Summary: The danger of pride in our life
“Perils of Pride”
Intro: Who are our heroes? Whether it be John Wayne or Billy Graham or zzzzz, normally they are ones who have distinguished themselves by doing great things. But there is often a temptation to those who excel. It is called pride. Now I’m sure that no one here struggles with pride, but we probably all know someone who does, so we’ll talk a little about it this morning.
Let’s think of some sports stars. One of the most famous teams has been the Chicago Bulls. There is one player who has great skill named Dennis Rodman. Now, Dennis loves to show off, from multi-colored hair, to cross-dressing, to posing nude for magazine covers, to questionable relationships. There is another player on the team, though, with greater ability, named Michael Jordan. Now one of the things that is notable about Michael Jordan is his gentle, humble personality. He loves to play basketball, but he doesn’t brag about himself.
Think back a few years to a boxer named Mohammed Ali. I can still remember his interviews with Howard Cosell with Ali grabbing the mike in the interview and shouting, “I am the greatest, I am the greatest.” He was a man of great personal pride. Yet, a few years ago at the Olympics, Ali came to receive a replacement medal for one he had won years before. He was driven out on a golf cart, and was barely able to speak a few sentences: he struggles with a crippling illness. His pride is reduced by his physical health.
We all are affected by pride. This morning we want to take a look at what God has to say about it. Turn with me to Ezekial 28. Read 28:1-10 --PRAY
Background - Ezekiel offers God’s judgment against the city of Tyre and its king in chapters 26-28. Tyre was one of the oldest cities. It grew to be a city of great wealth through its trading. Tyre was a city inside the northern boundary of Israel. In Joshua 19, we see that the city was to have been inhabited by the tribe of Asher. Yet, as the tribes moved in, the city was never taken. It remained in the control of the Phoenecians. As it grew to great wealth, that wealth could have belonged to Israel if the Jews would have simply obeyed God’s command to go in and take the land.
##Often we lose the blessings that God has in store for us because we do not obey him.
We see during the reigns of King David and then his son Solomon, Hiram, King of Tyre, forms a partnership supplying resources for building the temple. A later king of Tyre named Ethbaal had a daughter who married the King of the northern kingdom. Her name was Jezebel. And she and her husband Ahab were more evil than any other rulers before them 1 Kings 16 tells us. During the time of Ezekiel, the king of Tyre is a man named Ethbaal II.
The book of Ezekiel is set during the time of the fall of the southern kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom of Israel had fallen years before in 722 BC. It now is about 590 BC. The southern kingdom of Judah is falling to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Jeremiah is preaching to the Jews in Jerusalem. Daniel is at the court of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. Ezekiel is with the displaced Jews in captivity in the Babylonian kingdom. The king of Tyre is resisting Nebuchadnezzar, fighting against him. Jeremiah had prophecied the word from God that those who resisted Nebuchadnezzar would be destroyed. And now Ezekiel pronounces a judgment upon this city fo Tyre.
What are the lessons we learn from this chapter?
I. Pride is Prominent. - there are many proud people
The king of Tyre had claimed to be a god (vs.2). This sounds pretty presumptous on his part. But one who is filled with pride will go to the extreme.
A. He saw his deity in his accomplishments - he thought he sat on the “throne of a god” (2). He boasted in the wealth and grandeur of the city of Tyre. He worshipped his possessions.
##There are many who worship their possessions: having a nice house, a car with a special emblem, a poor, living in a neighborhood association with prestige, belonging to the “in” group.
Holding a special “title” before our name -- getting certain credentials for our work
--How do we show our pride by our accomplishments?
B. He saw his deity in his wisdom - he thought himself wise
(4) - he had gained wealth and treasures by his wisdom. If we read through chapter 27 we see his great trading accomplishments. He had gained much through wise trading. Yet, he failed to give God credit for that wisdom; instead he glorified himself.