The Meaning of Isaiah 2:22
“Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isaiah 2:22). In order to understand this passage, we have to read the context for which it is written. Here, Isaiah is describing the scenes that are yet to come upon the earth in the response of justice with those who have knowingly rejected God’s mercy and violated His law. If such is to be the fate of evil men, why trust longer in them?
God’s people were trusting in their own cleverness and in the assistance of their heathen neighbors. Instead, they ought to turn to God and find in Him their help and strength. The importance of the words of Isaiah, “Cease ye from man,” is similar to that of Christ’s admonition to His disciples as recorded in Mathew 10:17, “Beware of men.”
God warned Israel not to place their trust in human strength, either their own or that of such neighboring nations as Egypt and Assyria, but rather to have confidence in what He could and would do for them, if they remain faithful to Him. As at the Red Sea, at Jericho, etc., God proved the sufficiency of His strength.
The words “whose breath” emphasize the frailty of the life of man. It was God who gave man breath and life, and when his breath leaves him, life ceases. Therefore, why depend upon frail, mortal beings for help when God promises to provide guidance and strength?
The phrase “wherein is he to be accounted of” can also mean “of what value is he?” Men brag about themselves and set themselves up in defiance against the great God of heaven, rejecting His word and refusing to walk in His ways. So, the prophet Isaiah stresses that these men will be lost, together with the things they have made, whereas God and truth will never stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).
In His service,