Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Do you remember Pharaoh in the book of Exodus? He had watched God use Moses to send devastating plagues upon the land and people, yet he refused to obey God. It took God sending a death angel to kill all the first-born males of Egypt before he finally let the Israelites go. However, he quickly changed his mind and chased after them with his army.
When Pharaoh, along with Egypt’s army, caught up to the Israelites he saw God use Moses to split the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry land. Yet, once again he acted in rebellion towards God and charged with his soldiers into the sea to capture the Jews. Immediately, God sent back the waters and then Pharaoh, along with his army, was destroyed. His pride and haughty spirit cost him everything, including his life and most importantly his eternal soul.
You might think that after he saw just one plague he would have repented, but he was not willing to because of his pride. Even after he lost his first-born son, he was still haughty. Pharaoh was so prideful and self-deceived that he actually thought he could chase down and kill the people who’s God was powerful enough to split a sea in two!
Now before we stand on our high pedestal and look with our noses down on Pharaoh, I wonder how often we too have acted in pride and had a haughty spirit? How many times have you willfully disobeyed God and allowed yourself to be self-deceived? Sinners aren’t the only ones who can act proud and haughty, Christians can too if we don’t stay humble.
We act in a haughty spirit (or attitude) when we think our ways are better than God’s ways. Our pride may look different than Pharaoh’s but if we’re not careful, we can share in his same destruction.
Also, those who know about the Exodus might remember that God actually “hardened” Pharaoh’s heart because of his pride (Exodus 9:12). In other words, God “reinforced” his pride and “baked in” his decision to be rebellious. God was done giving him chances to repent; it was time for judgment. Likewise, Paul said that God would do this again in the end times with people who would continually reject the truth of the gospel. God will send them a delusion and reinforce their rebellion against Him (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Certainly, God doesn’t want us to fall or be destroyed, but the choice is ours. Blaise Pascal wrote, “Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because He shows us both God and our own wretchedness.”
Therefore, let us choose to be humble and think properly about ourselves. Reject pride and walk humbly before the Lord in every area of your life. God has great plans for us, but He will not let us accomplish them our way. By grace, through faith, may we not fall but be lifted up, not destroyed but made secure in Christ’s love.
- Ask God to reveal any pride or wrong thinking you may have towards His Word.
- If you have pride or a haughty spirit ask God to change your attitude (spirit) and make you humble.
- Whenever you think about being prideful and rebellious towards God’s commands, remember Pharaoh!