Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 20:1-22:2
In 1912, the “unsinkable” Titanic was launched in Liverpool, England. So haughty was the hoopla surrounding the Titanic’s safety and structural integrity that it caused dismay among some of the God-fearing public. Such pride it was felt was tempting God to show man his folly. While it’s certainly not our place 90 years later to say that what happened when ship met iceberg was God’s answer to the pride of the ship’s builders and promoters, we do know for sure 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, we have been learning about the revival of Hezekiah and 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 blessed by God not immune from the trap of pride, but they are also 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 are dangerous territory. One reason the enemy uses this trick so often is that it is so successful.
When God has blessed you, 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.