than you!' These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day” (Isaiah 65:2-5).
As a result of such a rebellious attitude towards His Word among His own people, God’s judgment was coming upon them, just as He had warned them throughout His Word which He communicated to them through His faithful prophets such as Isaiah. However, as the opening verses indicate, God would spare those in Israel who had a “poor and contrite spirit” and who trembled at His Word (Psalm 66:1-2). To these faithful souls God said, ““Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: ‘Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name's sake, said, “Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.” But they shall be ashamed.’ The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, Who fully repays His enemies” (Isaiah 66:5-6)!
As I consider these verses from the prophet Isaiah, it reminds me of the profound respect God expects us to show Him regarding His Word. God’s message to us, as revealed in the Scriptures, is not something which is to be taken lightly. After all, we are going to be judged based on whether or not we followed His Word: “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (Revelation 20:12). Jesus Himself said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Do I tremble at God’s Word or do I treat it lightly? Note the psalmist attitude towards the Scriptures, “My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments” (Psalm 119:120). In addition, does it bother me when those around me rebel at God’s Word or have I become comfortable and cozy with the sinful behavior of others? Again the psalmist wrote, “Rivers of water run down from my eyes, because men do not keep Your law” (Psalm 119:136). Furthermore, the psalmist adds, “I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, because they do not keep Your word” (Psalm 119:158).
I am not suggesting that we should spend all of our time in judgment of others. God will take care of that in the last day. However, our hearts need to be pricked when we see God’s Word not being heeded not only by others, but especially by ourselves. Today, I rejoice in the guidance God gives me through His Word. I am blessed to live in an age where I can have my own copy of the Scriptures. As I study the Bible and God’s message to me, I will tremble at His Word!
“I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts. The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercy; teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:63-64).