Summary: The attitude of pride will always be fleshed out in our actions.
When Pride Is Fleshed Out
Before we get started in our study tonight, let’s do a little review.
· What did the Lord say in Malachi 1:1-27? And why did He use such strong language?
· What was God going to do to Edom according to what we have studied so far in Obadiah?
· What were the three beliefs that Edom held about their nation that God found to be a false and an abomination to Him?
Pride is a terrible thing, and the Lord hates it. He hated it in Esau. He hated it in the nation that would develop from Esau, and He still hates it just as much today. You remember that we agreed that if I were to say, “Our deacon is a good man but he is a whoremonger,” you’d have a problem with that. But if I said, “Our deacon is a good man but is full of pride,” we’d hardly wink at it. It just shows us how different our views of sin are from God’s views. In our little book of Obadiah God wants us to see that He is completely sovereign, wonderfully holy, and full of love for mankind. These are what we refer to as some of God’s immutable traits, that is, He will never change in these things.
God gave us this book to study so we’d come to grips with pride in our own lives and remove it where we see it. Remember last week when I prayed? I asked God to deal with our pride, and because pride is so deceptive, I asked God to begin to reveal to each of us the pride we each struggle with. Let me ask you a personal question here – have you honestly allowed God to search you and show you your own pride?
· What have you seen in yourself so far?
When I prayed that, and as I have studied God has been answering my prayer. On Monday I went to the gym to work out. Now you know that it has been quite a number of years since I have lifted weights, so I have become very weak, not that I was ever all that muscled up. As I was working out these two younger guys came in and started hitting the weights pretty hard. They were doing the bench press, which I had just finished, and I felt very intimidated by how much more they were lifting than I had. As I was doing my next lift, I decided to add more weight to my bar so I wouldn’t look so wimpy next to those guys. I got a couple of lifts done and on the third attempt I just couldn’t move the weight, so there I was with this weight on me that I couldn’t get off. Fortunately for me, another guy was watching me and he ran over and got the weight off of me. I was very embarrassed and ashamed. What was all that about? Why was I so willing to put myself in such a position? Pride. That’s it. Pride. We men think we’ve go to outdo every other man at what we do, and your preacher is subject to that too. I am thankful that God revealed that bit of pride in me that I hadn’t thought about before.
Now maybe you don’t struggle with that sort of pride, but pride may still be there. In Edom there existed an attitude of superiority that led to their eventual destruction – but it didn’t have to be that way. The pride that swept their little nation caused great hatred for Israel, a nation that although they wouldn’t have admitted it, they were very envious of. Esau had been envious of Jacob, which led to Edom’s envy of Israel.
What is pride? It is above all an attitude, but it never stops with an attitude. It never stops in the mind or in the heart of a person or a people. Look up James 1:14-15 and notice the progression there. How does James say that things progress?
The attitude of pride is no different – once pride exists then you will either deal with it or it will flesh itself out in your life. That’s the law of the harvest that you find in Galatians 5. Whatever you sow you will reap. That’s how it worked in Edom. Look with me at Obadiah 10-14 and I want you to notice how Edom’s pride was fleshed out, and then notice four things the Edomites did to Israel as the result, and for which God was especially harsh on them. The Lord sums up all their actions in verse 10 by saying,
“For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off forever.”