“But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Isaiah 66:2


  1. The great Lord our God is not impressed by external religion, no matter how costly.
    1. For He has made all things and uses them already as His throne and ottoman.
    2. All these have been from ancient time, therefore man has nothing to plead.
  2. The great Lord our God will condescend to men who by internal religion are holy.
    1. They must be poor – this is spiritually poor rather than financially poor.
    2. They must have a contrite spirit – a heart broken and repentant for all sins.
    3. They must tremble at His Word – they fear the Author and His commandments.
  3. The great God dwells with the lowly and humble and contrite ones (Isaiah 57:15).
  4. God had mercy upon Josiah for his tender humility and penitence (II Kings 22:19).


  1. God hated the self-righteousness of wicked Israel and judged it (Isaiah 65:1-7).
  2. And of course, these self-righteous hypocrites will use the Lord’s name (Is 66:5).
  3. The wise man taught against wisdom in your own conceit (Proverbs 26:12,16).
  4. Jesus condemned the self-righteousness of the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14; 16:15).
    1. A lawyer tried to excuse himself from loving his neighbor (Luke 10:25-37).
    2. Rebelling and repenting is far superior to hypocritical sinning (Matt 21:28-32).
    3. Jesus condemned the hypocritical self-righteousness of the Pharisees (Luk 12:1).
    4. And He taught His disciples to have true righteousness above them (Matt 5:20).
    5. Jesus came to call sinners rather than the righteous to repentance (Mk 2:15-17).
  5. Consider Paul’s three-way condemnation of self-righteousness (Romans 12:16).
  6. True wisdom understands the necessity of being a fool to be wise (I Cor 3:18-19).
  7. Self-righteousness is one of the most horrible and dangerous sins from hell.
    1. It is impossible to reason with it, for it cannot receive instruction (Pr 26:20).
    2. It is difficult to see it in yourself, for you are too “righteous” to see it (Gal 6:3).
    3. It is confidence you are quite good, competent, intelligent, and capable.
    4. It is difficulty in saying you are wrong, foolish, stupid, proud, and rebellious.
    5. It is enjoying finding or discussing the faults or weaknesses of others.
    6. It is presuming to accuse others, when you have your own set of sins.
    7. It is always having an opinion about the conduct of others without Scripture.
    8. It is the defensiveness and testiness of resisting and balking at correction.
    9. It is the presumption of making judgments and opinions against authority.
    10. It is the ease with which you can apply a sermon to most anyone else.
    11. It is the thought during a sermon that you don’t really need change here.
    12. It is the response that you are comfortable with things as they are.
    13. It is the defensiveness when you are corrected rather than thankfulness.
    14. It is crying defensively when you are criticized or warned about sin.
    15. It is running to an extreme of declaring failure when you are criticized.
    16. It is the excuse that I am not really that bad – you just misunderstand me.
    17. It is the memory of the sins of others when you are being corrected.
    18. It is the scorning response of mentioning the sins of the one correcting you.
  8. Do you love correction? Do you love those who correct you? Read Proverbs 9:7-10.
  9. This point is key! How do you take criticism? Warmly with affection? Or resistance?
  10. Virtuous persons are most likely to criticize themselves as self-righteous sinners, even though they are not. And hypocrites are least likely to do so, even though they are!


  1. Solomon taught that humility and the fear of the Lord is true success (Proverbs 22:4).
  2. Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of which we may be chief (I Timothy 1:15).
  3. Jesus taught an internal religion of the spirit to replace external ritual (John 4:21-24).
    1. Read the Sermon on the Mount and its blessings on holy hearts (Matt 5:1-12).
    2. Blessed are the poor in SPIRIT – no thoughts of spiritual success or riches here.
    3. Blessed are they that mourn – no excuse or justification or comfort for sins here.
    4. Blessed are the meek – no thoughts of importance or rank or value by these.
    5. Blessed are the hungry – no thought of spiritual attainment or complacency here.
    6. Blessed are the merciful – no thoughts of judgment or criticism of others here.
    7. Blessed are the pure in heart – no thoughts of superiority or hypocrisy in these.
    8. Blessed are the peacemakers – no thoughts of despising or neglecting here.
    9. Blessed are the persecuted – no thoughts of public opinion measures here.
  4. God resisteth the proud; but He giveth grace to the humble (I Peter 5:5-6).
  5. Consider our Lord’s righteously harsh criticism of Laodicea (Revelation 3:17-18).
  6. We deceive ourselves when we think ourselves to be something (Galatians 6:3).
  7. Don’t lie to yourself that you know much, for we nothing as we ought to (I Cor 8:2).
  8. The Lord is high, but He hath respect unto the lowly and hates the proud (Ps 138:6).
  9. When Peter met the Lord, he asked him to depart for his wickedness (Luke 5:8).
  10. When Isaiah met the Lord, he cried out for the woe of his unclean tongue (Isaiah 6:1-8).
  11. We must come with the spirit of the psalmist in complete humility (Psalm 131:1).
  12. Paul thought himself less than the least of all saints (Ephesians 3:8).


  1. Contrite. 2. fig. Crushed or broken in spirit by a sense of sin, and so brought to complete penitence.
  2. Jesus condemned Simon the Pharisee for lack of contrition for sins (Luke 7:36-50).
  3. God sent His blessings through Jesus Christ for the brokenhearted (Is 57:15; 61:1-3).
  4. Sacrifice to God is a broken and contrite heart; other hearts God despises (Ps 51:17).
  5. The Lord is nigh unto all them that be of a broken heart and contrite spirit (Ps 34:18).
  6. Remember the fully penitent attitude of Ephraim and God’s blessings (Jer 31:18-20).
  7. There is no loss in being a sinner in your mind, for Jesus came for them (Mark 2:15-17).


  1. A constant state of fear toward God and His Word will save from trouble (Prov 28:14).
  2. Consider just a few examples of a righteous response to God and His Word.
    1. When Paul met the Lord, he said, “What wilt thou have me to do?”
    2. When the jailor met the Lord, he said, “What must I do to be saved?”
    3. When Cornelius met Peter, he said, “We want to hear all things from God.”
  3. The Psalmist trembled for fear of God and His judgments (Psalm 119:120, 161).