Friday, May 20, 2011

Just Furniture

Today's passage:  Isaiah 66
     "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:  Where is the house that ye build unto me?  and where is the place of my rest?  For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD:  but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."
     I'm wondering if the environmentalists have read these verses.  I believe I should certainly be a good steward of all that God has given me.  I believe clean water is important, I should pick up litter, I should turn off the lights when I go out of a room (that's common sense and saves me money).  But to do this and more on the premise that the earth will not be able to survive if I don't, is illogical thinking.  The earth is furniture.  It is the ottoman sitting in a living room.  I can move it around and prop my feet upon it when necessary, but I will go on another day if I didn't have it at all.  God can scrap this world with one word (just as He created it with one word) and I would endure, because He created it as a tool for me.  And what a nice tool it is!
The building of Solomon's temple--Taken from Religion in the Home (Part 4)
By Charlotte M. Yonge, Illustrated by Julius Schnorr Von Karolsfeld
George W. Bertron, 1913
     I'm a tool too.  I'm not an effective one if I don't meet the three qualifications in these verses. God says he will look to one who is poor.  How poor do I need to be?  I was really scratching my head on this one.  If Heaven is the throne, and earth is the footstool, I would imagine that even Solomon and his wealth would seem like a miser compared to God.  I'm not sure that God is purely speaking of material gain.  For if that is the case, in men's eyes I may not be poor, but in God's eyes, I would be a pauper.  Can I leave all that I have behind, and put God first?  I may not have to, but would I be willing?  Maybe God means if I'm willing to be poor for His sake, if I were to give it all up if He asked me to. 
     My understanding of having a contrite spirit is to have an attitude of repentance.  When my husband and I have had a disagreement and I am right (which, of course, I always am--not really) am I willing to ask for forgiveness even though I don't feel I have done anything wrong?  When I have spoken harshly to one of my children when they certainly deserve it, do I tell them I am sorry?  When God has convicted me for my pride for at least as many years as the Cubs have not made it to a World Series, do I admit He's right (which, of course, He always is--no, really).  Do I keep those short accounts with God so that I have a clean slate with Him? 
     The third quality God mentions is trembling at His Word.  When I first read this, I thought to myself, "Oh yeah, God, I do that."  Hmmmm.  Do I?  Can't tremble when I don't read it.  Sure, I read it just about every day.  But then there are months where I don't at all, to my shame.  I always have a good excuse.  After all, I have young children, they get up at all hours.  Just this morning, my late sleeper was the earliest one to rise, just 15 minutes into my devotions this morning.  So maybe I should read it in the evenings.  Well, after the kids go to bed, I just want to relax, and watch some TV.  I'm pretty sure nothing on the television is going to cause me to tremble at His Word.  What am I making most important?  I go to church and listen to His Word.  But how many times during a sermon have I thought to myself," I really hope my husband is listening to this, because He needs this message."  Don't I need it too?  Was there something I missed because I was too busy thinking about how it could benefit someone else?  I may be hoping someone else was trembling, but it certainly wasn't me.
     After examining myself, I'm not certain I'm a very good tool.  With some work, I can possibly be useful.  Maybe if I give everything up, maybe if I tell God I'm sorry more, maybe if I stop making excuses when I didn't read His Word that day.  Maybe, just maybe, He can do something with me after all.  If not, I'm not much more beneficial than the ottoman in the living room.

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