Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of November 5, 2006

2 Chronicles 32:24-26
In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

The Random House International Dictionary of 2006 defines pride as, “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.” Here in Hezekiah’s case, pride is described as having one’s heart lifted up. Normally pride causes us to exalt ourselves.

Pride caused Eve to want to be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5-6). While I am a firm believer in getting a good education, a desire for knowledge and wisdom can be caused by pride. Sometimes we want to have all the answers and our educations make us judgmental. We may begin to think that we are the standard by which the rest of the world should be judged. A good education will teach us facts and how to think and reason properly. A good education will give us tools so we can be creative, but it does not give us the moral authority to declare what is right and what is wrong. That authority belongs to God, and a good education will include Biblical knowledge and wisdom.

Prejudices are often associated with pride since it is easy to have pride in our race or skin color or social standing or intellect or even in the fact that we are saved while others are not. Pride often leads to sin since it is pride that keeps us from bowing to authority and that keeps us from learning from others mistakes. How many times have we or someone we knew said, “He (or she) is not going to tell me what to do!” Pride often keeps us from being truly reconciled to one another when offenses have occurred because the offender often thinks that what they have done is justified. Pride often keeps us from seeing things from the other persons point of view.

In the Bible, leaven or yeast seems to be a picture of pride. Yeast puffs up and it affects the whole loaf that has it put in as one of the ingredients. In 1 Corinthians 5:6, leaven is associated with moral evil. In Galatians 6:9, leaven seems to be associated with false doctrine.

Hezekiah seemed to fall victim to pride when the Lord blessed him. Possibly his pride was because the Lord had healed him and given him a mighty sign that he would add 15 more years to his life by having the sun dial go backward instead of forward. When Hezekiah repented, he is described as humbling himself which is the opposite of being lifted up.

Pride is usually the reason most of us have trouble coming to saving faith in Christ (see Psalm 10:4). We have trouble trusting in the Lord because we do not want to be accountable to Him. Most of us think we are fairly intelligent and that we are pretty good. Finding out that we don’t think right and that we don’t act right as far as God is concerned is humbling.

About the time we think we have pride under control, we find ourselves proud of our humility. In Proverbs 16:18, we read, :“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” When we are filled with pride, for whatever reason, we are living life in the danger zone. That is reason enough to humble ourselves; to be realistic about our abilities and accomplishments; to submit ourselves to God and to one another, and to avoid a great fall.

Bruce Collins

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