And I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed, everyone by another and everyone by a neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base to the honorable. Someone will even seize a relative, a member of the clan, saying, “You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule.” — Isaiah 3:4-6
In the images that Isaiah uses for the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem is a metaphor for humanity’s relationship with God. When we turn our back on God, what we have left is the equivalent of boy princes ruling over a heap of ruins. God created us from nothing and without Him, it is to nothing that we shall return. Thus, no matter how much power and wealth we may be able to attain in this world, it is all for naught because we can’t take it with us to the grave. All the power and gold in the world might as well be a heap of ruins for all the good that it does us without God — the One who sustains the world.
Reading this passage, I am reminded of the atheistic societies of the 20th century and all of the damage — economically, culturally, environmentally and personally — that they managed to inflict upon the world in less than a century. My wife grew up in Communist Romania, and one of the many examples of the black humor that arises out of a people yoked under such a rule is this observation:
If the communists were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, within five years they’d be importing sand.
In the end, the leaders of the atheistic societies were boys presiding over a heap of ruins, insisting that they were at the cusp of a utopia the entire time. They are a living, historic example of the delusion that says we don’t need God.