0 You have trusted in your wickedness
and have said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you
when you say to yourself,
‘I am, and there is none besides me.’
11 Disaster will come upon you,
and you will not know how to conjure it away.
A calamity will fall upon you
that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee
will suddenly come upon you.
What do secular humanists and the leaders of ancient Babylon have in common? They both dismissed the existence of the Lord…and calamity was in store for them because of their hard hearts.
Rene Descartes wrote, “I think, therefore I am.” It’s interesting to note that those two small words — I am — are also the Name that the Lord gave himself. In essence, Descartes was calling himself a god when he posed that philosophical belief.
Babylon thought she was smart and full of wisdom. In essence, she, like Descartes, was full of herself when she said, “I am, and there is none besides me.” Again, those two little words — I am — simultaneously express disdain for the God in whom they do not believe and give god-like qualities to the speaker. Surely if there is nothing existing besides oneself, then oneself must be a god.
But the Lord says over and over again in these chapters that He is God, and there is none other. Babylon paid a terrible price for her arrogance. She was overtaken by Cyrus…who, incidentally, Isaiah prophesied about BY NAME years before he was even born.
The lesson? Don’t be full of myself or arrogant in my thinking. The universe the Lord made stretches beyond my comprehension — but not beyond His.