Sunday, March 18, 2012

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - The High Cost of Pride

Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" lands us in the middle of Ezekiel, a very interesting book.

Ezekiel was one of the Major Prophets in the Old Testament. He had clear and vivid prophecies and visions. However, very little is known about his personal life. He was one of the thousands of young men deported from Judah to Babylon. Up until those tragic days, Ezekiel was being trained for the priesthood.

Like Isaiah, Ezekiel had a shocking encounter with God.

He was never the same!

Whereas Isaiah had warned Judah of the coming storm – Ezekiel spoke in the middle of it. He prophesied in the middle of terrible defeat.

God described Ezekiel as a watchman on the walls of the city, capturing the personal nature of his ministry. Dangerous, responsible, crucial…

A central part of Ezekiel's message was the importance of each person's accountability before God. He taught the exiles that God expected personal worship and obedience from each of them.

Today's verses are a reminder of what happens to the disobedient:

"…you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian…Your heart was filled with pride because of your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground…All who knew you were appalled at your fate. And you have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more." (Ezekiel 28:16-17, 19)

Some of the phrases in this passage describe the human king of Tyre. Tyre was the powerful capital of Phoenicia. It was a highly prosperous and beautiful city. However, pride caused its ruin.

At times, though, Ezekiel describes the king in terms that could not apply to a mere human. Therefore, he may have been condemning not only the king of Tyre, but Satan, who had tempted and motivated this king to sin.

And we all know that pride caused his ruin.

I take two messages out of this passage.

First of all, there will be an end to prideful ways,and haughty people. There will be an end to Satan's rule. The long fall from Heaven is only the first judgment of God against our enemy. He has a final judgment day ahead of him. And after that day, he "will exist no more." I take comfort in that fact.

God cares about justice. Wickedness will not win out in the end.

The second message I take out of this passage is a warning. God exacts punishment against those who proudly set themselves up. He will not tolerate those who do not yield to His Sovereignty. He demands fearful worship, and a heart yielded to His purposes. Pride will cause ruin.

"Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)

Proud people are rarely aware of their weaknesses. They think they are above the frailties that plague others. However, in this state of mind, they are easily tempted – they are easily tripped up.

Proud people seldom realize that pride is their problem.

So, it's time to take inventory. It's time to let Ezekiel speak to us.

Are we proud of our *beauty* our accomplishments, our success? Do we love splendor and money more than God? Have we sacrificed our wisdom in favor of wealth?

Listen to the warning – return to true worship.

Avoid the long fall from grace.

"I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions."(Psalm 101:5-6)

Oh Lord, count me among the faithful…count me among the humble.

It's time to do some personal accounting - are you *overdrawn* in the pride column?

Linked today with Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Hi Sharon,

    Great blog, yes pride has a lot to answer for, your question needs thinking about.

    Thank you for dropping by and encouraging me.

    Take Care and hope you are more settled about your future.

  2. I think we are all guilty of pride in our lives at times, some more than others; I think recognizing its existence and recognizing how God feels about it and will/does deal with it should make us constantly do a spiritual inventory, so to speak, to make sure we are leaning more towards humility and further away from pride and continually be sensitive to avoiding being prideful and then confessing when we are. But I do admit there are those times I do need to get back to true worship and deduct from the pride column and put more back into the humility column....

    (wish it would warm up here and the wind and rain would stop; we are spoiled, aren't we?)


  3. This was a rich post! I loved all the interesting background to Ezekiel. I don't know which one is harder? To prophesy by faith about a coming storm or to prophesy from the middle of that storm.

    Pride reveals itself in so many ways. Whenever God exposes it in my life, I'm always disgusted!

    Thank you for this timely piece!

  4. Sometimes you are prideful and you don't even know it. sandie

  5. A startling message - and one that seems to be in the air all day today. Our pastor spoke on Phil 2:1-5 - about esteeming others better than yourself and all. About now I'm ready to crawl under a rock and hide! Actually, I'm so desperate to see the Lord exalted over the pride of worldliness today. The news, the headlines, I am so sick of it. Lord, may you keep me on the path of humility, for there I will know communion with You.

    Now, as for YOU, milady - how are you feeling? Better, I hope, then you were last week when you were battling fear and anxiety. Bring me up to date when you have time. I've an other killer week ahead of me. Oh! June 30th can't come soon enough. Lord - be ye Lord!


  6. I think we are all guilty of pride sometimes.

  7. I just happen to find more convicting messages in the book of Ezekiel than in almost any other one. I think we are all so prone to the sin of pride. It comes in so many way, and not the least of which is our false pride which we try to label worship towards the LORD.

  8. This is a wonderful reminder of the problems with pride. I know this is one of Satan's favorite tools. Thank you for sharing this warning.

  9. Evenings, after dinner, Husband and I have been plowing (and sometimes plodding!) through Ezekiel. Strange, riveting book with lots of warnings we do well to listen up to. And this is one of the main ones. You explained so well here. Spooky how pride in the king morphs to pride in Satan -- spooky because pride in us has that same blurred association. I want God to make me more and more sensitive to pride arising in myself, so I can knock it down before it grows. Thanks for this.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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