Isaiah 13 … Consider Him Who Will Put an End to All Arrogance

Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
(13:11).

Chapter 13 begins “a series of prophecies against the nations… They begin with Babylon (13:1-14:23) and Assyria (14:24-27) before moving onto the smaller nations [continuing through chapter 24]. God’s coming judgment will fall not only on Israel but also on all the other nations of the world. In fact, God’s judgments on the nations are often a part of his salvation of his people…
Since in Isaiah’s day Babylon was part of the Assyrian empire, indeed one of its most important cities, it may be that this prophecy against Babylon is actually a prophecy also against the Assyrian empire.” NIV Study Bible

Isaiah does not mince words as he boldly announces to God’s people, and the nations, what is coming. And most importantly, why it is coming: God will judge their sin.

We typically don’t appreciate being confronted with our willful offenses, wrongdoings, or what we so often choose to refer to as “our mistakes,” whether in our attitudes, our words or our actions. And when faced with our guilt, our gut reaction is usually to stand up and defend ourselves. My husband often talks about this, depicting that “little defense attorney” that lives within each of us, ever ready to pompously rise up and vindicate his defendant against any and all accusations. We were born with that little guy, and he dies hard.

I am sure the citizens of the powerful Babylon put a lot of stock in their “little defense attorney.” After all, Babylon was esteemed and praised for her wealth, beauty, and military power. Many, I am sure, scoffed at the very notion that this great empire could possibly be toppled. But it will not just be Babylon; all the world will be punished for its evil. And God details this evil and wicked iniquity using four different words to reiterate this innately hideous condition within the heart of man, “arrogance, proud, haughtiness, ruthless.”

Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.
(13:11).

For sin, at its very inception, has as its root in arrogance:

In the heavens:
“How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13 “But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God…”
(Isaiah 14:12-13).

In the garden:
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate, (Genesis 3:5-6).

In all the world:
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world, (1 John 2:16).

Four words used by God. Four words emphasizing the plight emanating from out of the depths of the depravity of man.

arrogance: 1347. גָּאוֹן gāʾôn: A masculine noun designating pride, majesty, arrogance, excellence…”

proud: 2086. זֵד zēḏ: An adjective meaning proud, arrogant…”

haughtiness: “1346. גַּאֲוָה gaʾawāh: A feminine noun referring to majesty, pride, arrogance; rage…”

ruthless: 6184. עָרִיץ ʿāriyṣ: An adjective meaning ruthless, strong, violent. It refers to a ruler, a master, or anyone who behaves ruthlessly toward his subjects: tyrants… It indicates a person of insolence, violence… A ruthless person is proud, haughty…”

Our English definition of arrogance clearly details the ramifications of this destructive heart malady.

From wordhippo.com:
Arrogance: The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; lordliness; haughtiness; self-assumption; presumption.
arrogating: To appropriate or lay claim to something for oneself without right.” wordhippo.com

Arrogance is described as a species of pride, a type of manifestation of pride that acts out in an overbearing manner. Arrogance will exalt our own importance and blind our eye to the Omnipotent God, while overestimating our own worth and power as to deny the truth that there is none who can thwart His will, His fury or His anger.

God’s judgment is difficult to read about; but how much more will it be to endure? And I was struck with this thought: the widespread reach of His destruction is tantamount to the pervasive depth of the iniquity of man.

And when it is time, it is time. He Will Put an End to All Arrogance.

 And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans’ pride,
Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
(13:19).

Consider Him Who Will Put an End to All Arrogance

  • He Will Put an End to All Arrogance at His Command.
    •  I have commanded My consecrated ones,
      I have even called My mighty warriors,
      My proudly exulting ones,
      To execute My anger,
      (13:3).
  • He Will Put an End to All Arrogance as the Lord of Hosts.
    • A sound of tumult on the mountains,
      Like that of many people!
      A sound of the uproar of kingdoms,
      Of nations gathered together!
      The Lord of hosts is mustering the army for battle,
      (13:4).
  • He Will Put an End to All Arrogance with His instruments of indignation.
    • They are coming from a far country,
      From the farthest horizons,
      The Lord and His instruments of indignation,
      To destroy the whole land,
      (13:5).
  • He Will Put an End to All Arrogance by desolation and extermination.
    • Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
      Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
      To make the land a desolation;
      And He will exterminate its sinners from it,
      (13:9).
  • He Will Put an End to All Arrogance causing all creation to tremble and shake.
    • Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
      And the earth will be shaken from its place
      At the fury of the Lord of hosts
      In the day of His burning anger,
      (13:13).
  • He Will Put an End to All Arrogance when it is time.
    • Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers
      And jackals in their luxurious palaces.
      Her fateful time also will soon come
      And her days will not be prolonged,
      (13:22).

How do we respond to Him Who Will Put an End to All Arrogance?

It is not easy to consider His judgment that is coming; it sounds so severe, and perhaps even offensive, to our sympathetic side. But we must recognize that He must Put an End to All Arrogance, that He, and He alone, will be exalted.

The pride of man will be humbled
And the loftiness of men will be abased;
And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
(Isaiah 2:17).

I learned something new today. I never realized that there was a verb form of arrogance, and that we can actually engage in this practice of “arrogating.” And as we all know, every one of our actions flow from what is within our hearts. So then, it is not arrogating that is the real issue, but it is our arrogance within. Our words and actions merely reveal the true condition or our hearts.

“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil,” (Matthew 12:34-35).

And we must never be careless in guarding the good treasure of a humble heart.

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life,
(Proverbs 4:23).

While our eternity is secure and guaranteed, we must never be cavalier towards God’s righteous expectations for us here on earth. We are to live as citizens of Heaven, eagerly awaiting in humility and obedience until He comes again.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself, (Philippians 3:2-21).

Oh, let us never take for granted that He Will Put an End to All Arrogance, and that includes in us; for if there is anything at all good in us, it is only by His grace.

But by the grace of God I am what I am… (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Let us ask the Lord to reveal to us any arrogance, pride or haughtiness that would lead to the most ruthless of behaviors: looking for faults in others in order to exalt ourselves.

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted,” (Luke 18:9-14).

Lord, forgive us our arrogance we pray. Please, Lord give us Your great grace of humility, that each day we would mourn our sin and submit to You, that You would have Your way. Please Lord, Put an End to All Arrogance in us.

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you, (James 4:6-10).

Let’s Grow Together!

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