Summary: Lessons learned from men, angels, and animals about foolish pride.
Everyone knows that the lion is the king of the jungle. One day the lion being filled with pride decided to make sure all the others knew it. He was so confident that he by-passed the smaller animals and went straight to the bear.
"Who is the king of the jungle?" the lion asked. The bear replied, "Why you are, of course" The lion gave a mighty roar of approval.
Next, he asked the tiger, "Who is the king of the jungle?" The tiger quickly responded, "Everyone knows that you are, mighty lion”
Next on the list was the elephant. The lion faced the elephant and addressed his question, "Who is the king of the jungle?"
At first, the elephant ignored him. So the lion roared, “Who is the king of the jungle? “ The elephant immediately grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around in the air five or six times and slammed him into a tree. Then he pounded him onto the ground several times, dunked him under water in a nearby lake, and finally dumped him out on the shore. The lion--beaten, bruised, and battered--struggled to his feet. He looked at the elephant and said, "Look, just because you don’t know the answer is no reason for to get mean about it!"
Today we are going to discuss pride, the animal kingdom and a pride-filled man. The Bible gives us several warnings about pride. “Pride leads to conflict,” (Proverbs 13:10), “Pride goes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18), “Pride leads to disgrace,” (Proverbs 11:2), “Pride ends in humiliation,” (Proverbs 29:33).
Let’s look at Mr. Lion. His pride led to conflict. All the other animals were unsure of their ability to stand up to the lion. They coward before him and placated him with compliments. But the elephant with held his answer and, in his pride, the lion became confrontational.
Next, his pride went before his destruction. Mr. Lion found himself being whirled through the air, slammed into a tree, smashed into the ground, and nearly drowned, before being deposited on the shore.
His pride then led him to disgrace. All the animals that had feared him so much were now in awe of the elephant. They began to reconsider who was the true king of the jungle.
Finally, his pride left him humiliated. He tried to make a comment that deflected from the fact that his pride had disgraced him and destroyed his reputation.
The danger of pride is what led Paul to write in Romans 12:3 “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
We have a tendency to measure ourselves on a basis of worldly standards. We look better then someone else. We are more fit, more successful, wealthier, more talented, and the list goes on. But Paul warns us not to evaluate ourselves too highly.
As Christians, we should evaluate ourselves based on the faith that God has given to us. In other words, we are to have a right state of mind about ourselves, being honest with ourselves about our faults. James 4:6 states, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
God paints a picture in Ezekiel of one who thought they were better than they really were. “You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone—red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald—all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created.
I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God
and walked among the stones of fire. “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. Your rich commerce led you to violence,
and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire.
Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor.
So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.” (Ezekiel 28:12-17)
Satan, whom God says was a model of perfection and exquisite in beauty, allowed pride to enter into his inner being. He became prideful in his beauty and in his role, thus his wisdom became corrupted. He thought he was better than he really was. Because of this, he was banished and thrown to earth.