Daniel 4:37 “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
We all have it.
We all fall prey to it.
Many of us have had to deal with the pride of others as it’s fruit was displayed.
We have seen the devastating consequences of those who don’t deal with their pride.
I found it so very interesting as I read Daniel chapter 4-6 today.
First, chapter four starts out with revealing our writer, Nebuchadnezzar the king. His letter to his people of the testimony that followed became the Word of God. He goes on to testify how he found himself in the position of pride.
Daniel 4:29-30 “At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”
He had heard just 12 months earlier, how God was going to bring him low; how he was going to wander in the wilderness seven days and be transformed into the likeness of a beast. And immediately after the king spake those words, a voice from Heaven told him of the things to come.
The correction he received was witnessed by the whole kingdom. They saw him with feathers as an eagle, claws – talons if you will – on his hands and feet. He ate of the grass of the field and lived in the wilderness.
At the end, he was restored to his former place and position. He was corrected in his soul and spirit. So much so, that he wrote that verse I used as our text today. It spoke to me in this fashion that when you and I see ourselves humbly for what we are and then see God for who He is; praise for our God will come easy.
One of the signs we can discern pride is how much we talk about ourselves. Our situation and circumstance; our ‘tale of woe’ if you will.
Pride causes us to play the victim card.
“No one has it as bad as ‘I’ do!”
Sometimes, it is more subtle. Social media today has allowed the sin of pride to flourish. Whether it is the abundance of ‘selfies’, or multitudes of pictures of what we are eating, where we are going or who we are with; we think our life is worthy of everyone’s notice.
We look to those who feed our addiction with likes and comments. It has been scientifically proven that the same dopamine hit your brain gets from heroin or cocaine is released when we see a ‘like’ or a comment pop up on our social media.
These people become our ‘Facebook friends’ – try to find those very same friends when you have to move… This is a very real problem today. We all can fall prey to it if we are not careful.
I also saw this today. Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son who succeded him on the throne, followed a very prideful and destructive path. I am sure he had his own demons, but he also had his father’s example.
After a particularly bold move on his part, Belshazzar took the holy vessels they had taken from the temple when Nebuchadnezzar had brought all Israel into captivity, and used them for turned into an all night party.
God sent a message by way of a visible hand to write it on the wall of the palace.
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
After he read it, he was troubled – to say the least!
Daniel 5:6 “Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”
Needless to say, it was a sobering moment. He wanted to know what the message meant. Of course, any message from God needs God’s man to interpret it. No unsaved or heathen will be able to tell what “Thus saith the Lord…” truly means without the Holy Spirit guiding him. Daniel was summoned and was asked to interpret.
Basically, he told the king, “You’ve been weighed and measured and have been found wanting.” God did not take long in executing the judgment on Belshazzar – within 24 hours, the king was dead.
Then, a man, Darius, took over the kingdom and was put in position as king. He is the same king who was tricked by wicked men to place Daniel in the lion’s den for praying; only to see God’s hand deliver Daniel. He swiftly passed judgment on those men and cast not only them but their whole family as well.
“Daddy, why are we getting thrown into the lion’s den?” might have been heard by one of the little ones who didn’t quite understand why all this was happening to them.
The sin of pride has long reaching tendrils into the lives of all those around us. We are all susceptible to it… and our enemy knows it.
It is one of his most powerful and ready weapons. It is one he is most familiar with.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! howart thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Satan’s ultimate goal is to get us to want to be our own god or a god unto ourselves. Lucifer’s judgment was just as swift:
Luke 10:17-20 “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.“
The disciples had just come from seeing the mighty power of God displayed through works they were told to do. The dead were raised, lepers healed and the blind received their sight.
Jesus saw the same thing in them that was in Lucifer – pride. He took the time to show them just where the power they wielded came from and Who it is they should praise and thank for it.
The only true way to combat the pride in our own life it be in submission to the Holy Spirit’s leading on a moment-by-moment, day-to-day basis.
James 4:6-8 “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
1 Peter 2:13-16 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”
Dear child of God, we have been brought to this day by His grace, His mercy and His saving power. Pride; our pride is the direct enemy to anything our Heavenly Father would want to do in us. It will steal our joy. It will destroy the rewards we have worked so hard to acquire and infect all those around us.
Ask God to search your heart for any pride in which we may be in bondage. Humbly submit to God’s will today. Allow God to decide you path, your thoughts, your friends, your dreams and your words. He has earned the right. He paid a dear price for that right. It belongs to Him.