Sometime ago Pastor Josh Patterson at The Village Church shared this verse from Isaiah:
But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands.
This is the previous verse in Isaiah to help provide some context:
As for the scoundrel–his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right.
The ESV heading for Isaiah 32 is titled “A King Will Reign in Righteousness”.
Something about the imagery and wording of this passage in Isaiah really struck me at the time. When you think of the word noble it conjures up someone who is “great” but they are great because of their attitude of service, selflessness and the champion of the weak and poor. In more modern times we might think of the noble efforts of Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela among others.
When I think of the who was noble in the Bible, Christ is of course (and unsurprisingly) is the best example. His sacrifice to become human, be tortured and killed on behalf of humanity was the noblest of sacrifices. In my mind I equate what Christ did to becoming an ant or an amoeba only a 1000 times worse.
As a Christian being of noble character is very important and we are constantly reminded of it through out the New Testament. For example in Acts we are called to have servant hearts and be selfless:
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
There are times in our lives when we don’t want to live as we are called to live. I know when I get tired, frustrated, envious, lustful and all the other traits of a fallen man I really just want to worry about me. In those times Isaiah 32:8 is a good reminder to “plan noble things” and “stand on noble things”. It maybe hard but its right and true and most importantly Christ like.