Whom Will God Revive?
Friday, August 16, 2019
Devotional for Day 5
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” — Isaiah 57:15
Isaiah saw that God’s people, the Israelites, had strayed far from God. They were living in disobedience to His will. They had turned their backs on God’s ways and had adopted their surrounding culture’s practices. In this chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy, God bluntly expressed his anger toward His people, calling them witch’s children, sons of adulterers and prostitutes, reminding them of their child sacrifices and pagan worship. God’s holiness could not ignore their wickedness. Their self-centered behavior, not unlike our modern culture, did not escape His sight or His judgement. God was angry!
We must not fool ourselves. God becomes angry when we ignore Him and choose to live based on our own desires and self-gratification. We must ask ourselves, “Is there hope for a backslidden people, for a heart turned against God? Are we doomed to incur the wrath of God?”
No! God promised through Isaiah’s prophecy to revive those who humble themselves and approach Him and His holiness with a contrite spirit. Contrite is an old word rarely used today. Vocabulary.com gives this definition: “Someone who feels remorse or guilt is contrite and in addition to feeling sorry . . . includes wanting to atone for having done something wrong. The word comes from the Latin roots com- meaning ‘together" and terere which means ‘to rub.’ It's also related to the Latin word conterere and is defined as ‘to bruise.’ In the field of theology being contrite is ‘being remorseful for past sin and resolved to avoid future sin.”
God promises to dwell with us when we acknowledge our guilt with a sense of the deep bruising it causes. He will revive us when we reach the point of decision and firmly resolve to avoid future sin.
A contrite person responds in these ways:
C - confesses sin
O - offers praise. God is Holy and majestic, He inhabits eternity.
N - draws near to God. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”
T - turns to God, turns away from sin.
R - repents.
I – is intentional. Humble yourself.
T - take words with you [confessing to the Lord]. Hosea 14:2 “Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him, ‘Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.’”
E - expresses remorse.
No matter what the previous condition of our hearts, our lifestyle or what our religious practice has been, God is ready and willing to revive a humble spirit and contrite heart.
God, I acknowledge that You are my creator. You are holy and perfect. You are high and lifted up above Your creation. I also acknowledge that I am prone to thinking and acting on my own desires rather than by Your will. I confess how easy it is to embrace the ways of the culture around me.
I recognize that Your anger burns against disobedience. Forgive me for my selfishness. Forgive me for my willful disobedience. Show me how to avoid the world’s wrong and live according to Your will. Thank You, God, that even in Your pure holiness, You still desire to dwell with me and show me Your love through Jesus. Thank You that Your generous mercy is fresh every morning. I praise You with all my heart!
Vice President of Christian Union Universities
with Donna Dunn