Continuing on with ideas of how we depend upon other things rather than God, let’s look at another aspect of Tyre’s sinful dependence:
“Whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth?” (Is. 23:8b). Oh, to be honored! Don’t we all crave that? Well, maybe I”m the only one. I love to be called out for attention.
I remember being a part of a girls’ organization. I was most likely 15 years old. Every winter we went up to a cabin in the mountains. Most likely there were 50 of us. At the end of the weekend, the adults announced, “There has been one of you girls who has really helped us adults all weekend, serving in the kitchen and being available. We want to honor her.”
I don’t remember her name, but they announced her name and then gave her some little gift. That’s not important. But what was important, was my immediate response. I thought, “Well, if I’d known there was an award for it, I would have helped in the kitchen too!” OUCH!!!! I immediately recognized even as a selfish teenager my sinful desire. I only wanted to serve if it would give me something. The girl with the award never expected any recognition, because the adults had never done that before. Come to think of it–maybe because none of us girls ever helped in the kitchen!
I wanted to be honored. What a sad motivation. And it’s a sinful self-protective strategy to make sure I get what I’m sure I need. It’s sinful because I’m not trusting God for His provision. I’m going to make sure I get it. It’s “self-protective” because I’m protecting myself from missing out on what I’ve determined I should have and need to have.
The opposite of that is to trust God by humbling ourselves. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Now the exalting isn’t supposed to be our motivation. But if we humble ourselves, God is most gracious to often exalt us.
Lord, help me to trust you enough to believe you can provide all I need–even honor and exaltation.