Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they? Isaiah 2:22
At first hearing, this verse sounds like God is saying that people are usless or at best should be avoided.
There are days when I would love for this to be exactly what God is saying! There are days when I would give anything for a reason to tell people to take a hike. To be able to stop investing in them. To declare that I do not need relationships, shouldn’t have relationships, because “God said so!”
As much as I love people, they can be difficult and bring pain and disappointment to my life. The fact is that people are messy, they have baggage, they struggle. In short, they are all too much like me.
But this is not what God is saying here.
So what is he saying?
I think God’s call here is to stop putting trust in people over God. To stop relying on people to bring us value, to validate our abilities or worth. To stop letting people drive our life’s direction and our decision making.
Ultimately God is saying, “Look, people are unreliable…just like you. So stop giving them my place. Trust in me.”
And how often do we do that? How often in life do we look to the apporval of others and forget to look to what God says, what God thinks?
In John’s gospel Jesus identifies a huge problem he has with the Pharisees and it’s right on track with what God is saying here in Isaiah 2.
“How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” John 5:44
What’s more important in my life today? Approval and validation from the people around me? Or knowing that I am follwing Jesus and am seeking his desire for my life?
The temptation is to quickly say it’s not other people, that we don’t care what they say or think. But deep down all of us struggle with it far more than we would care to admit. The opinions of others weigh far heavier than we would like them to.
Relationships with other people are critical to our spiritual journey. They are necessary.
But they need to be in their proper place. God is saying that we need to be attentive to the place we give people in our lives. They should always be second to God. Always.