The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
The haughty people of the earth do languish. The proud are an offence unto God. It is not the rich who find it so difficult to enter the kingdom of God; it is they who "trust in riches," who boast of their riches, who make their riches the occasion for despising others.
I. THE FUTURE IS AGAINST THE HAUGHTY NATURALLY. Fortune tells upon precisely those things in which they pride themselves. The picture of trembling, suffering old age, given in the Book of Ecclesiastes, is designed as a warning to the proud. See what you are certainly coming to who admired your fine persons, made so much of your independence, and pampered your appetites and passions. The picture of old age is not that of the ordinary man, but of the haughty, masterful sensualist, the sinner of the high places of society, whose iniquity comes back upon him. It is enough for haughty folk to live; life becomes their humbling and their chastisement.
II. THE FUTURE IS AGAINST THE HAUGHTY PROVIDENTIALLY. For they cannot win love. Everybody serves them in fear or for pay; and so, oftentimes, their very grandeur is undermined by those about them, their riches takes wings and fly away, their dependents take advantage of their times of weakness, and all are glad to see the haughty humbled. Striking illustration may be found in the career of Squire Beckford, of Fonthill. An insufferably austere and haughty man, the providences were against him. His mansion fell with a crash. His projects failed. He was humbled to the dust, and died almost a beggar.
III. THE FUTURE IS AGAINST THE HAUGHTY JUDICIALLY. For God must punish pride. It cannot be allowed to lift up its bead. The Lord hath a controversy with it. Nebuchadnezzar eats grass like an ox. "Babylon is fallen, is fallen" - Babylon, the type of the haughty. Belshazzar sees the recording finger write the judgment of the proud. God will bring into contempt all the proud of the earth. "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." Time is on the side of the meek. Time is against the haughty. The judgments of God gather, like black thunder-clouds, against those whose hearts are lifted up. The storm will burst in the ever-nearing future. The haughty man's prosperity may blossom as a garden of delights; but God will breathe his blight upon it, and behold, as in our text, "the haughty people of the earth do languish." Then, with a true fear, let us "humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.