“10All of them will speak and say to you: “You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!” 11Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your harps; maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering. 12How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly on the heights of Zaphon; 14I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.” 15But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit.”
If there is one creature that reminds all of their humanity and finiteness, it would be the maggot. As Judah is restored by God to a position of power and respectability, the maggots are brought to mind as they taunt a nation that saw itself as powerful, Babylon. A maggot, something that comes to life out of the death of another creature. They aren’t pretty. They aren’t particularly useful or necessarily wanted around. They are a symbol of decay even in the Bible. And to tell a nation, in the time of Isaiah that they too will decay and die is a word of power spoken of God and only God is able to bring about. Words of comfort for the people of Israel when they aren’t so powerful, and feel abandoned by God themselves. The people need only to trust in God’s steadfast love, something we too need to hear in moments when we are reminded of our humanity too.
Almighty God, we draw our hearts to you and so pray that in those moments we feel the restrictedness of our humanity, you will be our comfort. A very present help in times of trouble and guide to that infinite glory of rest with your Son, our Lord, Amen.