11 The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled
and human pride brought low;
the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
12 The LORD Almighty has a day in store
for all the proud and lofty,
for all that is exalted
(and they will be humbled), Isaiah 2
I don’t imagine Isaiah was very popular when he spoke these words. He was, in essence, saying to Israel, you have become full of yourselves, unteachable and unapproachable. Your opinion is all that matters to you. You have to be right all the time. God is about to change that and you will blame the pain you are about to experience on everything and everyone but yourselves. Invading armies are going to ransack your homes and cities. Soon you will have nothing to be proud of. And those false gods you’ve been admiring will not be able to save you.
The prophets are hard to read because they don’t tell any jokes we can repeat to our friends later in the day. Comedy was not their strong suit. People thought they were just a downer dressed up in human clothes. However one of the greatest reasons we don’t read the prophets is because we don’t like their message anymore than the people of Israel did. Somewhere along the way be became self-sufficient, proud and unteachable. We quit asking the question, “How can I improve?”. Instead we demand that everyone else improves to meet our ‘high standards’. Could it be we are guilty of what we accuse others?
Isaiah lived out his message. Pride was destroying Israel so he demonstrated humility, brokenness and self-abasement through daily example. We can too. Every time we serve instead of demanding service we are living like Isaiah. (i.e.: doing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, putting gas in the car, etc…) Every time we listen carefully to the correction and rebuke of others who love us we are choosing the Isaiah path. When disappointment creeps in because others have let us down we live like a prophet by not standing up for our rights. In this world you have rights but in the Kingdom of God you surrender your rights to the King. We can live without all ‘our rights’ being fulfilled. When you pursue ‘your rights’ all ‘your wrongs’ come into full color. Instead ask, “How can I improve?” and pray others will ask the same thing for themselves.
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up.