This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)
I love children’s artwork. From their perspective, what they create is so beautiful and true to life. Such is not the case from our perspective – we see the awkward drawings as the best that their abilities can offer but still a far cry from a master artist’s capabilities. And while it’s nice to receive a little piece of art from a child, isn’t it nicer still when that child crawls into your lap and expresses his or her affection for you? What about when the child obeys and honors you by doing as you request?
Isaiah seems to indicate that God feels the same way about us. The work we produce from our hands – even as adults – gives us such a sense of pride and accomplishment. We offer it up to God as if to say, “look at this great work!” But He knows that He’s capable of creating something far better. God doesn’t desire the things we can create – He desires us. He desires our affections. He desires hearts that are humble before him – hearts that respect His word and approach it with trembling and obedience. When we do those things, Isaiah says that He looks on us with favor.
Father, so often I want to show You the work of my hands, as if it’s some sort of great creation and deserves Your praise. More than desiring the work of my hands, though, You desire the affections of my heart and the submission of my life. Let me be pleased to give those things to You.