In Isaiah, chapter two, the last verse, may I call attention to this curious statement, that would have no meaning without historical context. Isa. 2:22 – the prophet said, “Stop regarding man, in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?”
So, when you factor in literary context from this section of Isaiah, and the broader historical context of the conditions of the people in Judah in the time of Isaiah – this makes sense as an admonition, really a prohibition.
Instead of trusting God, depending on Him, doing His will and embracing His promises – the people had turned away from God to man, to themselves, to their own inventions, devices and resources.
We have a word for that in our post-modern world: HUMANISM. That is no longer a narrow philosophical category or one of many worldviews.
It is the way of the world in our time, to not look to God; to consider Him either non-existent or irrelevant. Then, to put man in His place. To worship man, trust in man, and deceive the next generation into thinking that man has the answers, not God.
The Jewish people in Judah and Jerusalem in Isaiah’s time were trusting in idols, forming political alliances with heathens, turning to fortune tellers and celebrating men who were drunk and women who were worldly.
Humanism marks out the way, from God to exalted but empty human wisdom. Isaiah describes their sin of exalting human wisdom, then calls upon them to stop it.
“Stop regarding man, in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?”
Earlier in Isaiah chapter two, the people are warned. Back in verse 17 – “And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”
This should ring true for us today, as we approach the year 2021. Humanism isn’t just a school of thought peddled by atheists. It isn’t just a footnote in a philosophy class. It is becoming a way of life, acclaimed, in some cases enforced as law and imposed on our children.
We must not let who God is slip from our hearts. In Isa. 45:5, the Lord of Hosts declares, “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me, there is no God…,”