Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
In Isaiah 66:1-2, I hope you hear that our Lord is active. Though we live in a world where God's activity may seem hidden; though we live in a world where the work of our Savior is no longer making headline news, our Lord continues to be both present and working.
These strange times present us with two conflicting realities - unprecedented change and unprecedented monotony. Maybe we're facing repetition and routine in a way we've never had to confront. Maybe we're facing a tumultuous shift in everything we've come to accept as "normal".
Either way, our Lord's words to us in Isaiah 66 are both incredibly humbling and incredibly uplifting.
Our Lord humbles us by revealing the size and scale of his power. He has made all things. His throne is not simply IN heaven, his throne IS heaven. His footstool is not simply UPON the Earth. His footstool IS the Earth. His works are incomparable to the lifespans and generations of man-made efforts that have come before us.
Our Lord is exalted above all powers. And yet, where does his focus lie? Does he turn his eye to the powerful and mighty? Does he turn his glance upon the wealthy alone? He's not "following" anyone's Twitter account, nor is he "reading up on" the latest news. He says, "This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word."
In times like these, either we assume that we know everything or we're confused by the unprecedented uncertainty that we face. Either way, we're continually lacking in faith and so we're continually called to be trusting ourselves to God, who is in control. And we humble ourselves before his word. His Word that is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12) is also the Word that became Flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
For in Christ we find our true king who came with all the power and glory of heaven, and yet humbled himself, being a servant, and being obedient unto death. And so by his victory over death, we also are given life.
God's word both humbles and uplifts. But another way to say this is that his word destroys and raises to life. God's word kills our pride and puts to death our self-reliance. But by looking to Christ, our Lord also raises us in new life that is conformed to the image of our Savior. In His death we died, and by His life, we live. Therefore, let us be humble, contrite, and ever trembling before his powerful and gracious Word.
—Rev. Paul Johnson