Arrogant, pride and haughty are not words you want to be described by. The word that should describe a follower of Jesus Christ is humble. Psalm 149:4 “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” Mary said this Luke 1:46 “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” Humble does not mean weak as the humble person knows their place before God. In humility before God, the humble are empowered. Philippians 2:5 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” The word humble means “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance.” Websters defines humble as “not proud or haughty: not arrogant.” As the sermon title describes, humble is also an action. The word proud actually has two meanings. The first meaning is the pride one takes in “the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” You can be a proud parent and take pride in the achievements of your children but that too can turn into pride instead of remaining humble. What you don’t want to do is to move from being proud to boastful and move to the other meaning of pride which is “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements.” This leads to arrogance which is “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities” and to having a haughty spirit which is to be “arrogantly superior and disdainful (mocking).”
The bible makes it very clear that God won’t tolerate a proud heart and haughty spirit, so you want to make sure that you live a life of humility before God.” Proverbs 22:4 “Humility is the fear of the Lord.” Proverbs 15:33 “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” Zephaniah 2:3 “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.”Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” 1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.” But be careful, as even a life of service before God can be filled with pride and arrogance. Paul said 2 Corinthians 12:6 “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Then Jesus spoke to those who were not humble. Matthew 23:1 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.” Luke 20:46 “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” Colossians 2:18 “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.”
Scripture is very clear that we do not want a proud heart because that will lead to God’s wrath. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 26:24 “Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Psalm 101:5 “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.” Proverbs 16:5 “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” Psalm 18:27 “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” Proverbs 21:4 “Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.” Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 21:24 “The proud and arrogant person— “Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury.”
We are supposed to have a heart that is yielded to God. Joshua 24:23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” Following other gods / gospels leads to an unyielded heart. Instead we are to Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Deuteronomy 4:39 “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” Deuteronomy 11:13 “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. 22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea. 25 No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go. 26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 30:17 “But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.”
When we disobey God’s word, we then are not loving God with all our heart, but instead our hearts are filled with pride, and we become an enemy of God. This is done by replacing God with the world and replacing His word with man’s words. James 4:4 “You adulterous people don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Psalm 78:7 “Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.” Nehemiah 9:16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.”
Above we read that there would be blessings and curses. You can see these in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. By turning our backs on God, we are filed with pride, making ourselves to be gods instead. When we do that, God said Leviticus 26:19 “I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.” That means God turns His face from us and it also means He allows our enemies to conquer us just as we saw with Israel and just as we are seeing with the church. Isaiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.” Deuteronomy 31:15 “Then the Lord appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the tent. 16 And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?’ 18 And I will certainly hide my face in that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.” The same happened to the church because Deuteronomy 32:18 “You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 21 They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols.” Those worthless idols are other gospels.
When we turn away from God, God turns from us. We are either for God or against God. We either serve wholeheartedly or not at all, as there is no in between. Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” King Solomon started off wholeheartedly but then His heart turned away. 2 Chronicles 1:11“God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” 1 Kings 11:4 “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 9 The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.” Israel was never the same after that.
Whenever we ignore and disobey God’s commands, we are making ourselves out to be God. Most Christians will not admit to this even though they have distorted God’s words to satisfy their own needs. You then join with Psalm 14:1 “The fool (who) says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” Foolish people also try to make their own gods. Acts 7:39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.” Jeremiah 16:20 “Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” Ezekiel gives us a picture of what happens when we make ourselves out to be god. Ezekiel 28:1 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. 3 Are you wiser than Daniel? Is no secret hidden from you? 4 By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. 5 By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud. 6 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, 7 I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor.8 They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas.9 Will you then say, “I am a god,” in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you.” Paul said 1 Corinthians 8:4 “We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
The fool also says where is your God. Psalm 42:3 “My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:10 “My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Micah 7:10 “Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.” 2 Peter 3:3 “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
As we read in Ezekiel the pride in our heart will draw God’s anger. Not only will God not tolerate pride in the heart of those who are supposed to be followers, He will not tolerate the pride of those who God used against His followers because of their rebellion. Because Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord, God sent an army to destroy them. God had warned Israel over and over, but they refused to listen. 2 Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power.” When they day came 2 Kings 18:17 “The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem.” He then would mock them for trusting in God. “‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.” We also saw this with Job and satan. 28 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ 33 Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?” 2 Chronicles 32:14 “Who of all the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroyed has been able to save his people from me? How then can your god deliver you from my hand? 17 The king also wrote letters ridiculing the Lord, the God of Israel, and saying this against him: “Just as the gods of the peoples of the other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” satan still is trying to get you to believe these words.
The pride of King Sennacherib led to his downfall. God said Proverbs 3:34 “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.” Isaiah 13:11 “I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. 19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.” If you think you can disobey God and get away with it, think again. Isaiah 10:12 “When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says: “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings. 14 As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as people gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.’” 15 Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood! 16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame. 17 The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. 18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick person wastes away. 19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down.” 24 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says: “My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians, who beat you with a rod and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did. 25 Very soon my anger against you will end and my wrath will be directed to their destruction.” 33 See, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will lop off the boughs with great power. The lofty trees will be felled, the tall ones will be brought low. 34 He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax; Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.” Ezekiel 17:24 “All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’” Ezekiel 31:10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it.”
King Hezekiah then pleaded before God. 2 Kings 19:4 “It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.” 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’” But again, Sennacherib sent word and said 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?” 14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. 17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” The right response is to always turn to God.
Then Isaiah responds with the word of the Lord. 2 Kings 19:20 “Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him: “‘Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee. 22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23 By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord.” And you have said, “With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its junipers. I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests. 24 I have dug wells in foreign lands and drunk the water there. With the soles of my feet I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.” 25 “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone. 26 Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the roof, scorched before it grows up. 27 But I know where you are and when you come and go and how you rage against me. 28 Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.’ 29 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah: “This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the Lord. 34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’” 35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!” If we humble ourselves before God, the same will happen to our enemies.
We also saw this with the Moabites. Zephaniah 2:8 “I have heard the insults of Moab and the taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land. 9 Therefore, as surely as I live,” declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah— a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.” 10 This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. 11 The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the earth. Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands.” They thought the strength of their own hands would protect them. They thought they were secure but were not. Isaiah 16:6 “We have heard of Moab’s pride—how great is her arrogance! — of her conceit, her pride and her insolence; but her boasts are empty. 7 Therefore the Moabites wail, they wail together for Moab.” Obadiah 1:2 “See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised. 3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ 4 Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the Lord.”
Do not be deceived; you cannot stand before God with pride in your heart. If you have pride, you will be brought low. Isaiah 2:12 “The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, 18 and the idols will totally disappear.” If you have been following the wicked ways of man, not only are you filled with deceit but also with pride, as you have rejected God’s word. Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Hebrews 3:12 “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”
Oddly enough, one of the great examples of repentance was the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. He had a dream that Daniel interpreted. The king said Daniel 4:10 “These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him.” Daniel said “22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
Nebuchadnezzar has the dream interpreted and then carries on with life. Daniel 4:29 “Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” This then is what the church (you and I) must do today. Daniel 4:34 “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” Then everything was restored to him. 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”
Even King Hezekiah had to repent after being saved from Sennacherib. 2 Chronicles 32:24 “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.” In another king’s sickness, King Asa had been told 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” Later he was sick and “was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” Today’s church in the pride of their heart believe and act that man is the answer but inside hope that God will do something. Most people in church say they believe Jesus heals our infirmities but in reality they don’t actually believe. Most have accepted the physicians, therapists, psychiatrists and others are the answer to the infirmities that plague people. Yet the church refuses to repent of their pride Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” Proverbs 16:5 “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. 18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
The church lies desolate because of pride and arrogance. The church decided along the way that they could build and defeat our enemies with their own hands but instead our enemies have defeated the church just as Israel was defeated. satan fell to the earth because of pride. Ezekiel 28:17 “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” We also know that satan’s time was short. Revelation 12:12 “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Many people have been deceived by their pride. satan even said to Jesus Luke 4:5 “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Many have taken him up on that offer but not Jesus nor do those who follow Him. We were told Amos 6:8 “The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself—the Lord God Almighty declares: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city and everything in it.” You do not want anything to do with the pride satan temps you with.
Still men and women desperately want to build with their own hands but Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” God builds his own church. Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The Catholics made a serious error thinking that Peter was the rock. The rock was Peter’s declaration that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” When you follow Jesus, everything is different. Instead of the city permanently being destroyed, God gives us hope Zechariah 8:3 “This is what the Lord says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City / city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.” God does things differently than man as we saw with Gideon. Judges 7:2 “The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands.” We were told Judges 6:1 “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” Judges 7:12 “The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.” With trumpets and jars they defeated this enemy with just three hundred men. Judges 7:22 “When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.” The church today is so deceived they don’t know enough to cry for help and in their pride the church continues to follow the empty ways of those who have gone before us. Therefore the church does not have victory over its enemies.
There is still hope and just as Babylon was defeated, this abomination that causes desolation will come to an end. Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” This is what the church needs to do. Jeremiah 50:4 “In those days, at that time,” declares the Lord, “the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the Lord their God. 5 They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten. 6 “My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place. 7 Whoever found them devoured them; their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty, for they sinned against the Lord, their verdant pasture, the Lord, the hope of their ancestors. 33 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah as well. All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. 34 Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon. 35 “A sword against the Babylonians!” But they were guilty and God would pay them back for their destruction. Jeremiah 51:6 “Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord’s vengeance; he will repay her what she deserves. 24 “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the Lord. 37 Babylon will be a heap of ruins.” Revelation 14:8 “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries. 3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries. “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. 7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. “‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!’ 20 “Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. 24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.”
There are those who have not bowed a knee to Baal. Romans 11:2 “God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Revelation 7:14 “I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The church has been in tribulation and many faithful servants have faced persecution and have died. Hebrews 10:32 “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” To their own demise many in the church refused to believe and died without knowing the truth. They did not persevere and will not see eternal life. But if you repent or have repented and turned from your wicked ways, Romans 6:17 “thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.” We must follow the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ not the other gospels being taught in the church today. That means our hearts cannot be filled with pride nor can we have haughty spirits. John was told Revelation 21:10 “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
Many will refuse to repent before it is too late, but some will turn from the pride in their heart and humble themselves before God. Don’t wait till it is too late. Exodus 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” 1 Peter 5:5 “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
We need to be like Job who persevered through severe hardship and repented even though he had said nothing wrong to those around him that tried to get him to give up. He said Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” We also need to say Hosea 14:1 “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 3Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” Joel 2:13 “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” Psalm 31:23 “Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.” John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. 5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. 6 The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.”
If you are waiting, don’t give up and stand firm in humility before God. Because God is God of compassion and mercy, we have great hope that He will turn His face to shine on us once again. Isaiah 54:7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.” Zephaniah 2:1 “Gather together, gather yourselves together, you shameful nation, 2 before the decree takes effect and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes upon you. 3 Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.” Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.”