Thus says the high and exalted One, who lives forever, whose name is holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit, in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. For I will not contend forever, … for the spirit would grow faint before me.” Isaiah 57:15–17
Humble people repent and God pays attention to the repentant. “To this one I will look, to the one who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at my word.” Contrition is a special kind of humility. We should always be humble, but we should not always be contrite. When we are confronted with the word of God and become convinced of our sin, humility allows us to be contrite, so that we agree with God concerning our sin and our need to reverse the direction of our lives. But God does not leave us in a state of contrition. We could not stand it. When the tax collector cried, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” God forgave him. For Jesus said he went to his house justified. Justification is an exalting of the humble into God’s fellowship. It revives our spirits so we do not grow faint, but continue to walk humbly with our God.
Gracious Father, thank you for desiring fellowship with me. Fill my heart with such a longing for you that I readily tremble at your word and cry out for your mercy. Revive me with your forgiveness in Jesus’ name. Amen.