what good are they?

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.

God is not saying to us that relationships with each other are unimportant. The Bible consistently declares that quite the opposite is true.

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.

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3 thoughts on “what good are they?

  1. It is hard to not give God’s place to man. When you read it..it seems so simple but in practice it’s so easy not to. I would consider myself someone who can hold his tongue fairly well. However, there are some people in my daily path that tests me daily. For some reason it is hard not to re-act the wront way or ungodly way with this person and with other’s it’s so easy to show God’s love to them. I pin it to the fact that this person tries me and knows that he does and continues to do it. So I push the blame off on that person, but in reality, it is my responisbility to show God’s love all the time. I know this doesnt neccessarily pertain to what you wrote but I needed to vent and thanks for allowing me to.

    • Yes, gabriel, you are right. We are always so quick to blame the other guy. It’s so easy to do.

      We say things like, “He made me so angry.” as is if we had no choice in the matter. As if our reaction was predetermined by them.

      The alternative of recognizing that it’s my choice how to respond, no matter the rightness or wrongness of the other person, is hard work. Usually I am too quick to just push responsibility off on them, but as you said, it’s my responsibility.

      Following Jesus and living his way is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

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