O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
For you have forsaken the ways of your people, O house of Jacob. Indeed they are full of diviners from the east and of soothsayers like the Philistines, and they clasp hands with foreigners. Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. And so people are humbled, and everyone is brought low– do not forgive them! Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord, and from the glory of his majesty. The haughty eyes of people shall be brought low, and the pride of everyone shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. — Isaiah 2:5-11
In this reading we are called to compare God with man — specifically, man without God. We are told that the house of Jacob has turned its back on God. Instead of placing their hope and faith in God, they turn to diviners and soothsayers. Despite this, they have apparently found success — their land is full of gold, silver, horses and chariots; however, these are the symbols of success according to the world, not according to God. In the face of the glory of God’s majesty, we shall be brought low and be humbled.
The reason for this has to do with out nature. God, by nature, is unchanging and eternal — “You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same,” as we say in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. In comparison, we are by nature changeable and finite. God brought us out of nothing and without God to sustain us, it is to nothing that we shall eventually return.
Despite all of our efforts and despite all of the riches the world may have to offer, all of it is for nought without God. All the silver, gold, horses and chariots in the world cannot stop decay, disease or death.
In the end, we are dust. Only God, through His ineffable, incomprehensible, invisible, unchanging and eternal nature, can sustain us beyond our limited and finite nature. Only God can save. Thus, we are asked to walk in the light of God, within His indescribable and eternal glory in order to allow Him to share with us life everlasting. Amen.