The Lord says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.”
In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and anklets and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground. Isa 3:-16 26
As I’ve been reading through Isaiah, this passage seems appropriate for today. I’ve seen so many scenes of devastation from Hurricane Michael.
This reminds me of these verses, because it shows how we can be walking around one day, feeling rich and all together, and the next day, find that everything is in ruins.
Now I am not at all saying that the hurricane was a part of God’s judgment, like the disaster forecast in this prophesy. I’m saying that we need to be careful to not be complacent and full of ourselves, thinking we have it together and taking what we have for granted.
We need to be careful to not be haughty. God doesn’t look very kindly on the haughty in this verse. The Hebrew word means, “to raise up to a great height.” It’s used of King Saul when he’s described as being taller than the other people. It definitely conveys the idea that you think you are above everyone else.
And that is what the women that God condemed were acting. The passage even goes on to describe them in kind of a comical way, with necks that are stretching up. I get this picture of society gals with thier noses in the air.
I would enjoy laughing at them, if I didn’t know that I can be that way too. Oh sure, maybe it’s not so obvious. But how easily do I get down to the level of a servant? I have to say, as I have served hurricane victims this past week, my heart has some work to do!
Here are some great verses that help my heart in this:
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Phil 2:3)
- Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phil 2:5-7)
- But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. (James 1:10)
It also helps my heart to remember that the things I take for granted could be gone at any time. It could be my turn next. Here are some verses to help me think more soberly:
- So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (I Cor 10:12)
- Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)
- Then [the rich man] said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. ” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Luke 12:20
Life can change at any moment. I’ve seen that first hand this week. And at this point, I am thankful for the wake up call to my heart.
Let me do a better job of being prepared, and be better able to say, as Mary did, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it happen to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
It’s easy to think it’s all about me, that I have it together.
God says that I need to stop stretching my neck, and instead, bow before him.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, . . . You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Luke 12:40)