Summary: I wonder, when something bigger than ourselves eclipses our importance, how do we feel?
Griffith Baptist Church – 3/30/08
Text: Daniel 4
Main Verse: Daniel 4:37 - 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.
For many years Sir Walter Scott was the leading literary figure in the British Empire. No one could write as well as he. Then the works of Lord Byron began to appear, and their greatness was immediately evident. Soon an anonymous critic praised his poems in a London paper. He declared that in the presence of these brilliant works of poetic genius, Scott could no longer be considered the leading poet of England.
It was later discovered that the unnamed reviewer had been none other than Sir Walter Scott himself!
I wonder, when something bigger than ourselves eclipses our importance, how do we feel?
Nebuchadnezzer faced this in this chapter
1. The Proclamation of the King – 4:1-3
2. The Revelation to the King – 4:4-18
3. The Interpretation to the King – 4:19-27
4. The Degradation of the King – 4:28-33
5. The Entire Restoration of the King – 4:34-37
Transition Statement: What are the telltale signs of Pride? These are not given for your convenience to determine in someone else’s life but to determine in your own.
1. The Signs of Pride
A. Pride Focuses on Self (4, 30)
i. A life that is wrapped up in itself makes a very small package.
ii. Our needs, wants, and life are more important than others
iii. It loves to talk about its accomplishments
iv. In fact, its feelings get hurt when no one notices what it thinks is a great deal
v. It is part of that sin nature that we battle - Mark 7:20-23 - 20And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
B. Pride is Stubborn to Acknowledge Mistakes
i. In Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ( Nobel laureate) portrays a marriage that disintegrates over a bar of soap. It was the wife’s job to keep the house in order, including provision of towels, toilet paper, and soap in the bathroom. One day she forgot to replace the soap, an oversight that her husband mentioned in an exaggerated way (’I’ve been bathing for almost a week without any soap"), and that she vigorously denied. Although it turned out that she had indeed forgotten, her pride was at stake and she would not back down. For the next seven months they slept in separate rooms and ate in silence.
’Even when they were old and placid, ’ writes Marquez, ’they were very careful about bringing it up, for the barely healed wounds could begin to bleed again as if they had been inflicted only yesterday." How can a bar of soap ruin a marriage? Because neither partner would say, ’Stop. This cannot go on. I’m sorry. Forgive me."
ii. Pride says it is right and does not want to listen
iii. It is a slap in the face to be corrected and steps on our ego
iv. It does not see any weaknesses that need to be corrected
C. Pride Cares Little for Others
i. Example: Jezebel was a wicked and uncaring queen
ii. It does not recognize the needs of others
iii. It does not seek the best for others
iv. It seeks what it can get out of it
v. It wants to be lifted up but could care less if others are lifted up more.
D. Pride Ignores God (29)
i. 12 months went by after the dream and already the King was feasting on His world which HE had built, totally ignoring God’s Word to him.
ii. We read God’s Word, think it sounds nice and than walk away unchanged.
iii. God requires change inside and out and pride interferes with that.
iv. Pride affects us as Christians in different ways:
a. Interferes with service
b. Destroys relationships (marriage, family, friends, etc)
c. Divides churches
d. Causes insubordinate attitudes (work, home, church, etc.)
e. Turns our ears off to hearing God speak
f. Allows Satan control of our heart and life
E. Pride is Eventually Judged (33)
ii. The ultimate act of pride is rejection of Jesus Christ.
iii. For Christians, it may be as simple as loss of reward, loss of blessing, or it may include physical, financial, family, and other problems that God uses to get our attention.