The Hot Air Of Hauteur

“Praise Jehovah; praise Jehovah, O my soul. While I live I will praise Jehovah; I will sing praises to my God while I have being. Put not your trust in nobles, in a son of man, for there is no salvation in him. His breath will go out, he returns to the earth; his thoughts perish in that day. Blessed is he who has the God of Jacob in his help; his hope is on Jehovah his God” (Psalm 146:1-5).

The NKJV translates verse 4b: “In that very day his plans perish.” The Psalmist describes how the hot air of hauteur is rapidly released from man’s boisterous balloon. Similarly, the apostle James speaks to the careless and presumptuous boast of business, travel, and day-to-day life maintenance:

“Come now, those saying, Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, and we will spend one year there, and we will trade and will make a profit, who do not know of the morrow. For what is your life? For it is a mist, which for a little while appears, and then disappears. Instead of you saying, If the Lord wills, even we will live, and we will do this or that; but now you boast in your presumptions. All such boasting is evil” (James 4:13-16).

And another related Scripture that highlights the hubris of misplaced trust, inordinate focus on self, and covetousness:

“And one from the crowd said to Him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. But He said to him, Man, who appointed Me a judge or a divider over you? And He said to them, Beware, and keep back from covetousness; for one’s life is not in the abundance of the things which are his. And He spoke a parable to them, saying, A certain rich man produced well from the land. And he reasoned within himself, saying, What may I do, for I have nowhere I may gather my fruits? And he said, I will do this; I will tear down my barns and I will build larger; and I will gather there all my produce and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take rest, eat, drink, and be glad. But God said to him, Fool! This night they demand your soul from you; and that which you prepared, to whom will it be? So is he treasuring up for himself, and not being rich toward God” (Luke 12:13-21).