Saturday after Exaudi
Scripture: Isaiah 57:15-21 (NKJV)
57:15 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.
16 For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
19 “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” says the LORD, “And I will heal him.”
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
God inhabits eternity. He dwells in a “high and holy place,” far beyond man’s reach or grasp. But He has chosen also to dwell “with him who has a contrite and humble spirit.” The access that the contrite and humble person has to God is unnatural; no sinner, by nature, has such access to the holy God. It had to be purchased by the blood of Christ. Nor could any sinner come to true contrition or humility except by the preaching of the Law and the Gospel.
After Christ made atonement for sins, He sent His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to empower the preaching of His apostles: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Now, “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Rom. 5:1-2).
What else did Peter promise the baptized? “And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!” God no longer dwells with us as when the Word-made-flesh dwelt among His disciples. But He has not left us orphans. He dwells with us forever by His Holy Spirit, throughout our earthly pilgrimage. Wherever the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments are administered, there is God’s Spirit dwelling with us, both as individuals and as the Church, bringing healing for the penitent, forgiveness, peace, comfort, guidance, strength, boldness, and every gift from above.
We pray: Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to help us until Your second coming. Grant us a rich measure of His gifts, that we may serve You with great zeal and in perfect peace. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.