Isaiah 66:2
Has not My hand made all these things? And so they came into being, declares the LORD. This is the one I will esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at My word.
Sermons
God's Look Towards the HumbleS. Davies, M. A.Isaiah 66:2
God's Regard for the HumbleH. Davis.Isaiah 66:2
Humility Essential to Success in PrayerFree Methodist.Isaiah 66:2
Poor and Contrite Spirits the Objects of Divine FavourS. Davies, M. A.Isaiah 66:2
Religious Affections Attended with HumilityHomiletic ReviewIsaiah 66:2
The Contrite HeartJ. M. Sherwood, D. D.Isaiah 66:2
The Humility of GodlinessSunday School ChronicleIsaiah 66:2
Trembling At God's WordIbid.Isaiah 66:2
Trembling At God's WordA. J. Parry.Isaiah 66:2
Trembling At the Word of the LordIsaiah 66:2
A Transcendent Existence and a Transcendent DoctrineHomilistIsaiah 66:1-2
God's Elevation and CondescensionI. S. Spencer, D. D.Isaiah 66:1-2
God's Greater GloryA. J. Parry.Isaiah 66:1-2
Living Temples for the Living GodIsaiah 66:1-2
Temple BuildingF. Delitzsch, D. D.Isaiah 66:1-2
The Eternal Blessedness of the True IsraelProf. J. Skinner, D. D.Isaiah 66:1-2
The Greatness and Condescension of GodIsaiah 66:1-2
The Inward and Spiritual Preferred by God to the Outward and MaterialProf. S. R. Driver, D. D.Isaiah 66:1-2
The Inwardness of ReligionThe ThinkerIsaiah 66:1-2
The Magnificence of GodI. S. Spencer, D. D.Isaiah 66:1-2
The Offerings of the Impenitent Offensive to GodF. Delitzsch, D. D.Isaiah 66:1-2
The Place of God's RestE. Johnson Isaiah 66:1, 2
What God Does Not, and What He Does, RegardA. Roberts, M. A.Isaiah 66:1-2
Worship and RitualAllan Rees.Isaiah 66:1-2
This passage should be associated with that second temple which was raised by the returned captives from Babylon, at the direction of Ezra and Nehemiah, and under the inspirations of the prophets Isaiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. A subtle peril lies in building any house for God. That peril lay in the building of the first house. It still lies in the erection of every new house. It is the danger of thereby limiting and materializing our idea of God. If, in our thought, God actually comes to dwell in any earthly temple, we limit the infinite; we lose that wide, sublime, spiritual, unnameable glory that properly belongs to the Deity. We are in danger of making him take a place among the idol-gods who are attached to a certain mountain, or stream, or wind, or country, or shrine. To this peril the people were exposed who watched the second temple arise from amidst the ruins of the first. Though cured of their idolatries by their sufferings in Babylon, they yet might fail to retain those nobler thoughts of God which were the treasure of their race. Therefore Isaiah pleads with them as in this text.

I. GOD REVEALING HIMSELF. By the aid of outward, sensible figures God discloses his spiritual nature, his moral attributes, his character. "The heaven is my throne, the earth is my footstool." We are bidden to look for help towards realizing God from the great, the solemnizing things of nature. All creation with which we have to do was made to serve the moral and spiritual culture of God's reasoning and free creatures. Everywhere around us things are full of God. They are pictures, illustrations, words, suggestions, of the Divine. The great, the majestic, the oppressive, is around us. The noonday sky, with its serene height of blue; the midnight sky, with its myriad worlds crowding the infinite depths; mountains rising to pierce the clouds, or hanging in frowning precipice; the great floods of water rolling in their ceaseless tides: - all compel us to say, "How marvellous are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy greatness." One instance, illustrating the figure "Heaven is my throne," may be given. A star in the far depths attracted the attention of an observer. it seemed to be a single star, but to his educated eye it resolved itself into two stars. Those two proved to be each a star, centre of a planetary system like our own. Those two stars, which seemed but one, were really distant from each other five hundred times the distance separating our earth and the sun. Who of us can conceive such sublime spaces as are thus unfolded? What must he be who walketh among the shining lights, whose throne rises higher than these stars, whose canopy is gemmed with myriad suns! And if the telescope can put such meaning into the figure of the heavens, the microscope puts equal meaning into the figure of the earth. God needs this whole earth for a" footstool." This great earth, with its giant trees, and inaccessible mountains, and unfathomable waters, and millionfold forms of life, cannot hold God; it is but a resting-place for his foot.

II. GOD APPEALING TO MAN TO FIND HIM REST. "Where is the place of my rest?' We should not have dared to represent God as seeking rest. The marvel of his condescension is, that he does need his creatures, and even seeks his rest in them. If God were only the embodiment of wisdom, greatness, and power, then his rest might be found in some of the everlasting hills. But every being seeks rest according to his spiritual nature, his character. The infinitely pure One can only seek rest in goodness. The infinitely condescending One seeks rest in humility. The infinitely loving One seeks rest in love. The eternal Father finds his satisfaction in his sons and his daughters.

III. MAN VAINLY OFFERING GOD REST IN THINGS. The first shrine for human worship was the open firmament of heaven. It was the only worthy one. The only befitting walls were the distant horizon and the eternal hills; the only suitable roof was the illimitable sky. Yet, from the first of human sin, this temple has proved too vast, too glorious, for man to use. So he has planted groves to circle God to a space; and consecrated mountain-peaks to fix God to a point; and built temples and churches to narrow the Infinite to human grasp. Too often man has offered his temples as an act of sacrifice. He has given them to God in the vain hope that, satisfied with them, God would cease to ask for higher and holier things. We, indeed, in these days, flood no altars with the blood of sacrifices, yet do we not think to offer God rest in the beauty of our churches and the charm of our services? Are we not, even under this spiritual dispensation, offering God things instead of persons? And yet even we men cannot be satisfied with things; then how can we expect our God to be? Our hearts cannot rest in the artistic fittings of our dwellings, the creations of genius, or the associations of culture. We want love; we must have persons. Lord Lytton expresses our deepest feeling thus -

"O near ones, dear ones! you in whose right hands
Our own rests calm; whose faithful hearts all day
Wide open wait till back from distant lands,
Thought, the tired traveller, wends his homeward way!

"Helpmates and hearthmates, gladdeners of gone years,
Tender companions of our serious days,
Who colour with your kisses, smiles, and tears,
Life's warm web woven over wonted ways.

"Oh, shut the world out from the heart ye cheer!
Though small the circle of your smiles may be,
The world is distant, and your smiles are near,
This makes you more than all the world to me." We are "the figures of the true:" shadows in our feeling of the feeling of God. He, too, puts aside all the things we offer him, be they temple, or gold, or work, and persuasively pleads thus with us, "My son, give me thy heart." We may give him our things, if we have given him ourselves. Things dead cannot please him. Things alive with holy love, quickened by the humble, contrite, thankful heart, may find for him the rest he seeks. We may give him our buildings when they are alive with the spirit of consecration, our services when they are filled with the spirit of reverential worship, our works when they are animated with gratitude and devotion. Of the living temple he will say, "This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread."

IV. MAN SUCCESSFULLY OFFERING GOD REST IN HIMSELF - IN THE POOR AND CONTRITE HEART. The one thing towards which we must think God is ever moving, ever working, by creation, by gracious providences, by the mission of his Son, is to sway the heart of man towards himself, and constrain him voluntarily to say, "This God is our God for ever and ever." But it is only the man of poor and contrite spirit who will ever thus turn to God, and give himself over to him. Bruised and broken, in the sense of our ingratitude and sin, penitent and contrite alone, shall we ever be found willing to turn our faces towards our Father. We can give God nothing. We can bring him just our consciously unfaithful and sinful selves. A man can come, unreservedly exposing his whole heart to the eye of God. He can say, "Slay me, O God, if thou wilt; I deserve it. I am miserable, but leave me not sinful thus. Put me to shame; I am shameful. Behold! I hide nothing. Thou art Light; expose my darkness. I will not palliate. I am worse than I know. Show me all that I am. I cannot heal myself. If I must die, I will die in thy light." "In this lies the simplicity of faith. He has trusted himself to the Judge of all the earth; he has abandoned all self-justification; his heart is broken, and is ready to welcome mercy undeserved. Guilelessness (the contrite, humble heart) is the whole secret of Divine peace." - R.T.







I will look unto the Lord (taken with
Man is a creature requiring help. Where is he to look?

I. MAN'S LOOK.

1. Personal — "I." Whatever it may cost, whoever else will not, I will.

2. Reliance — "unto." In weakness, confusion, difficulty I will look unto the Lord.

3. Object — "the Lord." Jehovah. He is able, willing, has promised to help.

II. GOD'S LOOK.

1. God has promised to look to, i.e., after. "I will." It is look is one of power, and it means help and protection.

2. Object — poorneedy. "Him that hath no helper" applies both to temporal and spiritual concerns of God's people.

3. Contrite — repentant. Applies to spiritual condition: one humbled on account of sin; sorrowful, returning one.

4. Trembles at My Word. Not as Felix, but one who has reverence for it, tries to keep it, fears to break it. To Him will I look. Others may despise and disregard Him, but I will look to (after) Him. Let us look to God, and God will look to us

(John R. Taft, M. A.)

If you survey the human race you will find among them numberless differences. They differ in their condition, in their complexion, their stature, speech, apparel, manners. Yet there is a great resemblance among them too. The things in which they agree are far more important than those in which they differ. The resemblance regards what is essential in human nature; the variety is what is accidental only. This is an image of the Church of God. Differences in opinions, speculations, discipline, religious usages, forms and ceremonies, only concern the dress of religion; the body is essentially the same. In every ago of the world, under every dispensation of society, God's people have been the same, their wants the same, their dependence the same, their tastes the same, their principles the same. Resolution rashly formed in our own strength not only fails, but often proves a snare to the soul. Resolution made in reliance on the power of Divine grace will be found serviceable to remind us, to humble us, to stimulate us, and to bind us. Thus resolution will resemble a hedge round a meadow, to keep the cattle from straying; and the hemming of a garment, to keep the threads from ravelling out.

I. To WHOM DOES THE RESOLUTION OF THIS TEXT REFER? The Lord. This term, Lord, is characterised by the Church in two ways. The one regards God's work for them; the other, His relation to them. The Church calls Him "the God of their salvation." And so He is, in every sense of the word. Every kind of deliverance is from Him. He is the preserver of men. But there is a deliverance that is emphatically called "salvation"; a deliverance from the wrath to come, from the powers of darkness, from the tyranny of the world, from the slavery of sin, — from all its remains and its consequences. Of this salvation, the purpose, the plan, the execution, the application, and the consummation are of God and of grace. The Church also calls Him her God. "My God will hear me." "This is not too much for any Christian to utter. Every Christian has a much greater propriety in God than he has in anything else; indeed, there is nothing else that is his own. As He is really, so God is to us eternally and unchangeably. The relation between God and us, so as to authorise us to call Him ours, results from two things: donation on our side, and dedication on ours.

II. BY WHAT IS THIS RESOLUTION EXCITED? "Therefore." Read the preceding verses. The prophet turned away from creatures, knowing that they were broken cisterns, cisterns that could hold no water. A designed experience this is, and not a casual one (so to speak) on God's side. God is concerned for our welfare, infinitely more than we are ourselves, and therefore He does not wait for our application, but He excites it. It is a necessary experience on our part. We have a strong propensity to make flesh our arm and earth our home. It is the privilege of the real Christian, that he knows to whom he can go in the hour of distress; that though all be rough under foot, all, when he looks up, is clear overhead.

III. WHAT DOES THE RESOLUTION INCLUDE? Two things — prayer and patience. Looking to Him is seeking Him in prayer. You should look to Him —

1. For explanation under your affliction.

2. For support in your trouble.

3. For sanctification.

4. For deliverance.And you are to "wait." Waiting supposes some delay in God's appearance on the behalf of His people. These delays have always been common.

IV. WHAT IS IT THAT SUSTAINS THIS RELATION? It is confidence in God as the hearer and answerer of prayer. According to some, the success of prayer is confined entirely to its exercise and influence. But we can recognise actual interpositions and benedictions. If a man prays aright, he will believe that God does something in answer to his prayer.

(William Jay.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.
The Lord Jehovah is a never-failing source of consolation to His believing people. In Him, therefore, they put their trust, and receive ample supplies of mercy and grace in every time of need. In the preceding verses Micah addresses the few who were pious among them by way of caution, against treacherous friendships and creature confidence, and by way of encouragement, to trust solely in the Saviour of Israel for preservation and deliverance. The words of the text announce —

I. THE PROPHET'S RESOLUTION. "I will look unto the Lord," etc. This pious determination was evidently the result of eminent wisdom and prompt decision of character; it discovers a devout and gracious state of mind, and regards both the —

1. Active character of faith. Looking is a vigorous act of the mind. This vital principle includes a full renunciation of self-dependence; an implicit confidence in the Divine perfections and promises; and an entire devotion of the heart and life to His service.

2. The patient exercise of hope. "I will wait for the God of my salvation." Genuine faith is invariably productive of practical piety. If we believe in God we shall delight in waiting upon Him in fervent devotion, and waiting for Him in earnest expectation. Waiting for the Lord is not a suspension of mental activity, nor a cessation of personal exertion; it is a lively exercise of the mind, ardently desiring and diligently seeking the blessings of salvation in all the duties and ordinances of the Gospel. We must wait for God humbly, believingly, faithfully, patiently, and perseveringly, in all the means of His appointment.

II. THE PROPHET'S CONFIDENCE. "My God, the God of my salvation." This is the language of humble assurance. Genuine religion is its own evidence. It is attended with an internal witness of its personal enjoyment.

1. The inestimable portion claimed — "My God." It is the distinguishing promise of the new covenant, "I will be your God, and ye shall be My people." This is happily realised in the experience of all the saints. God is not only theirs in the natural relations of creation and preservation; but He is also theirs by the special engagements of His covenant and the benefits of salvation.

2. The unspeakable privilege enjoyed. "The God of my salvation." The prophet had obtained mercy of the Lord, and was a partaker of His saving influence. But he still believingly waited for the progressive and perfect accomplishment of the work which He had already begun. Thus all the righteous are subjects of present salvation, and heirs of eternal life.

III. THE PROPHET'S ENCOURAGEMENT. "My God will hear me." This persuasion afforded him inexpressible consolation. The rebellious Jews rejected his message; but he rejoiced to know that his God would propitiously hear and answer his pious devotions. He was encouraged by —

1. His communion with God. Fellowship with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ, is the exalted privilege of all His people. They not only deem it their bounden duty, but they also esteem it their highest honour, to address the God of all grace.

2. His expectation from God. "My God will hear me." He was not presumptuous in his confidence, nor enthusiastic in his anticipation. He relied on Scripture promises. He had the evidence of experience. The promises and goodness of God should excite our confidence, and promote gratitude and praise. Let us, then, consider the folly of trusting in the world for happiness, and the necessity of looking to God for salvation.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

Here is a general ground of encouragement.

1. The Lord makes use of troublesome and declining times to drive His people the more to their duty and thrift.

2. There is in God sufficient matter of encouragement to counterbalance any difficulty or discouragement that His people meet with in the world. Looking unto the Lord is an all-sufficient remedy to keep them from being carried away in a declining time, and from discouragement in a sad time.

3. In declining and sad times the people of God ought to be most earnest in dealing with Him, defending on Him, and expecting His help. Lukewarm dealing with God, however it may please fools in a calm day, yet will not bear out in a time of public defection.

4. In the reeling and turning upside down of things here below the people of God are not so much to look to these uncertainties as unto the immutability of God in what He is to His people.

5. With our faith and ardency in expecting God's help, patient waiting is also to be conjoined, by keeping His way, notwithstanding difficulties or delays of deliverance, and resolving to have faith exercised before it get the victory.

6. In all the waiting of the people of God upon Him there is still hope and confidence, though it be not always seen to the waiter; for the same word in the original signifies both waiting and hoping.

(George Hutcheson.)

1. These are the words of one who was saddened, and chafed, and perplexed. The depravities of society, its treacheries, its selfishness, and its furious lust overpowered all faith but faith in God, and compelled, through a terrible discipline, and yet a gracious one, to that Christlike attitude of perfect resignation and perfect devotion and perfect hope depicted by the text. The feeling expressed is one of personal devotion and social separation.

2. When the oppressions of sin beat down the soul, and the burden on the conscience is heavy; when convictions lacerate and fears overwhelm, and the heart is agonised with the apprehension of the wrath of an angry God; when man is wearied and distracted with the world and sin, wondrous is the change to purity, freedom, and peace, when the vow of the prophet can formulate the soul's aspirations as in the text.

3. When man is converted and saved, the spiritual occupation of his new life is a looking, a waiting, and a praying; that occupation is permeated with hope and perpetuated by faith, and the certainties of a glorious issue illumine the path and lighten the soul.

4. No one can say "My God" who cannot also say "My God will hear me." Every saved soul prays. There is a necessary connection, in virtue of an essential law of the spiritual life, between the "receiving of the atonement" and the offering up of our desires unto God.

5. Those who are saved were, in the language of Scripture, "lost." Their salvation is the work of the Lord. Their Redeemer is the Deity.

6. The words, God of my salvation, My God," indicate the exercise of that appropriating faith by which we "lay hold on the hope set before us" in the everlasting Gospel.

(T. Easton.)

My God will hear me
Faith is "the victory that overcometh the world." God is the object of that faith; His Word is the ground upon which it rests, and confidence and peace and assurance forever are its invariable fruits. When confiding in God, the soul intrenches itself in God; it is unassailable from within or from without; it can triumph over the most adverse circumstances, and cling to the everlasting rock amidst the swellings of the angriest sea. Nothing ought at any time to shake our confidence in God. No ground for distrust in God can possibly exist. It is well, when faith's trial comes, to be prepared with some great standard truth to which we may hold fast under all circumstances. The whole teaching of Scripture assures us that confidence in God cannot be misplaced — cannot be disappointed.

I. THE SOUL'S CONFIDENCE GROUNDED UPON DEITY — UPON WHAT GOD IS. This is the highest of all grounds for confidence, — what God is in Himself, irrespective of all other considerations whatsoever. There is no deficiency of resources in Him; God is all-sufficiency. No want of inclination in Him; He is all goodness. All His attributes attest Him to be altogether qualified for the supply of our need, and His promises absolutely pledge Him to supply the need of all those who seek unto Him.

II. THE SOUL'S CONFIDENCE IS HERE GROUNDED ON RELATIONSHIP TO GOD. "My God will hear me." It is the province of faith to appropriate God, as much as it is the province of faith to believe in His existence. The only revelation God gives us of Himself in His Word has reference to the offices He sustains for His people, and the relation He bears to poor sinners.

III. THE SOUL'S CONFIDENCE IS FOUNDED ALSO ON THE PROMISE, "My God will hear me." It is not a question, Will God hear me? "My God will hear me." The same word in the Hebrew that signifies God hears, signifies also God answers. Whensoever we call, God will hear. Howsoever we call, God will hear. A look is a prayer; a desire is a prayer. And there is the personal element in the assurance — "the Lord will hear me."

(Marcus Rainsford.)

"My God shall hear me." What a charming sentence! There is more eloquence in that sentence than in all the orations of Demosthenes. It is a choice song for a lone harp.

I. THE TITLE. "My God." It is not God alone, but God in covenant with me, to whom I look for help. To call Him "My God" means election and selection. "My God" supposes an appropriation of faith. "My God" signifies knowledge and acquaintance. "My God" implies an embrace of love. "My God" implies that the obedience of your life is rendered to Him most cheerfully. A man cannot call God his God in truth unless he desires to obey Him. And the phrase "My God" hints at a joy and delight in Him.

II. THE ARGUMENT. The title contains within itself a secret logical force. As surely as He is my God He will hear me. Why? —

1. Because He is God, the living and true God: The oracles of the heathen are but liars. Those who sought unto the false gods did but dote upon falsehoods. You see in what a tone of confidence this prophet speaks; and why should not every child of God speak with the same confidence? There let it stand like a column of brass, — though all things else should fail, God must hear prayer. He may do this, and He may do that, but He must hear prayer.

2. Because He has made Himself my God He will hear me. He has given Himself to be my God.

3. Because my God has heard me so many times. Therefore, be it far from me to doubt His present and future favour.

4. Because in the covenant His hearing prayer is included.

5. Because if He did not hear prayer, He would Himself be a great loser.

III. THE FAVOUR. "My God will hear me." It is better for us to have a promise that God will hear us, than a promise that God will always answer us. If it were a matter of absolute fact that God would always answer the prayers of His people as they present them, it would be an awful truth. The text means that He will hear me —

1. As a listener.

2. As a friend, full of sympathy.

3. As a judge patiently hears a case.

4. As a helper.

IV. THE PERSON. "My God will hear me. Will He hear you? Are you cast down under a sense of sin; persecuted; or disappointed? Be sure that God will hear you. If any mall wills to have God to be his God, grace is given him so that He will. If you desire Christ, you may have Him.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

A beautiful little book, entitled "Expectation Corners," tells of a king who prepared a city for some of his poor subjects. Not far from them were large storehouses where everything they could need was supplied, if they but sent in their requests. But on one condition — they should be on the lookout for the answer, so that when the king's messengers came with the answer to their petitions they should always be found waiting and ready to receive them. The sad story is told of one desponding one who never expected to get what he asked, because he was too unworthy. One day he was taken to the king's storehouses, and there, to his amazement, he saw, with his address on them, all the packages that had been made up for him, and sent. There was the garment of praise and the oil of joy and the eye salve, and so much more; they had been to his door, but found it closed; he was not on the outlook. From that time on he learnt the lesson Micah would teach us: "I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me."

(Andrew Murray.)

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