Pride is one of those things that we all have even if we do not admit it. We can tell we are proud people when we get mad when things do not go our way or if we get upset when someone points out a flaw in our life. Pride is what keeps people from coming to God realizing that we cannot save ourselves and we must humbly ask God for salvation through Jesus Christ. (Acts 16:31)
Even as Christ followers we must humble ourselves before God as we submit to His ways. Pride says I do not need to deny myself (Luke 9:23) and that the way I follow God is up to me and not up to Him.
Proud: having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance:
The problem with man is that we think we know better than God and this is why we do not humble ourselves and call sin what God calls sin. It was the people in Isaiah’s day that said they could worship God however they wanted as long as they were worshiping Him even though they were mixing in other religions into their worship. It is our pride that keeps us from doing the commands of God when He ask us to forgive or surrender an area of our lives. Sin is more than not doing things its ignoring the things that God has told you to do. Isaiah is warning them what is going to happen to them if they do not humble themselves and it is a warning we all should be aware of.
Isaiah 2:9- So man is humbled, and each one is brought low-do not forgive them!
1) The Proud Will Be Humbled
The people thought they were on good terms with God but instead of “Walking in the light of the Lord” which simply means to obey His commands they picked and chose what they wanted to obey. To say things like “this is how I want to worship God” is arrogant and prideful instead of meeting God on His terms. When Jesus says He is the only way to God (John 14:6) it is arrogant to say that you can get to God however you want. Either Jesus is the way or He is a liar. Either Jesus is the way and all other religions are wrong or another religion is the way and Christianity is wrong. You cannot make up how you want to get to God and Jesus made it clear that He is the only way.
We also cannot determine how we choose to worship God or the things we seek out to discover Gods will for our lives. Bethel Church in California is practicing something very similar to tarot cards which they call destiny cards. They say that it is not unbiblical and they even use the Apostle Paul as an example when he was sharing his faith on Mars Hill. (Acts 17) The problem with these things is they are forbidden by God. (Luke 19:31) God is a relational God and we are to go to Him and Him alone as He communicates to us through His word (The Bible) and through His Spirit which He gives us. God told us to have faith in Him but we have faith in other things and ourselves because our pride wants to determine what we actually do and because we want to be in control we want to know the future. We have to be careful that in our pride we are not allowing things into our lives that the Bible and even other Christians are warning us about. We need to humble ourselves under God and see if there is something we need to change.
The nation and especially King Uzziah were very arrogant with their accomplishments but Isaiah is warning them that a day is coming when forgiveness will no longer be possible. They thought their actions did not deserve punishment but Isaiah is showing them they do. They did not realize how proud and arrogant they had become by their own accomplishments and they no longer relied on God.
James 4:6-10 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
You do not have to be humbled by God because you can humble yourself by reading His word and submitting to what He says.
Isaiah 2:10-21 Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty.11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 12 For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; 13 against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; 14 against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; 15 against every high tower, and against every fortified wall;16 against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft. 17 And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 18 And the idols shall utterly pass away. 19 And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground,[a]from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.20 In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats,21 to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.
2) The Proud Will Hide from Jesus
Verse tens says they will “Enter into the rock and hide”. Verse nineteen says,” And the people will enter caves and holes in the ground” and verse twenty one says “Enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs”. When Jesus shows up those with Pride will run away and Hide because of His majesty and Glory.
I would say most of us look forward to Jesus return especially when we are having a bad day or simply because we know this is not our home. Prideful people do not look forward to Jesus return because they want to be God of their own lives. The book of Revelation shows a similar picture when the prideful will do the very things that Isaiah is talking about his people doing.
Revelation 6:15-17 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave[d] and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
God’s splendor will be on display and those who are prideful will try and hide while others will humble themselves before God and acknowledge Him. Of course no one can escape God yet they will make a futile attempt to pray to the mountain to fall on them. A day I look forward to many people will dread because they chose not to humble themselves before God through Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
If Jesus humbled and accepted the will of God for His life then we as followers of His should do the same. We must change our mindset that we are in charge of our own lives because we cannot even control when we will pass from this life to the next.
3) The Proud Will See The Worthlessness of their Idols
They worshiped their structures and their military along with other things they looked to instead of looking to God. An Idol is anything you seek out instead of turning to God. Many times we think of how crazy it is for people to worship images they have made but some people turn to food, alcohol or drugs as their god to get through the day. Some people worship fame or fortune thinking that those things can bring them happiness and fulfillment. God will destroy all the things that people put their hope and trust in and they will see the worthlessness of them all when Jesus shows up again.
High Towers, Fortified walls, and ships were all the things the nation put their hope in and they will be destroyed. The things Isaiah mentions represent strength, beauty, independence and self-sufficiency from God and the things they put their hope in they will throw them to moles and bats.
Philippians 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
The Apostle Paul said everything was garbage compared to a relationship with Christ. Many people talk about Jesus for what He can do for you like giving you peace and prosperity but Paul talked about Jesus relationally. When you turn to Jesus for the stuff then you miss out on why He died for our sins and rose again from the dead. Jesus came to earth so that we could be back in a right relationship with God the way it was in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world. Yes there will still be sin on the earth but a day is promised that we will one day be back in a right relationship with God for all of eternity or at least those who put their hope and trust in Christ.
Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?
4) The Proud see man as the ultimate authority.
We make ourselves gods by making ourselves the center of the universe. We make ourselves god when we give ourselves center stage and by glorifying our importance. We make ourselves gods when we measure everything by how it affects us. Even if we do not make ourselves the final authority we have a tendency to care more about what people think than what God thinks. We put our trust in people more than seeking out God and how He wants us to live.
“I don’t want anybody telling me how to think is really the motto in Western education today.” Ravi Zacharias
Humanism is the separation from the supernatural therefore leaving God out of everything. We may not agree with that but we all tend to separate God into a religious section of our lives by excluding Him from our social or business life. We are proud people and we do not want to look foolish so we trust in the ways of man more than the ways of God but one day we will see how worthless the idols that we worshiped and put our trust in really are when we see God face to face.
Every one of the listeners of Isaiah’s day had to make a decision, “am I going to listen to man or to God” and each one of us has to make that same decision.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We can humble ourselves now before the Lord (James 4:10) or we will be humbled before the Lord. We will always see others as needing humbling more than ourselves but we must remember we all tend to be proud and rely on our own wisdom or the wisdom of man rather than the ways of God. God is calling us to not put our trust in the things of this world but in Him. (Relational) What things are you turning to instead of turning to Him? (Idols) Whose wisdom are you relying on to make decisions?
How meaningless our concerns of life will be when we see His Glory and Majesty.
Both Man and Idols will be a bust because only in God can I place my trust.
So I humble myself and take a knee for He is the one who deserves the Glory.