The Danger Of Pride

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Isaiah 10:10-25 (KJV)  As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;  [11]  Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?  [12]  Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.  [13]  For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:   [14]  And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.  [15]  Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.  [16]  Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.  [17]  And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;  [18]  And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.  [19]  And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.  [20]  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.  [21]  The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.  [22]  For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.  [23]  For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.  [24]  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.  [25]  For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

Audio of Sermon: 

I have heard of preachers plagiarizing sermons, stealing from other pastors for one reason or the other. I have been tempted at times to do so myself, though I have never done so. A sermon must come from God through the heart of His preacher. God must speak to me, so I can speak to you. To plagiarize a sermon is to take another man’s voice and lift it up. The preacher is to lift up God’s Voice, to speak the hard things though none want to hear it.

Tonight’s text is a difficult text. It deals with something that plagues all of us. It deals with PRIDE. God despises PRIDE. God says:

Proverbs 8:13 (ESV) The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Pride takes the glory that should belong to God alone and places it on frail and fallen man. Pride treats the Scripture as if it were not, as 1 Peter 1:25 tells us …

The Word of the Lord which endures FOREVER!

Pride treats God’s Word as if it were printed on Select-A-Size perforations like paper towels. Pride is Thomas Jefferson’s Bible – the one he made by cutting out all passages he didn’t like, and retaining the portions he agreed with. Pride ignores what God says unless it pleases us, saying “That was THEN but this is NOW”, as if the Eternal and Immovable God of the Scripture changes with the times as we do.

There was a meaning THEN, and there is a meaning NOW.
There was a point THEN, and there is a point NOW.

God Will Not Bless The Prideful

What was happening THEN?
God’s people whom He had established had ceased glorifying Him.
They became prideful, idolatrous.
God was going to sent a lost nation against them called Assyria.
But Assyria was also prideful and idolatrous.
And God HEARD it.
God hears what you say.
God knows what you think.

Isaiah 10:12 (KJV) Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon MOUNT ZION AND ON JERUSALEM, ….

God was going to do a “work” on His people. What was that “work”? God was going to send affliction because they had ceased glorifying Him. His people stopped living for the Lord Who saved them. The Bible warns us:

Proverbs 16:18-19 (ESV) Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.

This is not just true for the unbeliever, but for the believer as well. Pride robs God of His glory. God was going to use the nation of Assyria to punish His people, to cause them to cease their pride and look up, to glorify the Lord their God.

But God also will punish Assyria because of their pride.

Isaiah 10:12 (KJV) … I will PUNISH THE FRUIT of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

What is “the FRUIT of the STOUT HEART”?

That fruit is arrogance against God.

God said “After I use Assyria as an ax against the tree of Judah, I will punish the pride of the Assyrians.” God would punish the King who made himself a god over the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Lucifer – God’s Chief ArchAngel – lost his job in Heaven because of arrogance.

Isaiah 14:12-15 (NKJV) How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 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; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.

The Bright Star and beautiful Lucifer allowed pride to creep in, and rejecting the Grace of God he said “I will”. He placed his will above the Lord’s will, and lost everything.

Adam – who was God’s prototype Man – lost his job in Eden because of pride. Pride is self worship. Pride takes that which is God’s, and places it on man. We skirt pride when we glorify man. The current controversy concerning NFL athletes kneeling during the National Anthem is both caused and fueled by pride. God alone is to be glorified. God alone is to be knelt to.

The King of Assyria emulated both Lucifer and Adam in his thoughts and pride. The Lord heard him that King, just as He hears your hearts today, and broadcast why this nation would fall. It was because of pride.

Isaiah 10:13-14 (KJV) For HE saith, By the strength of MY hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a VALIANT man:   [14]  And MY hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

The King of Assyria boasted, over and over again, that it was HIS prowess and HIS power and HIS purpose and HIS engineering that caused HIM to rule the world. He placed HIMSELF at the center of all things. He was LIFTED UP with PRIDE, powerful PRIDE. He knew better than God Himself. As a matter of fact, He was, in His estimation, GOD HIMSELF.

Isaiah 10:15 (KJV) Shall the AXE boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the SAW magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the ROD should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the STAFF should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

God said to the Assyrian king:

You are just an Ax in My hands.
The Ax has no right to boast that it cuts down the tree.
You are just a Saw in my hands.
The Saw has no right to boast in how much wood it cuts.
You are just a Rod lifted up.
No Rod can lift itself up.
I lifted you up.
You are just a walking stick, a staff.
God does not lean on you, but uses you.
You are nothing without God.
And you are certainly NO GOD.

Oh, how dangerous is pride and it’s twin arrogance. Good people become evil people through pride.

It was pride that caused the first fall of man. It was pride that said to Adam:

You will not surely die if you eat the forbidden.
God is just depriving you.
He knows the day you eat of it you will be like Him.
A god of gods. (Genesis 3:4-5)

It was pride that caused the first murder, when Cain killed Abel.

It was pride that caused the wickedness that led to the Noahic Flood.

It was pride that caused Lot to go to Sodom and Gomorrah,
And pride that caused the destruction of those magnificent twin cities.

It is pride that will cause the Lake of Fire to be packed with citizens,
But only a few by comparison to enter into God’s glorious Heaven.

Pride Says “God Will Look The Other Way For ME”

Isaiah 10:10-11 (KJV)  As My hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;  [11]  Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, SO DO TO JERUSALEM AND HER IDOLS? 

It is pride that says “God will punish the sinner for his or her sins, but will overlook mine”. Pride is a trap that says to it’s victim “God will hold THAT PERSON accountable, but I am cherished, and I have a free pass”.

God despises favoritism and racism!
God despises favoritism and racism!
God despises favoritism and racism!

He says (2 Chronicles 19:7 (ESV)) Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.

God is not a Crooked Judge, and does not tolerate crookedness in any, whether unsaved, Israel, or the Church. God expects His people to DO GOOD. God judges NOT DOING and DOING WRONG. Pride whispers:

Because you are a Child of Christ you have a pass.”
Because you are God’s Israel, you can have idols”
God punished Samaria and her idols”
But God will not punish yours because YOU are SPECIAL”

Oh Beloved, this is so wrong. Our God is even handed. We are told in …

Romans 2:6-11 (ESV) {God} will render to each one ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS: 7 to those who by PATIENCE IN WELL-DOING seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for THOSE WHO ARE SELF-SEEKING AND DO NOT OBEY THE TRUTH, BUT OBEY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, THERE WILL BE WRATH AND FURY. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but GLORY AND HONOR AND PEACE FOR EVERYONE WHO DOES GOOD, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY.

Salvation is by faith in the free gift of Christ our Lord, but whether you suffer the paddling of God or enjoy the promise of the Father is based on WHAT YOU DO. It is pride that says “we do not have to do what He says, but we are saved nonetheless”. You may be saved but to ignore God’s Word is to do so perilously. God is faithful to Himself, and expects our unquestioned obedience!

Samaria or Northern Israel was punished by God because of pride, because His people did not honor Him and Him alone. Will not God punish equally all wrong doing?

Pride Brings With It Suffering

Last Thursday Hugh Hefner – the founder of the Playboy Magazine – died at 91 years old. He made millions of dollars, riches untold, by objectifying women and treating them as objects rather than God’s creatures. He led the way in the so called sexual revolution, enslaved millions to pornography, and was instrumental in destroying marriage as God intended. And the world celebrates his life. Though what he did filled his pockets, he sold his soul and the souls of countless others who followed his dark path.

Pride and selfishness caused God to take away the blessings that He had bestowed on His people. He said:

Isaiah 10:16-19 (KJV) Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.  [17]  And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;  [18]  And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.  [19]  And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.

The Bible tells us in

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

Those who are “poor in spirit” or humble will be blessed of God. God blesses those who love Him, who glorify Him, who live for Him. But God says to the arrogant and prideful “I will send leanness, and burning. My glory shall consume your glory. The forest that you thought you were, I will burn it down until it has so few trees that a little child can count them”.

I’ve been watching the PBS Special on the Vietnam War on PBS. Actually I’m using Netflix, but it’s the same thing. It’s a great special, and I’ve learned a lot I never knew about that war. I found out that it was a war we inherited from the French, and a war that none of the United States Presidents thought we could ever win. President John F. Kennedy didn’t think the war was winnable, but continued to publicly support it because, in his words, he didn’t think he could be re-elected if he pulled troops out of Vietnam. JFK never got a chance to be re-elected, as a sniper assassinated him on Friday November 22, 1963. The Presidency passed to Lyndon B. Johnson who felt that he would not be re-elected unless he supported the war. After re-election Johnson often told his closest friends that he thought the war was not winnable. But Presidential pride and ambition for office kept him publicly supporting a war that would eventually kill 58,000 of our brave troops. LBJ told one friend:

I feel like a Texas mule in a hailstorm. I can’t run.
I can’t hide. I can’t back up. All I can do is stand still and take it.”

There was something he could have done – he could have sought the Lord in prayer.
He could have repented of his pride.
He could have pulled our brave troops out of Vietnam.
He could have done the right thing.

Our President could – and SHOULD—just as any of us –
seek the Lord in prayer, read His Word, do His will.

One of the most telling moments that I saw in the PBS special was one Marine who said – and I paraphrase from memory his words …

When I came to Vietnam I killed a person, and for nights afterwards had nightmares. It is horrible to kill a person. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t kill any more people, and I didn’t kill any more people the whole time I was in Vietnam. I killed gooks. I killed slants. I killed sub-humans. I didn’t kill people. That’s what racism is for. It makes people not people.”

People are people, and every person is made in God’s image. Pride tells one people that they are greater than other people. Pride tells us that that other person doesn’t matter, though they do. All people matter to God. Red, yellow, black, or white, they are precious in His sight. No person is worthless, but none of us are gods. There is but one God, and He sets the standard by which we are to live.

To Break The Yoke Of The Enemy,
Humble Yourself Before God

We read:

Isaiah 10:20-23 (KJV) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.  [21]  The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.  [22]  For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.  [23]  For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

God promised His people that “a remnant shall return to the land”. Who is this “remnant”? It is those “who STAY upon the LORD”. Those who seek God and make Him first in their lives will be the remnant that God will bless. This remnant will be consumed with God, the mighty God. They will be focused upon Him.

Do you know what breaks the hold of the enemy? It is our loving relationship with God. The Lord says:

Isaiah 10:27 (KJV)  And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

The burden of the enemy is taken away, and his yoke is broken from our necks, when God is with us and God is pleased in us. The word “anointing” in the above text is the Hebrew שֶׁמֶן shemen, which means “to let the fat or oil run down”. There is a beautiful picture drawn by the Lord where. A yoke is placed around the neck of an animal to control it. When we depart from glorifying God and make life about ourselves, being lifted up with pride, God takes away His blessing and we get thinner for it. The enemy then slaps a yoke around our thin and emaciated necks. But when we love God and glorify Him first and always. When we:

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) …. seek FIRST the kingdom of God AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED TO YOU.

When we put God first God puts us first. The yoke is around our scrawny necks when we depart from God. But when we – like a remnant – return to Him, God brings fatness back to our lives. Our necks swell, and under His blessing the yoke of the oppressor breaks. One translation puts it this way:

and the yoke will be broken because of the fat (ESV)
or even better
the yoke will be broken because your neck will be too large (CSB)

God will bless you, dear One, if you will put away pride and love Him with your whole heart. Do not delay. Love and trust Him. Live for Him. Follow Christ and love one another. May God lead you to a deeper relationship with Him through this Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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