17 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,
18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
Upon the recent death of a popular singer, I remarked to a friend that it was somewhat sad that with all the people dying in this world, the news media will likely spend the next week focusing on the life and death of this so-called “King of Pop.” I have no doubt that there are many today who will claim that this singer inspired them to pursue their careers in the arts and entertainment. And some will undoubtedly point to him as a great musical influence. His family will rightfully mourn his passing and express their pride in his accomplishments. My concern, however, is for the people who put this musician and other singers and performers – and even sports stars – on these lofty pedestals, to the point that, even in death, these people are idolized and praised for their utterly worldly accomplishments.
In today’s verse, the prophet Isaiah sounds a warning against idolatry, against human pride. In our day and age, we rarely exalt the humble servants of our Lord. Instead we praise those who perform “great” feats of strictly human worth, and we ignore those who constantly and humbly perform truly great deeds for God.
This is an old complaint, but at times it bears repeating: Let us not get too caught up in the worldly accomplishments of everyday men and women. Let us rather turn our hearts and our praises to the King of KINGS, whose power created the very earth upon which we stand, and whose majesty is daily demonstrated by humble servants whose names we will not know until the end of days. There is so much more to see and to do to glorify the Living God. So let’s let the dead bury the dead and get on with LIVING for Christ.
Lord Jesus, Your Name alone is to be exalted, both in heaven and on earth. Enter my heart today and lead me in Your ways, that I may not get caught up in the worship of worldly things. All honor and praise be for you, Lord of Lords and true King of Kings. Amen.
– written June 27, 2009