Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride is a dreadful sin, for it places us just a little bit better than our fellowmen. Just a little bit smarter, a little bit nicer.
We are not like…….them….
Pride sees that “I am right”. Therefore we argue easily.
Pride sees that “I deserve more”. Therefore we envy, and are jealous of others who have, before we do, or more than we do.
Pride leads us to try and shut out everyone else, because they are not as “good” as we are.
I have never found “pride” in scripture in a good sense.
It was the sin of the devil:
Isaiah 14:12-14 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will set also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”
Lucifer,(who became the Devil)….was the highest of angelic beings….
but pride was found in him….and he rebelled against God….wanting to take over God’s throne and rule….and so was “cut down to the ground”…thrown out of heaven. (Ezekiel 28:14-16, 17)
(The opposite of pride is humility.
To be humble is to place yourself in the right place before God…..right where we are….not want to be…..wish to be…..or where we want others to see us…
…but where we are….
….and then, will to change anything that displeases Him.)
Pride was found in the first sin:
Genesis 3:4-6 “And the serpent (the devil in disguise) said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
When the woman “saw”…..the temptation of “being like gods”…..took hold on Eve and she saw this forbidden tree with new desire:
first,…she had plenty of trees for food….but the first thought to lead her on, was to “eat it….for food.”
Then she suddenly noticed how “beautiful” it was….
…..and…then she wanted that “like god” stuff……pride came in and she lusted after that newfound knowledge! (And we know where that took her.)
1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world.”
The world around us,…..would not call these sin,….no, no, they are:
…satisfaction of the body,…we have to have that, we are human.
….gratification of the eyes,….who does not love beauty and form.
….and a sense of pride in your accomplishments….what is wrong with feeling good about “me”
….and how many are drawn away by these very temptations?
So simple….they could not be sin.
Such little steps….they could not be wrong.
But they are.
They all play on our desire for pride in ourselves.
Not to take our place before God in repentance, or faith, or obedience….but….
…..pride in us.
Pride is always against God,…..for when we exalt or rise up in our thoughts ,…..God becomes less in our eyes,…..in our hearts…..and in our actions.
An example of pride,and the pursuit of position…..is Lot.
Abraham told Lot that the whole land was before them….and he gave Lot the opportunity to choose which way he would go….and Abraham would go the other way….so that their herdsman would not fight over grass.
Lot “lifted up his eyes” (Genesis 13:10). Lot should have humbled himself and let God choose….God would have not sent him toward Sodom….
….but Lot’s eyes “saw” a useful pasture, a beautiful valley,……..and a place where he could get up in the world….become “somebody important”.
Proverbs 16:5, 8 “Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues without right.”
Even, later when Lot was taken as a captive by an invading army…..and Abraham saved him and his family…..
….Lot did not humble himself and choose to follow the Lord…..
…..no, he went back to Sodom….
and in his pride of place,…
…..eventually….he lost his family to sin, and destruction.
An example of learning from God’s correction about pride is Nebuchadnezzar….the king of Babylon.
Proud of…”his accomplishments “….of “his power”(God warned him of his abuse of power with other people)…..of “his great city” (unconquerable)….
….yet in a moment, brought to madness and made like a beast before his court and people. (Daniel 4:27-31)
Yet, after a time….when his reason is restored….he does not return to his old ways, but:
Daniel 4:37 “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all Whose works are truth, and His ways judgement: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.”
Paul warns, that in the last days….”…men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,…….lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof:…” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
They will go along with the form of religion….saying the Bible is God’s Word….but taking out the power of His sovereignty……the power of the resurrection of Christ….the power of the Holy Spirit’s rule….
….”from such turn away”. (In 1 Peter 5:12-15 the leaders we are to listen to, is spoken of)
But then Paul goes on to speak to Timothy…..and us…about what we should do….2 Timothy 3:14-17:
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of,…..that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect (sanctified), thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
In other words…..keep following Christ as Lord and Savior…..continuing to follow His Word,….His correction by the Holy Spirit….His leading into the “good works” the Lord has for you.
There is no pride of life here…..but a sincere desire to honor the Lord and be useful to Him….in all the days we are given…..love is there, not pride.
Pride is “to rise up, a swelling, majesty”….all are used to magnify “us”….our knowledge, our place, our calling from God.
And pride is always against God….for when we “rise up”….the Lord becomes less in our eyes….in our hearts….in our actions.
Let us pray for wisdom to see ourselves in the Light of His Word by His Holy Spirit….that we may put away pride…..and humble ourselves under the Mighty Hand of God.