“The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted, and they will be humbled.” - Isaiah 2:12
“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” - Luke 2:12
From the Tower of Babel until the Saturn V rocket, human beings have been enamored with high and lofty things. Anything which can elevate ourselves in our own eyes and “make a name for ourselves” brings us a carnal joy called “pride”… a heady intoxicant which causes immediate loss of perspective and irreverence toward God. Isaiah 2 describes a series of lofty things which God will delight in reducing to size:
“The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted and they will be humbled: for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of man humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”
God opposes all human arrogance, and this list of tall things is meant to symbolize that arrogance. God will not accept us vaunting ourselves up in His presence, for of such is the essence of Satan’s warfare against the Almighty. Satan is a proud spirit who longs to be worshipped and exalted. We behave like Satan when we exalt ourselves.
God has shown us a more excellent way. When Christ entered the world, God chose the lowest possible doorway: a manger in lowly Bethlehem. Infinite was the stooping the Second Person of the Trinity had to do to enter this world. But such a stoop was the essence of His first journey here. In humility He carried Himself like a bondslave to the world, and the manger characterized His heart: “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20). The stoop of the manger in Bethlehem is also our own way of salvation. He lowered Himself to death on a cross, and now calls on us to lower ourselves and enter a narrow gate through faith in His name (Matt. 7:13).
"Anything which can elevate ourselves in our own eyes and 'make a name for ourselves' brings us a carnal joy called 'pride'… a heady intoxicant which causes immediate loss of perspective and irreverence toward God."
Yet, while this lowly manger symbolized His first journey here, a white steed and a sword will symbolize His second journey (Rev. 19:11,15). He will use that sword to level every high and lofty monument to human arrogance. Anyone who refuses to stoop, who refuses to bend and bow in humility, who builds a lofty tower and ascends it in self-worship, anyone like this will be eternally humbled. Now is the time to leave the lofty towers of Isaiah 2:12, and to learn the lessons of the lowly manger in Luke 2:12.