"I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, . . . A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; . . . Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:2-3,5).
As our text indicates, it is not new to have people in society with a "holier than thou" attitude. Oh, it may not be fashionable today to declare it outright, but so many people give clear evidence that they feel themselves superior. Like the chief priest and the Levite in Christ's parable of the good Samaritan, they prefer to walk by the needy rather than stooping to help. Even in the church such arrogance can be a problem. James warns, "For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?" (2:2-4).
Proverbs 6 lists several things God hates and the very first is "A proud look" (v.17). Whenever we are tempted to think ourselves superior in any way, we need to take our eyes off others and fasten them upon our great God because "they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (II Corinthians 10:12).
God give us the spirit of humility, which is the beginning of true holiness. "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15). DW