Summary: Haughtiness is a deceptive sin. It's the type of sin that often traps religious people. Do you know how to recognize this sin in your life... and how to protect yourself against it?
POEM: A lion met a tiger as they drew beside a pool.
Said the tiger, "Tell me why you're roaring like a fool"
"That's not foolish," said the lion with a twinkle in his eyes.
"They call me king of all the beasts because I advertise."
A rabbit heard the talking and ran home like a streak;
He thought he'd try the lion's plan, but his roar was just a squeak.
A fox came to investigate - had luncheon in the woods,
So when you advertise, my friend, be sure you've got the goods.
That cute little poem sums up the problem with the people Sodom. Ezekiel 16:50 tells us “They were haughty.” They thought they had “THE GOODS” and so they were tried to roar because they felt superior. But like the rabbit in the woods… they paid a terrible price. God destroyed them.
Now, “haughty” is an interesting word. We often use it without giving much thought to what it actually means. So I did a study of the Hebrew word used here in Ezekiel and I found that it was a pronounced ‘gaw-bah’ and that it meant – “Lofty”, “High”, “Exalted.”
As I researched how this word was used in the Old Testament I ran across an oddity. Not only was “gaw-bah” used to describe haughty and arrogant people… it was also often used to describe God.
Psalm 103:11 “For as HIGH (gaw-bah) as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him”
Psalm 113:5 “Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on HIGH?” (gaw-bah)
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are HIGHER (gaw-bah) than the earth, so are my ways HIGHER (gah-baw) than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
When Isaiah had a vision of God in the Temple he said “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, HIGH AND LIFTED UP; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Isaiah 6:1
It seems to be a repeated theme in Scripture: God is WAYYYY UP THERE! Even pagans understood that concept. That’s why – when pagans offered their sacrifices to their pagan gods they seemed to always build their altars on the high places. They figured – the higher up they could get, the closer they’d be to their gods. So even pagans understood that God was higher than anyone else.
In fact, not only is HE higher than anyone else. but His WAYS and His THOUGHTS are higher yours (or mine). He’s wayyy smarter than we are. He’s wayyy more moral than we are. He’s wayyy more (pause) ANYTHING than we are.
Now, this idea that God is HIGH and LIFTED UP is an extremely important one, because unless we understand that God is higher than we are, and that His ways and thoughts are ABOVE ours, we have no foundation for our morality in our lives and in our society. There is no foundation for morality without a God who is higher and more exalted than we are.
ILLUS: I recently ran across this video that explains this really well (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU&t=70s entire clip)
Now, a couple of statements stood out for me in that video: The 1st was this “If atheism is true, there is no ultimate standard. So there can be no moral obligations or duties. Who or what lays such moral duties upon us? No one.” I mean – “Who says I have to do this or that? You?”
ILLUS: I was talking to a young lady a while back about this very topic. She said that on Facebook someone had asked the question “Would you date a porn star?” (Who comes up with this stuff?) It’s a bizarre question, but what was even more bizarre was that many of those who replied had no problem with that idea. Some replied: “They’re hot,” Or “They’re probably good in bed” etc. When this young lady (who was talking to me) objected to these statements she was met with derision: “Who are you to pass judgment on them? They’re just doing a job.” OR “Who do you think you are to condemn this lifestyle.”
My friend was incredulous… but she was only meeting up with people who had abandoned God’s morality. For these Facebook users, there were no ultimate standards (outside of someone's personal preferences and biases). They believed that whatever someone felt was right was right. And why? Because if God is not God… then someone else has to be. And since there is no God, I’m obviously the best qualified to decide what is moral and right in my life!
Let us be clear about something here: there’s only room at the top for one… and it ain’t you. And it ain’t me. Only God is high enough and holy enough to set the standards of what is right and moral.