Isaiah is a beautiful mix of hopeful promise and fervent reminders. Isaiah 2 begins with a promise of God’s rule being established. And life will be so peaceful that no one will learn how to go to war, and the swords will be used for working the ground. Can you imagine if guns started being used to hold umbrellas and knives were kept for kitchen use?
But the focus of the chapter quickly changes. Israel was focused on the wrong thing. Isaiah highlights three things: the pursuit of money, horses for war prowess, and idols. Deuteronomy 17 specifically instructed kings that money, horses, and wives were not things they could collect. In the same way, trying to control their lives and gather all the spoils of this world turned their hearts away from God.
Israel ignored God’s glory, and they were crawling in the dust. They darted for the cave rather than face God’s majesty. It is an interesting picture when compared with Genesis 2:7: God breathed life into dust to make man. And now people were crawling back toward the dust rather than toward God.
And the chapter ends with,
“Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?”
Why do we run after appearances? We are so blind! Staring at the ground when we could be leaping toward the stars. What does it take for us to look up?
God, as I look at my life, please help me to see the ways I hoard money and try to bring myself security, and love the pursuit of things rather than of You. Please help me, and this country of people staring at the dirt. Help us to learn to look up! Thank You for helping us to see, and calling us to something so much better than society around us promotes. Please help me to see it, and stop focusing on men made of atoms and rather on You who give us life. Amen.
The words of Agur from Proverbs 30 ring in my head, and I hope to pray this with a true heart:
“Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.”