Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Isaiah 57:14-21 (ESV)
Comfort for the Contrite
14 And it shall be said,“Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” 15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made. 17 Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart. 18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, 19 creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord, “and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
The simple truth of salvation is that only the humble will be saved. The humble are the people who recognize their unworthiness, and who have accepted the fact that they are completely dependent on God’s mercy. That changes their hearts, so that they are willing to receive God’s mercy, and eager to seek it. God delights in helping and saving those in need. The proud don’t think they need God’s help — so, they never receive it, and are removed from salvation. Notice in 57:15 that God can be found among the lowly and contrite. So, if you are seeking God’s presence, spend time with lowly people!