“Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?” – Isaiah 2:22
In the middle of 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 this would be 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 developments are superb. Human ingenuity is impressive. But why live to be 200 if I’m miserable being 52? 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? These questions reveal the emptiness of our values and need to be addressed. Fortunately, God did address them—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. We do not believe this so 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” (Isaiah 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.” What precisely is the lesson? It is that “humans are frail as breath” (Isaiah 2:22). Accordingly, people should “stop putting their trust in mere humans…What good are they?” 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 trust 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 of no help at all!