Pride goes before destruction
Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure. You say, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other. I will never be a widow or lose my children.’ Well, both these things will come upon you in a moment: widowhood and the loss of your children. Yes, these calamities will come upon you, despite all your witchcraft and magic. “You felt secure in your wickedness. ‘No one sees me,’ you said. But your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray, and you said, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.’ So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will strike you suddenly, one for which you are not prepared. Isaiah 47:8-11 NLT
It will be because of human pride that lies at the root of cruelties. If your message is about redemption that comes beyond humanity and this world, your message will fall on deaf ears. This is how Babylon had fallen. This is what Isaiah is describing form the text. Even before Cyrus reigned and defeated the Babylonians as part of God’s judgment, the defeat was already inevitable. The fall began when she harbored in her thoughts and in her hearts these words, “Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure... I am the only one, and there is no other” (Isaiah 47:8, 10). God heard these words clearly. He alone has the right to claim to such position. Babylon’s declaration expressing her pride reflects the culture that touts autonomy apart from God. Such thinking is a blasphemy and will lead to destruction. Once pride is allowed to overtake our being, we start to lose our moral attitude and we deceive ourselves justifying our actions. Pride alters wise decision-making and this leads to losing our sense of right and wrong. In 1973, a group of so-called intellectuals and scholars known as American Humanist Association wrote their second manifesto that includes these words: “We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction...It is our conviction that humanism offers an alternative that can serve present-day needs and guide humankind toward the future.” This is what God said to such wisdom; “...your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray” (Isaiah 47:10). God wants to bring us to a life of redemption and salvation but it can only happen when we turn away from our pride and recognize God’s claim and right to our lives for He said, “For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9).