From the 14th floor of my apartment I am looking out over the City of Singapore on an early morning as the sun peaks its way through the clouds.
Across the heavily trafficked road beneath me lies a mud-soaked lot a city block in size that is under preparation for the building of a massive apartment complex.
Boxcar-type housing of clapboard construction dot the edges of the property where imported laborers live. Like ants below, I can observe 2 or 3 of them as they pick their way through the mud while moving from one wood-framed living structure to the next.
In juxtaposition to this mired lot lie high rise apartments 25 stories in height that are architecturally modern, and possess a breathtaking view of the harbor. The expensive cars parked below give evidence of easy affluence.
In my reading this morning from Isaiah 40, I was struck with the fact that God has great contempt for anything that smacks of man’s pride, while possessing limitless compassion for the weak and downtrodden of this earth:
- “He brings princes to nothing and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing… (He) sweeps them away like chaff.” (verses 23, 24)
- “He gathers the lambs in His arms, and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young… He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (verses 11, 29)
Appearances of course can be deceiving and only God knows the condition of the heart, as people of every station in life represent both the proud and the humble.
But one must admit that humility does not come easily when one possesses what the world esteems as status and success.
So, if you happen to be among the so-called “successful” or “privileged” of this world, you may want to keep in mind God’s admonition:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24)