In That Day (Isaiah 2:17-18)

The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
But the idols will completely vanish.

Isaiah 2:17-18

The Bible has much to say about that day — the day in which the LORD sets up His kingdom on Earth. One of the things said often about it is that He will upend all existing hierarchies. This chapter of Isaiah speaks of the hill on which Jerusalem sits being made the highest mountain in all the world. Whether that stature is literal (physically taller than any other mountain) or metaphorical (more important than any other mountain) remains to be seen, but the prophecies of the End do speak of God rearranging topography before He hits the reset button.

So what has the End to do with the here and now? Everything. These verses mention idols and pride and the loftiness of men. There are so many things that vie for my attention. Some of those things vie for the attention that rightly belongs to God. One day, God will wipe those things out. But one day can be today within me. Pride is the first sin and, I suspect, the one sin from which most if not all others derive. God will humble men’s pride one day, but I can invite Him to humble me here and now. The whole idea of loftiness is, I think, that of mankind exalting ourselves. We think we are something amazing, but we think so for all the wrong reasons. Instead of seeing ourselves as the pinnacle of creation and giving glory to our Creator for such a thing, we think ourselves the crowning achievement of some impersonal process and congratulate ourselves on having been clever enough to figure it out. We, in short, invert the paradigm that John the Baptist presents when he says that Jesus (and, by extension, the Godhead entire) must increase and John (and, by extension, me and every other person) must decrease. I can wait for the day when God takes away mankind’s lofty opinion of himself or I can get my view of things right today.

These verses, for me, boil down to a reminder and a challenge. The reminder is that God is going to put things in their proper order in that day. I can wait for that day, or I can take up the challenge. The challenge is to invite God to begin setting things in their proper place within me right now. That day can be today in my own heart.

Father, please set things in order within me this and every day. Be lifted up. Be glorified. Be the only One I worship. And please make me humble. I need to be a humble man, for I have much to be humble about.

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