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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

The "I" in Pride

Today's Verse:

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? ~Daniel 4:30

 

Daniel 4 describes to us the rise, fall, and recovery of King Nebuchadnezzar. He was considered one of the great kings of the past when we consider his accomplishments, advancements, military power, and conquests. Biblically, he was a tool whom God used to chasten the nation of Judah for its sins. In our reading this morning, we see a king who was obsessed with himself. In spite of recognizing the mighty hand of God in his life, he allowed his ego and self-centered vanity to exalt himself above everyone else. This morning, we are reminded of the “I” in pride.

 

We see the characteristics of pride.

Nebuchadnezzar was obsessed with the kingdom achievements that he had attained. He was unchallenged by other kings and kingdoms. He had taken captive the most intelligent and skilled, young people of other nations. His military might was second to none. The architecture and societal advancements of his kingdom were world-renowned. However, he was a man who was arrogant, conceited, and full of himself. Pride is being boastful of who we are and what we have. Pride is exalting ourselves and being a glutton for the praise of men. “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin” (Proverbs 21:4).

 

We see the condemnation of pride.

Nebuchadnezzar was given a dream that described his rise and greatness as king. The dream was not given to exalt him, but rather to caution him to give glory to the God of Heaven for what he had attained. However, he failed to heed the warning. God brought this king down to the level of a four-footed animal, and for seven years he lived as an outsider: unkempt, unclean, and humbled. Pride is a sin that God hates and calls an abomination. “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23). Pride led to Satan being ousted from Heaven. Pride led to King Herod’s death. Be careful of being proud. Be careful of believing that you are better than you really are.

 

We see the conversion from pride.

God told him that he would be greatly humbled: “until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” Did Nebuchadnezzar come to himself? Yes, he did! “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34). When we read Daniel 4:34-37, it is believed that this contains his salvation testimony. When he got his eyes off of himself and lifted his eyes to acknowledge the God of Heaven, he came to himself. More importantly, he confessed his sin, and acknowledged the sovereignty of God in his life. “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase” (Daniel 4:37).

 

The story is told of two women in Shanghai who were discussing the topic of pride and began to wonder if Hudson Taylor was ever tempted to be prideful because of his many accomplishments. One of the women decided to ask Taylor’s wife, Maria, about it. Maria promised the woman that she would find out. When Mrs. Taylor asked her husband if he was ever tempted to be proud, he was surprised. “Proud about what?” he asked. “About all of the things you have done,” his wife explained. Taylor responded, “I never knew I had done anything.”

 

[Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Walter Knight]

 

Be careful of the sin of pride! Be careful of falling into the trap of believing that you are great and leaving God out of your life.

 

Have a God-honoring God Morning!


Bible Reading Schedule: Nehemiah 7

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