“The Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”
In the day of the Lord, God’s splendor and majesty will be exalted as superior over everything that man has created and over anything that man has achieved as a means of his own self-exaltation.
Three times in this chapter Isaiah refers to God displaying “the splendor of his majesty.” Twice he says, “The Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” This is the purpose of God in creation and history: Manifesting his splendor and majesty above everyone and everything.
The exaltation of God’s majesty also means the humbling of man’s arrogance. Twice Isaiah says, “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled.” However — and it is critical to see this — the ultimate goal is not the punishment of pride, but a return to humility.
“Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath,” Isaiah says in the final verse of the chapter, “for of what account is he?”
Here is what Isaiah is saying to Judah in his generation and to us in ours: Stop the arrogant insanity of being so pleased with what you create, and rejoice in the splendor and majesty of our God. The Lord alone is going to be exalted. Everything else is coming down.
Repent. Turn from your love affair with the work of your hands. Give up your arrogant idolatry. The Lord alone will be exalted. Be pleased with his exaltation! Be pleased with his infinite superiority! Let his exaltation be your gladness and your boast.
Paul said it in 2 Corinthians 10.17: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
One way or the other, everyone will eventually bow to the lordship of Jesus. Many will do so through faith and repentance, and many more will do so through judgment and condemnation. Either way, Jesus will be proclaimed as Lord and God will be glorified.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2.9-11)