Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 20:1-22:2 (additional reading: Psalm 150:1-6 and Proverbs 18:9-10)
In 1912 the “unsinkable” Titanic was launched in Liverpool, England. While it’s certainly not our place 100 years later to say that what happened when ship met iceberg was a result of the pride of the ship’s builders and promoters, we do know for certain that their pride was misplaced and the “unsinkable ship” took 1500 lives with it to the bottom of the ocean.
The Titanic was one famous case of Pride coming before a fall. Less known to us today–but probably of greater spiritual benefit is the case of Hezekiah at the end of His life. For the last few days you have been reading about the revival of Hezekiah–of how his life and reign pleased the Lord and how the Lord responded by pouring out his blessings, how the Lord visited his people in revival power because of the king’s faithful leadership.
After Hezekiah’s miraculous healing, which came after His miraculous victory over the ancient World’s only superpower, Hezekiah develops a problem, the problem of pride. When the king of Babylon sends “messengers” with a get well gift he invites them in and shows them not only all of his wealth but all of his weaponry, as if to say to them, “this is how we defeated the king of Assyria.” The moral of this story? Not only are those who have been blessed by God not immune from the trap of pride, they are probably more susceptible to it.
Charles Spurgeon was keenly aware of the dangers of pride. After his sermon one Sunday, Spurgeon was met by a woman who exclaimed, “Oh, Mr. Spurgeon, that was wonderful.” “Yes, madam,” Spurgeon replied, “so the devil whispered in my ear as I came down the steps of the pulpit.” Spurgeon understood that God’s blessings wrongly construed as our own accomplishments is dangerous territory. One reason the enemy uses this trick so often is that it is so successful.
When you have been blessed by God, beware the problem of pride. Be quick to give glory to God for his blessings. Be not anxious to draw attention to self, because pride indeed does come before a fall.
- How does pride affect you?
- How can you be quick to give all glory to God?
Father, Thank You that You are a great, great God. Thank You for giving us victories and things to be proud about, but help us never to be prideful. Help us to recognize that everything we achieve is done by the grace and power You give us. In Jesus’ name, Amen