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Summary: Two observations concerning pride

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Esther 6:1-14

Pride

Woodlawn Baptist Church

September 5, 2004

Introduction

Did you hear the story about the two ducks and a frog who lived happily together in a farm pond? Being the best of friends, the three would amuse themselves and play together in their waterhole. When the hot summer days came, however, the pond began to dry up, and soon it was evident they would have to move. This was no problem for the ducks, who could easily fly to another pond. But the frog was stuck. So it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck that the frog could hang onto with his mouth as they flew to another pond. The plan worked well--so well, in fact, that as they were flying along a farmer looked up in admiration and mused, "Well, isn’t that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?" The frog said, "I did..."

Of all the sins with which we struggle, perhaps pride is the worst. Just when you think you’ve got it licked, it rears its old ugly head again, and just when you think you don’t struggle with it, there it is, in the most unwanted and surprising places. Remember I told you last week that pride is the one disease that seems to make everyone sick except the person who has it. But I want to expand on that thought for just a moment. There will be times, and perhaps have been times when pride is in your life and no one knew about it or recognized it, but God did, and whether anyone else in the world sees or cares about attitudes of supremacy or haughtiness in your life is unimportant, for what really matters is that God hates it. Pride is a spiritual disease; a spiritual cancer if you will that attacks you from within and is most often unrecognizable until it has grown to the point that drastic surgery is required to get rid of it. The kind of surgery that I am talking about is that surgery mentioned in the book of Hebrews, where the writer said,

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Spiritual surgery, performed by God in the person of the Holy Spirit, using the instrument of His holy Word to lay you open and reveal what’s really in your heart and mind, not with the intent of hurting you, but of helping you. You don’t treat an infection by putting a band-aid over it – you’ve got to get to the source of the problem, and so often, whether we realize it or not, it is pride that hinders us in our relationships with God and with others. It is pride that keeps us from enjoying intimacy with God. It is pride that keeps you from enjoying intimacy with your spouse or with your parents or with your children. It is pride that keeps a person from admitting his sin before God so he might be saved. It is pride that deceives and destroys, and today what you must be able to do is take an honest look at your life through the lenses of God’s piercing Word to see if it present in your own life so you can determine what God would have you do with it.

As we read the 6th chapter of Esther this morning, I want you to keep a verse from Proverbs in mind. It is Proverbs 29:23, and it says,

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.”

“On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. And the king said, What honor and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honor more than to myself? And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honor, Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: and let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honor, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor. Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and bought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor. And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.”

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