“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit, before a fall” Proverbs 16:18. The end result of pride more often than not, is destruction. Why? Because it’s wired to work that way. A proud person is provocative to fellow humans and rejected by God. As I have said, one too many times, God would never work with a proud person. Either He breaks that pride off that person or He finds someone else for the purpose. Today we’d be looking deeper into the word pride through the lens of the Scriptures.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom” Proverbs 11:2. Haman must have been a very diligent man. He must have had something in him that made him become the king’s aide. However, he also had something else, pride. I don’t mean confidence but arrogance, pure arrogance. He used his position to oppress the people of God and boasted a lot in his status. But just as Proverbs 11:2 says, his pride soon brought him disgrace. It became the end of him. Just as always, pride and oppression go hand in hand. A proud person is usually guilty of oppressing those he considers lower than himself. Haman was blinded by pride and he oppressed the Jews greatly. While he was planning how he would ruin the Jews, he was invited to a banquet by Queen Esther, a Jew. It was there he the signed off his disgrace (Esther 3: 1-6; 5: 9-14). At the end of the day, his plans to ruin the Jews backfired…how embarrassing! Had he been a little humbler, wisdom would have saved him but pride and foolishness are not that far apart. He lost his life, part of reasons, being pride.
King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, a very great nation as at that time. God had been good to him and under his rule, the nation was booming and flourishing. One day, he looked through his window and started ascribing all the glory that should have been to God to himself. He started speaking of how he has caused the nation to stand so strong as if it was by his power. He disregarded God in all these and let pride seep into his heart. No sooner, the wrath of God was upon him and for 7 years, he acted like an animal, eating grass and sleeping outside. When the 7 years were over and he regained his sanity, he came to acknowledge the power of God. Just as Proverbs 29:23 says “one’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor”. Though he later acknowledged God, the end result of his pride was a humiliation that brought him low…for the period of time he acted as animal, even if he was still being honored as king, it would have definitely been different from how it was when he was still fully human. We shouldn’t have to get to this point before we realize the need to be humble before God. (Daniel 4:28-37)
The Pharisees were also people who in conjunction with their hypocrisy, harbored pride. They raised their shoulders while walking in the streets as though they were better than everyone else…probably because of their wide knowledge of the law…a knowledge which they didn’t apply. When Jesus Christ came to earth and started pulling the amount of crowd that they couldn’t, they were unhappy. So, they boasted in their knowledge of law by quoting it each time to challenge Jesus (which was really unnecessary). They prided in their titles and that pride barricaded them from learning from Jesus. Their unwillingness to stay humble did not allow them see Jesus as the Messiah and even if they did know Him to be Messiah, it prevented them from coming to acknowledge Him. Pride ruins a person by denying him of privileges and opportunities he ought to enjoy (such as grace in the case of the Pharisees). However, as much as they opposed Jesus, He opposed them more because of their pride. “But He gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”” James 4:6.
Pride does nothing to you except repel you from people and from God. The bible says in Proverbs 16:5 that “everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord…” The Pharisees could have been greater Apostles of Christ than the likes of Peter and Paul, after all, they were very conversant with the scriptures but pride didn’t let them come to see Christ as the Messiah. Haman cut his life short by showcasing wickedness and compounding it with pride. King Nebuchadnezzar was at the verge of remaining an animal for life and losing the throne all because he let pride into his heart. Even the devil became the devil because he let pride set in.
As children of God, we should embrace humility. Stay away from pride. Remember there is nothing you have that was not given to you, be it riches, beauty, fame or life by God. The One who has it all came down to earth as a man and lived a poor life that we might be rich…He showed us the greatest humility ever and He asks that we live our life in the same way, in humility of heart and character. Let pride be far away from you, it is not of The Lord!