The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 27
“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. 57:15).
“The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day . . . GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user’s exact location.”
It is amazing how a satellite so far out in space can pinpoint any person’s exact location by identifying a small chip in his or her cell phone or GPS in his or her car. God’s Positioning System locates a contrite and lowly spirit with pinpoint accuracy from His High and Holy Place. God singles out the humble and contrite person from all the other seven billion people in the world.
Hagar was singled out by God, “Now the Angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur” (Gen. 16:7). Imagine the turmoil and contrition in the heart of this slave woman as she flees the harsh treatment of her mistress. God finds Hagar with pinpoint accuracy. Why? Like the chip attracts satellite signals, so the contrite heart attracts the presence and promise of God.
God singled out Abraham and his descendants from all the other families on earth to be His people. A remnant walked with God; most did not. Isaiah promises God’s individualized attention to the contrite while he speaks of God’s resistance to the rebellious among His people. Isaiah testifies against the rebellious, but religious, throughout chapter 58. He declares at the beginning of chapter 59 that Israel’s sin has created distance between them and their God, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (59:1-2).
Would you like to be singled out by God? A contrite heart is like the computer chip that corresponds with the beam of the satellite. God looks at the position of your heart and resists the proud heart (James 4:6), but He draws near to the heart that bows in contrition.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Is. 58-62; 63:1-14):
Describe Israel’s religious activity during the days of their apostasy. What does this reveal about man?
Isaiah looks forward to the day that God will indeed be among His people. How does his vision in 60:19-22 compare with that of John’s in Revelation 21:22-22:5?
Jesus reads Isaiah 61:1-2 when he returns to Nazareth following his wilderness temptation. List other details in this chapter that apply to the Messiah. How does Isaiah incorporate these truths in his prayer in Isaiah 62 and his appeal in first part of chapter 63?