Summary: Pride leading to destruction.
Pride & Destruction
Last week I started a message on Pride, the one sin that actually originated in Heaven. God had pride in everything that He created – after each creation He evaluated it and called it good. He was pleased with what He saw. He had pride in His creation. Remember one of the definitions of pride is “being satisfied with something that you do.” God was satisfied with everything that He had created. We also talked about Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction…” We used this as our foundational Scripture – for truly pride goes before destruction.
Last week I gave you a history of pride from the good use of it (God) to how it became sin when Satan used it. We read in Ezekiel 28 how Satan beheld himself and became puffed up with pride because of his beauty and perfection. Remember he was made perfect in wisdom, he was an anointed cherub and he was beautiful. He was perfect until sin was found within him – that sin was pride. Isaiah 14 tells us that because of his beauty, wisdom and everything that God had placed within him, Satan decided that he should rule heaven and replace God. He convinced a third of the angels he was correct and could pull this revolt off. Of course we know this did not happen. Instead, he was cast out of heaven. Jesus said in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven to the earth.
Finally, last week we talked about Rehoboam, Solomon’s son who became King after Solomon died. He had the opportunity to do something that would make the people love and serve him forever but chose not to do it because of pride. At the close of my message, I asked each of you to think this week about how pride influences our decisions – whether to our good or to our harm. Now as you think about the different things you encountered this week where your pride was evident, I want to take us a little farther in our understanding of how Satan uses our pride – something that should help us – to destroy us.
I talked about this a little last week, but this week I want us to really look at this Scripture and understand what it means. Because we profess this, in some way or another, Satan works overtime to really test us to see if we believe what we are professing. Remember last week when I told you that God would not share His glory with us. In Acts 12:21-23, we are told of the death of Herod. Herod was the one who beheaded John the Baptist and became friends with Pilate during Christ’s trial and crucifixion. Herod was celebrating a festival honoring Caesar when he stood and started addressing the people. The people kept shouting out loudly that this was the voice of a god and not a man. Because Herod refused to acknowledge God and allowed the people to call him divine, an angel of the Lord struck him down and he died and was eaten by worms.
Acts 12:21-23 (NIV):
(21) On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”
(22) Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
God will not share His glory with us. I told you that story to set the stage for our understanding of Philippians 4:13. It says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Last week I said that if we truly believed this we would not get offended when we are doing things and not getting credit for it. Everything that we do we are supposed to do as unto the Lord and if we apply this Scripture to that concept, then we have to conclude that we do not have a right to get offended when we are doing the things that God blessed us to be able to do. All Herod had to do was give God a little credit and he could have lived a little longer.
Jesus told Paul in II Corinthians 12:9 that “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weaknesses.” Paul had been praying about his thorn in his flesh – something that was hindering him, something that he had to contend with daily. Although we do not know exactly what it was, we know that He prayed to have it leave him and this was Jesus’ response to His request. What can we take away from this? We can take away that from this that whatever is within us, it is there because our Lord allowed it to be there and therefore we have nothing to boast about. Even when we believe that we are weak; in our moments when we are not at our best, the power of Jesus is able to bring us through. He elevates us to greatness so that regardless of what you feel on the inside, people will be able to see Jesus on the outside in what you are doing for Him.