In search of Wisdom

 

 

          Greetings precious people, I do hope that you are doing well today and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ. As we continue in our study of “In search of wisdom” we want to examine more closely the seven things that God hates which are mentioned in Proverbs 6. In last week’s article we established the fact that part of the character of God is that He loves as well as hates. I encourage you to get a copy of this article if you didn’t read it. You can have a copy sent to you free of charge upon request.

            In Proverbs 6:16-19 we read, “These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”

            It is important to understand that God has an order to everything, nothing happens by chance or is randomly written in His Word, the Bible. Top of God’s ‘hate list’ is Pride. God hates pride and for good reason. I have come to realize that pride is the cause of most if not all sin. Webster’s Dictionary gives this definition of pride: an overhigh opinion of oneself; self-esteem; conceit; haughtiness; arrogance.

            In order to see the prevalence of pride in sin and the problems sin causes, we will examine some examples from the Bible as well as everyday life as we know it today.

            To see the epitome of pride, we need look no further than Satan also known as the Devil. In Isaiah 14:12-15 we read God speaking of Satan, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (another name for Satan), son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:

'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation. On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”

            And again God speaking of Satan in Ezekiel 28:12-17, "You (Satan) were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God;

…. "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you (the sin of pride). "By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned;

Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”

            As you can see, Satan was not content to live and serve in the capacity for which God had created him for, he wanted to be #1, and he wanted to be God. Certainly Satan did not suffer from a lack of self-esteem.

            Satan brought this same pride to entice Eve in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:1-6 we read, “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' " Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

            Pride was the root cause of sin for numerous other men and women in the Old Testament. The people of Noah’s day, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, Moses, king Saul, king David and all the kings that proceeded them.

            We also find pride in the lives of those that were closest to Jesus Christ during His time here on the earth. The two brothers James and John wanted to sit on Jesus’ right and left side, the place of prominence. In Mark 10:35-41 we read, “Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask." And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory."(this was the place of prominence). But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able." So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared." And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.

Do you see the problems that were caused among the 12 by the pride of James and John? But it wasn’t only the pride of James and John that caused trouble. The other 10 disciples had their own share of pride. It was their pride that was hurt by James and John wanting the position of prominence. Many times in the Gospels we read of strife, contentions, and arguments arising among the 12 over who would be the greatest of them.

The Apostle Peter also had his share of pride. In Mark 14:27-31 we read, “Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' … Peter said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be." Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." But he spoke more vehemently, "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all said likewise.” Pride has so many different faces and they are all ugly.

   Now consider just a few examples of the showing of pride today. Do you find it odd that the homosexual movement has taken on the title “Gay Pride”, “Gay Pride parade”, “Gay Pride week’, etc.? The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is an abomination to God, it is sin and God will judge it along with all other sin. Yet the homosexual movement is defiant of this and shakes an angry fist at God and says in essence, “we don’t care what you say or think God, we are going to do what we want to do!”

This show of pride is also true for the sin of adultery and fornication. God clearly says that these are sins also and will be punished, but the adulterer and fornicator say by their actions, “I don’t care what God says, I am going to do what I want anyway!”

All sin stems from pride. The Bible tells us that God has placed within the heart of every man and woman the knowledge of right and wrong. When we choose to act contrary to God’s Word and sin we are saying, I know that it is wrong but I’m going to do it anyway. I want my will to be done and not yours God; this is pride plain and simple.

There are more examples of pride in our present day society than we have room to list. Consider the pride and arrogance in the world of sports. Think of the displays of pride after a basket is made or touchdown is scored or goal kicked. The exalting of self and drawing attention to oneself is ever present. It has become so commonplace that little attention is given to such displays of pride.

It is pride that causes us to talk evil against another, to lie, to argue and carry on in order to get our point across.

In contrast to this, Jesus is the epitome of humility, which is the opposite of pride. True humility is not thinking badly of yourself, it is not thinking of yourself at all. We see this in Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Let me ask you dear ones, whose example are you following today? Is it the example set forth by the world or is it that which is set forth by Jesus Christ? Know this, to follow the pride of the world means strife, contention, and no peace in this life and judgment in the life to come. But if you follow Jesus Christ now, you will have peace in your heart and among those around you and eternal life forever.

We will continue our study next time, until then may the Lord richly bless you beloved.

If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail ccalpine@juno.com or visit our web site to read all previous articles at www.calvarychapel.org/alpine/index.htm

Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine