“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
If you have ever heard the phrase, “the seven deadly sins”, here’s where it came from. These sins aren’t listed in order, like pride is first, lying is second, murder is third, etc., but simply as seven things that God hates. Interestingly, pride is listed first. The Bible mentions many times how God hates pride:
“…pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
Lucifer the angel wasn’t satisfied to be a servant to God. He wanted to be like God. For his pride and rebellion, he and the angels who followed him were expelled from heaven for ever:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” “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.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Job 41 describes a fearsome creature known as leviathan: “…shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?” (verse 9) “…his teeth are terrible round about.” (verse 14) “…a flame goeth out of his mouth.” (verse 21) Verse 34 says, “….he is a king over all the children of pride.” That’s a comparison to the devil, since a scaly monster doesn’t hold authority over people. The phrase, “the children of pride”, also tells us that pride is one reason people don’t receive Jesus as Saviour. People can be too proud to admit that they’re sinners who need a Saviour. They may think their religion or personal goodness should satisfy God, they may worry what people will think of them if they accept Jesus, this also is pride.
2 Kings 5 tells of a Syrian captain named Naaman who was a leper. His wife’s servant was a Hebrew girl who’d been taken captive. She told Mrs. Naaman that Israel’s prophet, Elisha, could cure Naaman of his leprosy. Naaman went to see Elisha, but Elisha told a messenger to tell him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman was mad because Elisha didn’t come to him personally and because he didn’t want to wash in Israel’s Jordan River, he would rather wash in a Syrian river. Yet Elisha had specified the Jordan, so Naaman swallowed his pride and did as he was told. Seven dunks in the Jordan River later, and the leprosy was gone and Naaman was thrilled. More important than the healing, he took Israel’s God as his God.
Naaman was a tough guy, but the greatest thing he ever did was to swallow his pride. You may be a tough cop, but if you know you need Jesus as Saviour, do what Naaman did: swallow your pride and receive Him: “…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5) Come to Christ as a repentant sinner seeking forgiveness, and let Him save you by His grace. A hundred years from now, you’ll look back on that decision as the best you ever made.
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Brian Miller 8/24/2017
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822