The Results of Pride
The Results of Pride
In this verse we find the following Masoretic note in most Hebrew Bibles that says: “the middle of the book.” This verse is the middle verse; and the first clause makes the middle of the words of the book of Proverbs.
1. Pride is an awful thing.
a. It was because of pride in Lucifer that sin entered the universe… He became proud of his wisdom and beauty.
b. Pride is at the center of virtually all sin: “I can do this myself. I don’t need God. I don’t have to do it God’s way. I am able to act independently of God. My way is as good as His way.”
c. Pride causes us to puff ourselves up above others… and look down on others.
d. Pride causes us to rely on self…
e. Pride causes us to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.
f. Thomas Carlyle said that the “greatest fault is to be conscious of none.”
g. Pride is an insidious attitude… it leads to all kinds of evil.
h. The Greeks differed with Judaism at this point. Greeks regarded pride as a virtue and humility as despicable.
• God takes just the opposite view. God hates pride.
• It is on the TOP of the list of the seven deadly sins.
• It is the essence of worldliness: the pride of life.
• God even designed a plan of salvation that “excludes boasting.” It is of grace “lest any man should boast.”
2. Prov. 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction.
a. Destruction defined:
• Strong’s: breaking; fracture; crushing; breach; crash; ruin; shattering.
• Bib. Lang. – The state or condition of ruining an object, with a special focus on breaking up something completely.
• Isa. 30:14 – Used of the breaking of pottery – an illustration of God’s judgment against the sin and unbelief of Israel. Broken pottery is ruined… destroyed.
b. In a similar vein, the Lord seeks to work in us. We are His workmanship. He is (like a Potter) seeking to mold us all into His image… and likeness.
c. When the Potter is molding us and He comes upon an area of pride, that pride is to the Potter like a hard lump or rock in the clay. The Potter has to break the piece of pottery and remove the hard piece before He can continue His craftsmanship.
d. God may have to knock us down and break us if there is pride in our hearts.
e. Sometimes He has to break our piggy bank… sometimes He has to break a bone… He may have to break our heart… God wants our heart…
f. How much better is it for us to soften our hearts, repent of our pride… and perhaps avoid destruction!
g. That is much more preferable… to God and to us!
3. Prov. 16:5 – Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
a. The implication in this verse is that some folks think they will escape judgment…
• Perhaps because “hand join in hand.” There are so many of them!
• Perhaps because everyone is doing it… it mustn’t be so bad.
• Or perhaps because we have gotten away with our pride for so long without being punished, some believe that punishment won’t come!
b. When it comes to pride, there is no safety in numbers. MORE proud men does not make punishment less likely. It makes it MORE likely… as in the days of Noah… Sodom… Tyre…
c. God does punish pride… wherever it is found…
d. Destruction and punishment come to the proud…
e. And if God hates pride in the unsaved nations, how much MORE despicable must it be when found in His own sons!?
f. We are saved by GRACE. We have NO merit before God on our own. We have NOTHING to boast of before the Lord or men.
g. Everything we have we have received.
h. I Cor. 1:26-29 – One thing God especially hates is for flesh to glory in His presence.
i. It will NOT go unpunished… in this life or the next.
4. Prov. 17:19 – He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
a. Once again Solomon states that pride brings destruction.
b. Exalting one’s gate: speaks of a wealthy man who builds a large, elaborate gate/entrance/doorway to his home as a way of showing off his wealthy status. Evidently, this practice was common among the wealthy in Solomon’s day. It is used as a figure of PRIDE. (Self-exaltation… look at me!)
c. In this passage, Solomon states that men love the wrong things!
• A love for sin leads to strife…
• A love for self-exaltation leads to destruction…
5. Prov. 16:18 – A haughty spirit is followed by a fall.
a. Haughty: High; exalted; arrogant. It describes anything that is literally tall or high, such as a tree or vine.
• Ps. 103:11 – As the heavens are HIGH above the earth…
• Isa. 5:16 – But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment.
• But when used in the sense of arrogance, especially of men, it is translated haughty.
b. Fall: A stumbling; a fall; a calamity.
c. It is used here as EITHER:
• In a figurative sense of a moral or spiritual fall…
• Or perhaps a physical calamity, which comes as a result of the haughtiness.
d. A haughty spirit comes before destruction or a fall… calamity of some sort.
e. Prov. 29:1 – Example: the man who will not listen to counsel because of pride… his self-confidence could result in a calamity… destruction!
f. Belshazzar – Here was a man with a haughty, arrogant spirit who would not listen… and it resulted in the fall of his throne…and the loss of his life!
• Dan. 5:22-23 – Daniel reminded Belshazzar of the pride of his father Nebuchadnezzar… yet Belshazzar would not repent of his pride.
• Dan. 5:25-28 – Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall.
• Dan. 5:30 – That night he was killed and the Medes took over the kingdom!
6. Prov. 29:23 – ?A man’s pride shall bring him low.
a. Bring low: humble; to humiliate; to bring down. It indicates that something is low, sinking down.
b. Dan. 4:29-33 – Nebuchadnezzar—
• Vs. 29 – Nebuchadnezzar walked in the palace of Babylon (not far from what is now Baghdad) . He was admiring his palace, his kingdom, and perhaps the hanging gardens of Babylon…
• Vs. 30 – Note his arrogance and pride! (I built; MY power; for MY honor and majesty!)
• Vs. 31 – While the words of pride were still in his mouth, God acted! God didn’t let him finish his sentence. God spoke words of judgment against him.
• He would be brought low:
» Vs. 31c – The kingdom is departed—he would be LOWERED from his royal throne…
» vs. 32 – Lowered to his hands and knees eating grass like an animal. (That’s quite a lowering!)
» He was lowered from the condition of great intelligence to insanity…
» He was lowered in the minds of the people from one who was admired to the brunt of jokes and ridicule.
» He would not be raised up until he recognized that the LORD rules the kingdoms of men and gives God glory.
c. God knows HOW to humble the proud…
• He knows how to humble US… and bring us LOW.
• I Pet. 5:5 – God resists the proud.
• Resist: To arrange. To set an army in array against, to arrange in battle order. In the New Testament, antitássomai is used metaphorically to set oneself in opposition to or in array against, to resist.
• What folly to act so as to cause God to be set in opposition!
• We think we are quite important, don’t we? We wonder how the church would ever get along without me… how could this company ever survive without me.
• We like to think of ourselves as above others… above reproof… above correction… above the menial tasks… “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do!”
• God knows how to knock us off our high horse too.
• Don’t put Him to the test… don’t make Him have to do it!
• I Pet. 5:6 – How much better is it to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God… and HE will exalt us… in His way and in His time.
• There is a lot in the book of Proverbs about pride. There is a good reason for it: we are full of it! We NEED to be reminded of our pride. It is our nature… it is an ever-present enemy…
• Those who exalt themselves shall be abased… destroyed… punished… knocked down! We need these reminders.
7. Prov. 11:2 – When pride cometh, then cometh shame.
a. Shame: referring to shame; disgrace; dishonor. It refers to a feeling and condition of shame.
b. Example: Peter —
• Matt. 26:31-33 – Peter boasted that though the other apostles might deny the Lord, he NEVER would!
» His intentions were good. He probably believed in his heart that he would not deny the Lord.
» But he failed to see how EVIL the heart of man really is… even his own heart!
» The fact that in us dwells no good thing… is hard to grasp… hard to digest… but true.
» Pride came to Peter in the guise of dedication… resolve… loyalty…
» Oftentimes, beneath the surface of those outward displays of our loyalty lies PRIDE as the source.
• Matt. 26:73-75 – Peter DID deny the Lord, and then went out and wept bitterly.
» Luke states that at this point the Lord looked at Peter… and he went out to weep bitterly.
» Peter caught the Lord’s eye at that moment, realized what he had done… and was SHAMED!
» His pride… though it came in the outward appearance of dedication, brought him to shame!
» Peter learned the hard way about his pride…
c. We are just like Peter in this way.
• We let people know how long we pray… how much we know about the Bible… how much we give… how many ministries we have for the Lord… how many good deeds we have done… how dedicated we are…
• You don’t have to dig very deep beneath the surface to find that pride is alive and well.
• Don’t boast of your dedication. When pride cometh, then cometh shame.
• Spurgeon said: “Say much of what the Lord has done for you. Say little of what you have done for the Lord.”
• Prov. 8:13 – The fear of the Lord is to HATE pride and arrogance.