Stop putting your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. How can they be of help to anyone? - Isaiah 2:22
Amidst all the euphoria of the new millennium, some advertisers did get a little carried away. One credit card company, for instance, announced that we would soon have a cure for all illnesses, live to be 200 but look like 30, and spend our vacations on Mars. All paid for with credit, courtesy of the credit card company.
Clearly the developments of the last century have been stupendous, and the possibilities for further development are superb. Human ingenuity is impressive. But why live to be 200 if I’m miserable being 50? And what good is looking like 30 if I feel like garbage? And what’s so exciting about a vacation on Mars if there’s nothing to do but look at red rocks and I’m not sure that I’ll have a job and a family when I get back? All this needs to be addressed. Fortunately, God did address it—many years ago!
Pride is a perennial human problem. The more we achieve, the more self-sufficient we become. The more ingenuity we display, the more arrogant we become. God is not impressed, because he knows that everything comes from him and without him we are nothing, can do nothing, and will achieve nothing. But we don’t believe it, so sometimes God has to take strong measures to get our attention and drive the lesson home.
This is what he did through Isaiah the prophet. Isaiah promised, “The arrogance of all people will be brought low. Their pride will lie in the dust. The Lord alone will be exalted” (Isa. 2:17). Of course, Isaiah was speaking primarily to his contemporaries. What he was predicting came true when God’s people were humbled in defeat and led into exile (see 2 Kings 25:1-21).
On a broader scale, though, the lesson applies to “all people.” And what precisely is the lesson? That “humans are as frail as breath” (Isa. 2:22). Accordingly, people should “stop putting [their] trust in mere humans . . . how can they be of help to anyone?” Human help is severely limited and unreliable. So, ultimately, we need to swallow our pride and rely on God. Then we will receive his help. He will be of help to everyone who trusts in him!
If your ambition is to live till you’re 200 and look like 30, your credit card may be able to help. But if your goal is to live forever and be like Jesus, it will be no help at all!
For Further Study: Isaiah 2:6-22