Summary: Even the godliest of men and women find themselves facing the issue of pride. But pride always comes with a price.
That the Nations May Know Themselves to be but Men - Psalm 9:19-20
(Read Psalm 9:19-20) We live in a nation of NO FEAR. We’ve all seen the bumper stickers, we’ve all read the T-shirts. NO FEAR! It’s not just an American slogan. It’s an American state of mind. I would have no problem with it being the slogan or our military. I would have no problem with it being the slogan of the Westland police force. Well-trained men and women with the experience and weaponry to back up a slogan such as NO FEAR. But NO FEAR is the slogan seen on the bumper sticker of a car carrying teen-agers who have no fear, no respect, and no honor for their parents. Teen-agers who have no concern for the authority of their teachers in school. It is the slogan of many an adult who also have no use for any authority in their lives. They’ll cuss out the police officer who pulls them over for driving 45 in a 25. They’ll be found in contempt by the court that later tries them. They’ll have no respect, no use for the church, the Word of God or the man of God. No fear of the God who can, must and will judge them one day.
I would have to say that the very best word that I could come up with to describe the sin that this NO FEAR frame of mind entails is the word pride. Pride is nothing new; someone just came up with a slogan to fit it. Another word would be arrogance. Pride and arrogance always come with a price. Matthew 23:12 says And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Abased means brought low or humiliated. Over and over in the Old and New Testament we’re told that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Pride and arrogance have always been a problem for mankind but will grow in the last days. Romans 1:30 says Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents… 2 Timothy 3:2 says For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…
This sin is nothing new, just a new slogan and so many are proud to wear it as some sort of badge of courage. It comes with a price. The 9th Psalm, written by David, comes with an introduction in my Bible. The little scripts were added later; few if any came with the original writings. But they are little scripts added to help us better understand the context of the Psalm. The 9th Psalm is introduced as To the chief Musician upon Muth-labben, A Psalm of David. The word Muth-labben means death of the son.
My recollection of the Scriptures brings to my memory the death of three different sons during his lifetime. There was his infant son, born to him by Bathsheba. David in his pride went upon the housetop to survey his kingdom. While his men were out at war, where he should have been, he had stayed home. While there he spotted a young woman bathing. Her name of course was Bathsheba. David inquired as to who she was and found out that she was Uriah’s wife, one of his brave men who were off fighting for him. In what is perhaps one of the greatest stories of pride and arrogance, David has Bathsheba brought to him. He commits adultery with her and then she is found to be with child. Somebody should have just made up a big old NO FEAR bumper sticker and put it on David’s chariot. His pride and arrogance goes farther as he then tries to hide his sin by bringing Uriah home from war. When that doesn’t work, he has Uriah killed. He orders his commander to send Uriah to the front lines. David then takes Bathsheba as his wife.
But pride and arrogance have a price. Unconfessed sin and an unrepentant heart in a child of God must be dealt with. It is decreed by the prophet Nathan that this child must die. David’s heart is broken. As he weeps and mourns for his child perhaps he writes this psalm. But we look back and see in verse one that David is praising God. I will praise Thee Oh God with my whole heart. When we are humbled by God we are brought to a point where we can once again look up to God and praise Him for who He is. We get so high and mighty sometimes, full of pride and arrogance and when we do so we worship ourselves. God brings low the proud but gives grace to the humble.