Thus says the Lord : “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
“He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig’s blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.”
Everything that exists came from the Lord. He made it all and then gave all of His creation freedom to go and do whatever it would will itself to do. He doesn’t need anything at all, but quite often, He shows His compassion and mercy by sincerely caring and acting on His creation.
Of course, the ones to which He looks on and cares for the most are the ones that aren’t trying to boost themselves above Him. He alone deserves all of the glory and praise and attention in the universe, which is why it’s OK for Him to think so highly of Himself. It would actually be a sin for God to not think so highly of Himself since He is, in fact, the only one worthy of being thought of so highly.
Watch for oppressed people in the Bible. Look for the beaten down people in world history. In one way or another, God ends up on their team. Hardships and catastrophes may come, but the downtrodden are God’s favorites. Even in modern times, consider what hardships Africa has gone through, and now they are 1/4th of the world’s Christians.
It might be confusing the read through that list of sacrifices and think, “But those are all things that God required in His Law! Why would He be so hateful of those things?” It’s because they were all done without humility. Sacrifices, offerings, serving the Lord, whatever, without humility and reference for the Lord is a big fat waste of the Lord’s time. Trembling at His word is of more value than sacrifices, offerings, church work, or any of that stuff.
I had a Shakespeare professor in college say, “If you don’t understand it, just keep reading. You’ll get it eventually.” I’m going to appropriate that idea and say If you don’t tremble at God’s Word, just keep reading. You’ll get it eventually.
Before you prepare for whatever is next, take some time to sit, read, and tremble. It’s far too easy to shake off humility and just be religious, but that’s not how the Kingdom of God advances.
Take some time to be humble and tremble.