The Lord Alone Will Be Exalted
“The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. Sever yourselves from such a man, Whose breath is in his nostrils; For of what account is he?” ~ Isaiah 2:17-22
The LORD, Yahweh, our covenant God and Savior, rules this world through his Son. Isaiah’s “day” is the day of Messiah, in which we are blessed to live (Isa.2:2-4). One work of his reign is to humble the pride of men, to bring them low (Isa. 5:15-16), to “cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5). When his judgments are in the earth, men will be brought to throw away their idols – technology, science, and economies that are no longer used as tools to glorify God but as Babel’s to insulate themselves from accountability to him (Gen. 11:4). All idols will be exposed as frauds.
It is painful, but the Lord is shaking the earth. He is shaking the heavens and the earth, for his Son rules at his right hand (Heb. 12:26). His terror is upon our land for its century and a half of murder, political polytheism, unjust wars, theological apostasy, bloody abortion, rampant promiscuity, feminist revolution, and throwing parties when he is judging (Isa. 22:12-13). This is his world. He has made promises to his Son, and they will be realized (Isa. 9:7). He will judge nations that enjoyed his light but reject it.
When the Lord hears the cries of his people for judgment (Ps. 9:8-11,12,17-20) and stirs himself to defend his own name and covenant (Ps. 74:20-23), the path of immediate duty is clear. Separate yourself from idols, from idolatrous man, from all trust in princes and their false promises and delusions. Man’s breath is in his nostrils; he is of no account (Isa. 2:22).God, not man, rules the world; Christ, not man, is King. “The counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” (Ps. 33:10-11; Eph. 1:11). We cannot hear these truths often enough or cling to them with sufficient zeal. The poison of secularism – no God and no Creator, no law beyond man, no truth beyond the state and political power, no priests beyond bureaucrats, corporate CEO’s, and pseudo-science, no piety beyond personal feeling – easily creeps into our souls. Unbelief breeds fear, and fear tempts men to listen to anyone who promises an Ark of safety as the flood waters rise. We who love the Lord cling to Him. He alone will be exalted.
Remember his precious promises to us in trouble. “When you walk through the fire, I will be with you” (Isa. 43:2). In the stormiest seas, hear our Savior’s voice: “It is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27). “I will never leave or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). The covenanted, redeeming, powerful presence of God with his people is the great reality of which the world knows nothing, but we know it, or should. “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him, for he dwells with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:17). The child of God faces trouble very differently than the child of disobedience. We have the Spirit of truth to teach, guide, and sanctify. Whatever your views of the present distress and plans for the future, be dominated by this truth – we have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us. The presence of God with us in Christ by the Spirit gives us strength, power, and joy of which the world knows nothing. “The joy of the Lord is our strength” (Neh. 8:10).
And because he is with us, we must live prudently. “The prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; the simple pass on, and are punished” (Prov. 22:3). We know who is working and who is bringing these calamities (Amos 3:6), and we must reverence him. “I have done these things unto you” (Jer. 30:15), but for a very different purpose than his judgment upon the world – he chastens and refines his children because he loves them and works good (Rom. 8:28). This hope does not make us passive. You should get your house in order, prepare to have less, be ready to share more, join often with believers in prayer. If you are concerned about your present position, begin looking for another, or at least be ready to do so. Reduce your dependency as far as possible upon collapsing systems and corporations that serve as propaganda arms for Marxism and statist control. More honestly distinguish need from want. Do not trust in princes or politicians and their promises but increase your trust in our Father who knows every bird that falls from the sky. He will provide for you as you seek first his kingdom and live in trusting obedience (Matt. 6:25-34). Therefore, while not being anxious about tomorrow, prepare for life in a judged nation that is not turning to the Lord but hardening its heart against him.
Whatever the times, the Lord will never allow one of his promises to fail (1 Kings 8:56). He will not fulfill them as we think best, to make us comfortable, so that we never cry or feel great confusion and vexation (Dan. 9:8; 2 Pet. 2:7-8). His judgments can last a generation or more, but the Lord is always bringing us to feel our weakness so that like him in Gethsemane, we fall to the ground and weep: “Not my will, but yours be done.” As he lived, so we must learn to live – on our face before God, pleading his mercy, seeking grace to repent and obey, and wisdom to live godly. Prudence dictates that those who “fear the Lord spoke often together” (Mal. 3:16). This is not a time for fearful isolation but for greater community, for true unity is found only in “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.” Teach your children to love the saints; be careful how you talk about other believers, even when you disagree with them. Heavenly wisdom is gentle and approachable, not strident and angry (James 3:17).
Provide your children with usable skills untethered from wicked corporations; especially teach them the purpose and joy of work, for God’s enemies are identified by their hatred of work and delusion of government ability to care for everyone’s needs. Even in captivity, the Lord intends good (Jer. 29:5-7, 11), so build houses and go about your work quietly (1 Thess. 4:11), so that when the Lord comes, he will find you faithful. Inspire your children with a vision not of fat bank accounts and easy lives but that the “eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, upon those who hope in his mercy” (Ps. 33:18). Teach them by your example to live before the Lord with a broken and contrite heart; teach them to tremble at God’s word – with faith, hope, and joy (Isa. 66:2). If the Lord’s eye is upon us for good, we have an invincible hope, whatever present suffering he may ordain for us.
And here is a final promise: “The meek shall inherit the earth” (Ps. 37:11; Matt. 5:5). This is a longer term vision, but it is a vision we must have. There is no future in unbelief and rebellion against God’s word. To be meek is to be humble and teachable, bold in standing for God’s truth, prayerful in every storm, trusting in every sickness, and hopeful even in death. The future is secured by God’s faithfulness and love. What gives hope and joy is not that the storm will pass and men will find a way out, but that our Savior sits as King above the floods and is with us in every storm. It is not fear, but faith, that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4), God’s wisdom, not man’s, that will give us necessary prudence, and his invincible presence (Isa. 30:15), not man’s delusions, that protects us and enable us to “follow the Lamb wherever he leads” (Rev. 14:4). We do not know the path and the future, but he does. He will be exalted. Humble yourself under his hand, and he will raise you up (1 Pet. 5:6).