Dealing With Pride, Part 1
This teaching will begin a series about pride. You really don’t need your Bible. You could close it if you want to because I’m not going to give you doctrine or a set of teachings. If that’s what you get out of this message then you’re missing the point. This is a teaching about God’s judgment in relationship to pride. One of the characteristics of pride is it doesn’t see itself and denies that it exists. In our bodies we have blood that gives us strength, and scripture says there is life in the blood. Like blood to the body is pride to self. Pride gives self its power and strength. If we lay down the pride then self dies. Pride exalts itself by saying, “I don’t need God, therefore I will not submit to God.” Pride claims it does not exist so there is no need for anything to change. We are not looking at all the ways pride comes out. There are a lot of noble sermons about how Satan fell from heaven. We’ll get into all of that later in this series. What we need is fear and trembling and only Jesus can bring it into our hearts. Only he can dig around in our hearts and bring the light to show us where the pride is and how it comes out. If we are going to look at how pride manifests itself and what Jesus needs to deal with in our hearts, then we first have to get a fear that begins to see the consequences of pride in our own life. Then we give God permission to come in, search, and do his work.
Isaiah 2:6- You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans.
Today we clasp hands with pagans in the way we celebrate Easter and Christmas. What caused the priests, leaders, and the teachers to abandon the house of Jacob?
Isaiah 2:7- Their land is full of silver and gold;
That certainly applies to this land, churches, and a lot of people.
Isaiah 2:7- there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots.
Certainly we have an abundance of automobiles and other forms of transportation.
Isaiah 2:8- Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.
Paul writes saying, “Why are you taking pride in one man over another man? Why is it you say you belong to this particular group or certain doctrine? Why is it that you identify yourself with a certain group and separate yourself as if you were exalted and different?”
Isaiah 2:8- Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.
God says in scripture that no man should say “This is the word of the Lord,” because each man’s word becomes the word of the Lord. Each man takes scripture, doctrine, his own ideas of fellowship, and molds them into what he wants so that he feels spiritual and put together. This is all because of the motivation of pride. In order for us to know the truth and know Jesus Christ in our hearts, pride must go. The nature of pride is that it will tell you that you are humble. Pride will tell you that you know Jesus Christ, that you’re meek and lowly. Yet only God can bring the humility that is hidden in him.
Isaiah 2:9- So man will be brought low and mankind humbled
We have a choice to humble ourselves now, because there will come a time when you will be humbled, but it will be of no benefit in your life.
Isaiah 2:9- So man will be brought low and mankind humbled—do not forgive them.
Jesus says that we need to humble and lower ourselves. If we refuse to do it now when God seeks to do it in the time of grace, there will come a time when all men will indeed be humbled. But men of prayer and righteousness will say, “Lord, do not forgive them for their haughtiness because they refused to repent.”
Isaiah 2:10-11- Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
It doesn’t say that man will exalt in Jesus Christ so that he can be proud of his exaltation in God. Pride is so sinister, it’s like a snake that you’re trying to contain. It slithers out of whatever opening it can find. When a man says that he exalts in God and he worships in a New Testament church that somehow they’re right with God. The insidiousness of pride wells up making them think, “I’m right with God.” Only God can deliver us from pride. It takes someone greater than ourselves to humble us. Yet we see ourselves trying to be humble time and time again, and yet we never succeed because pride can’t do it. No matter how much we say with our lips that we want to be meek, humble and know in our hearts that we are nothing before Jesus Christ, we cannot produce it or bring it about. Pride is too sinister, and it’s too sly. It knows the right words to say. Only God can come with the surgeon’s knife to cut it out and throw it away. Nobody sits on the operating table and does it to themselves. It takes someone trained and able to do it.
Isaiah 2:11- The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
There will honestly be a purity of heart, and a cleanliness of spirit as man knows that there is nothing good in him. He really knows it with conviction and with the life that the Spirit has brought. The only person that will be exalted and glorified is Jesus Christ. There will be no false humility to keep pride alive. No secret part of self should remain and be proud of its glorying in God.
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),
Over and over again we will see that men will indeed be humbled one day. That is a certainty in God.
Isaiah 2:13-16- for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel.
Everything will be humbled and the only thing left to be exalted is God. No matter how high your wall of righteousness is or how much you talk of humility, no matter how much work is done, the only thing exalted and glorified is Jesus Christ. We either begin to humble ourselves now and allow God and the Spirit to do that work or there will come a time when God will humble us and we will not be forgiven even though we are humbled.
Isaiah 2:17- The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
Again, God will be the only thing glorified.
Isaiah 2:18- and the idols will totally disappear.
Of course! When man’s pride is gone, idols are stripped. Idols of doctrine, teaching, and whatever man can do or create with his hands disappear in the glory of Jesus Christ. If a church is to be clean and pure, not only in doctrine but in life, there must come a time when Jesus is the only thing exalted in our hearts. There is so much opinion and discussion but very little hearing from the Spirit because men refuse to lay down their pride. The day each person in the body can say, “It doesn’t matter to me if I’m right. I only want Jesus to be exalted and the truth to shine out. It doesn’t matter to me what Jesus strips from me. I only want him to be exalted.” There you will find purity and understanding of what the Spirit will bring.
Isaiah 2:19-20- Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship.
Remember in Exodus when they built the golden calf, they didn’t say, “Let’s worship a cow.” They said, “Let there be a festival in the name of the Lord. Let it be unto Jehovah, the Almighty God.” Yet they fashioned for themselves something that they created. The pride of man coming is out, though it is as shiny as gold, looks noble, goes in line with scripture, and is done in the name of the Lord. It is pride doing the sinister work. It always leads to sin and man puffing himself up. Only God can shake it from us and deliver us from pride. All we can do is humble ourselves before Him and plead that he comes into our hearts to rescue us from the chains that hold us.
Isaiah 2:21- They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.
God is coming to destroy the pride and arrogance of man. Let him do it now while it is a time of grace and mercy. We have to have the fear in our hearts that looks forward to the Spirit blessing us by showing us our pride and the need to be humbled. How often Christians become useless to God because of pride.
Jeremiah 13:1-3- This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist. Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time:
It’s amazing how humble and teachable Jeremiah was. He didn’t ask why or what for, he just did what the Lord told him to do. Then the Lord came to him a second time.
Jeremiah 13:4- Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.
Why the crevice of the rocks? Because that’s where men will hide. That’s where filthy men will run at the majesty of his coming. That’s where pride and arrogance will go when God comes in all his glory. They will hide in the rocks with all their filth.
Jeremiah 13:5-9- So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me. Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.’”
God is talking to his holy people. He is not talking to the pagans, atheists, or unbelievers. He’s talking to those who profess his name. He’s talking to those who come into his temple and say they want to worship the Lord and be humbled before him. He’s talking to people who sing about humility and talk to one another of purity and holiness. He is talking about the priest who talks about God’s word and speaks of humility and worshipping God lone. That’s who this message goes out to. “In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.” We need to ask God to come to the Judah part of us, the strength, and power that we hold on to and ruin it. We need to plead with fear and trembling that God would ruin the Jerusalem part of us. Jerusalem represents the holy temple part of us that thinks we’re spiritual and somehow right with God. May God ruin it for us so that we might totally be dependent on him. When Satan came to tempt Jesus he lifted him to the peak of the temple in Jerusalem. Satan does the same to us. He lifts us up to our Jerusalem, our spiritual places, and we lose the fear and trembling of who God is. We begin to fashion for ourselves idols made in our own image. We begin to strengthen ourselves according to what we can put together, even though it’s in line with the word of God.
Jeremiah 13:10- These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts
Pride exalts self and tells you to follow what’s in your heart. There’s removing of pride and allowing God’s word to honestly come and do its work so that indeed we are a humble people. Pride is a sinister thing and pride will wrestle with pride. It will do anything but let God deal with it. When you find God dealing with pride in a life and in a heart, you will find a people rebelling, struggling, and wrestling against it because God is dealing with the heart. If I said to each of you, “Go out in your pride and deal with it,” you would love it. But the minute we begin to pray, “Oh, God, come to us and deal with the pride in our hearts,” we find ourselves in situations we can’t run from. The secret parts of our heart are revealed not only to God, but to men. There we find fellowship where we rub against each other and pride comes out. We have to humble ourselves, not just once but time and time again.
Jeremiah 13:10- These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt completely useless!
Though it is the strength of Judah and the worship of Jerusalem, it is completely worthless because of one thing: pride. Pride causes arrogant stubbornness in your own heart. Pride that thinks it knows good from evil and knows what’s proper and holy.
Jeremiah 13:11- For as a belt is bound around a man’s waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’
Don’t think for a moment they didn’t talk about humility. They read the old book that Moses wrote of the glory and covenant that tells how the people fell prostrate before God. Don’t think for a moment that those things were left out. But they didn’t listen to God. Only God can deliver us from this kind of pride. I can tell you all day long to deal with pride in your life. I can say, “You’ve got pride in your heart you need to deal with it.” You can do the same to me. But the Spirit has to be there and we have to listen to his words. Only he is powerful enough to deliver us from the sin of pride. The pride that says, “I am innocent.” Pride that justifies, white washes and says, “I have no need to change.” Only he can do it. We have to be willing and fall prostrate before God. We have to lay in the prayer closet, be silent before God and let him do his work. Let’s not wait until we are a useless belt. Let God wrap us around him. Let’s be of value to him.
Pride always leads to complacency. Pride always thinks it’s well and fine in the Lord. I know men will say with their lips that they have need of change. But in the midst of saying they need to change there’s still a sense of ease and complacency. People like to think because they’ve said they need to change that’s all that needs to happen. They think because they’ve told the Lord they need to be more humble they can still keep their pride a little longer. Pride becomes proud of the fact that it has confessed its need for humility. It always leads people who are complacent in dealing with sin.
Amos 6:1-4- Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come! Go to Calneh and look at it; go from there to great Hamath, and then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are they better off than your two kingdoms? Is their land larger than yours? You put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror. You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves.
No doubt they thought that feasting on the lamb was The Lamb. They thought it was a religious thing and they were somehow feasting on Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lamb of lambs. Don’t think for a moment that they realized what was happening. Why else would God have sent Amos? Pride deceives us, puts a wall, and blinds us. Pride fortifies a wall, whitewashes it, and paints the word “humility” on it. Pride does its work and does it well.
Amos 6:5- You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments.
These were a worshipping people. No doubt they prided themselves on being like David, otherwise he wouldn’t have brought this up. No doubt in their worship and coming before God they sang of holiness, purity, and meekness. All the while they are comfortable in their relationship with God. They serve God while lounging on beds of Ivory.
Amos 6:6- You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
You don’t see the sin in the camp. You are comfortable. Your pride has you lifted up and you think you are right with God. You don’t care about anybody else but yourself. You think, “I am fine with God, that’s all that’s needed.” But when a man realizes how much he needs God, how much the grace of God works in his life, and how he is not forgiven apart from that grace, he lives his life in fear and trembling. All he can do is pray and hope that other people will humble themselves also. He knows whatever wall they have and whatever prayers they say, no matter how much they improvise on David’s instruments, those things will not save them in the end. There is a fear and trembling in knowing who God is and his wrath against pride and haughtiness.
Amos 6:6- . . . but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph.
There is no concern for yourself or anybody else.
Amos 6:7- Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end.
To let Jesus Christ deal with the pride in our lives means that our feasting, lounging, our comfortable little religion, and dealing with our sin by our own strength begins to die. Then God begins to deal with his people as he sees fit, and in his timing. No longer can you say, “I will deal with this sin later.” If God comes to you to deal with that sin today, then it’s dealt with today. No longer are you playing God commanding him to do what you want him to do. He comes to you to deal with pride as he sees fit, when he sees fit to do it. He indeed becomes God in your life.
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.”
Every time God comes to us and tries to show us something, we need to say, “I am wrong. That was sin.” When we don’t open our mouths to humble ourselves, we build a fortified city that he will completely take into captivity one day. A wall is built brick by brick. Some of you are building your pride brick by brick even though you write “humility” on it. You think you are dealing with sin and keep saying, “I really want this gone in my life.” Yet when we are unwilling to be wrong, unwilling to be corrected, unwilling to see what our feasting and lounging really is, we build a wall. It becomes a fortified city that God abhors and will completely destroy. All you have to do is ask yourself how many little bricks you keep setting up on the wall. When was the last time God came to you and you had an opportunity to say, “I am wrong. I’m impure. I’m unclean,” and you didn’t do it? You put a brick up on the wall. You built a fortified city. When we stretch the truth and pervert it, we make ourselves look more noble than we really are. We build a wall that he will have to destroy.
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.”
We ought to abhor the pride we don’t see that lives in our own lives.
Amos 6:9- If ten men are left in one house, they too will die.
Let us allow God to deliver up our pride now. Let him come in and kill every ounce of pride that lives there. Consider it a blessing and a grace.
Amos 6:10-12- And if a relative who is to burn the bodies comes to carry them out of the house and asks anyone still hiding there, “Is anyone with you?” and he says, “No,” then he will say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.” For the Lord has given the command, and he will smash the great house into pieces and the small house into bits. Do horses run on the rocky crags? Does one plow there with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness—
Pride hates to be corrected and reproved. It hates the light. So when correction, reproof and the Spirit comes to bring humility, we hate it and we turn it into something bitter. We detest it, whitewash it, and try to make ourselves look good. We do anything but say that to be humbled is the most noble blessing a man can have in Jesus. Our lives, our mouths, and our actions declare that we consider righteousness to be a bitterness. “Oh, no, I’m going to be humbled again. God is going to ask me to deny myself once more.” We demonstrate that righteousness is bitterness, instead of a blessing.
Churches pride themselves in soaring like eagles. They sing about that passage.
Obadiah 1:1-2- The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign Lord says about Edom– We have heard a message from the Lord: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Rise, and let us go against her for battle ”“See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised.
Why? What brings this judgment into our lives?
Obadiah 1:3-4- 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?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
How many churches and Christians are high and exalted? How many say to themselves, “We soar like eagles”? If that be so, then where is the humility, the brokenness and walking in the light with one another? Where is the love that comes from the throne room of God? You can’t have fellowship, fire, or light unless pride dies.
Obadiah 1:4- Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
Does our pride deceive us? Always. You can count on it. Pride will never tell you the truth. If pride gives you something with truth in it, it’s a lie, because a lie will follow the truth. What is the Holy Spirit? The Spirit of Truth. Only God can come to our hearts and speak to us the truth about who we are. We don’t know ourselves and we never will because pride deceives us every single time. We think we are lovelier than we really are. We think we serve, love and care more than we really do. We say, “I will never deny you, Jesus,” yet Jesus just told us the truth that we would deny him.
Zephaniah 3:1- Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled!
So many Christian talk of promised freedom. So many churches are filled with people promising deliverance but are actually defiled and oppressed people.
Zephaniah 3:2- She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God.
There are churches that talk of prophesy and speak in tongues, and they say, “Don’t let your spirit of condemnation come out in this prophecy. Don’t bring anything negative before the congregation.” As this scripture says, “…she accepts no correction.” Why do you think scripture says not to treat prophesies with contempt? Don’t look down on prophecies when God seeks to reprove. Prophecy doesn’t need to have music, stars, and angels dancing. It can be brother or sister of lowliness and meekness speaking to one another. Scripture says the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Hebrews says the word of God is alive and active, dividing soul from spirit, bone from marrow, revealing the motives of men’s heart. Our fellowship with one another is the Spirit of Prophesy.
Zephaniah 3:2-4- She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God. Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law.
They prophesy out of their own spirit and their own minds. It has just enough twist in it to allow everyone to keep their sin and pride.
Zephaniah 3:5- The Lord within her is righteous; he does no wrong. Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame.
What does this say to us? It says, “Let us throw out this ‘wisdom’ and doctrine that says every time we are under conviction, it must be from Satan.” When a brother or sister comes to us with a correction or admonishment we think that somehow they are being unloving and unkind. Every single day God comes with justice and love. He comes to reprove and correct. But nobody blushes or wants to be put to shame.
Zephaniah 3:6-7- I have cut off nations; their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted, with no one passing through. Their cities are destroyed; no one will be left no one at all. I said to the city, “Surely you will fear me and accept correction!” Then her dwelling would not be cut off, nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.
As long as pride is king, they will not accept correction. The man who is the most humble accepts correction the easiest and changes quickly. Very often it is the haughty who accuse the humble of being prideful. But a humble man changes and becomes different. As time goes on he needs less and less correction. Look at Moses. Scripture says he was the most humble man on the face of the earth. How many people got in trouble time after time for correcting Moses?
Zephaniah 3:7- I said to the city, “Surely you will fear me and accept correction!” Then her dwelling would not be cut off, nor all my punishments come upon her. But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.
Just enough defilement to make everything unclean.
Zephaniah 3:8- “Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord, “for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them—all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.”
It is because of pride and our unwillingness to accept correction from the hand of God that he becomes angry. We will accept it from ourselves or men we respect (at least those who say what we want to hear) but we won’t accept it from the hand of God because then we really have to die. Everything crumbles.
Zephaniah 3:8-9- the whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
With all the talk of unity, why do we not really have it? Because of pride. But there will come a day when pride is removed and the dross is gone and everybody serves the Lord shoulder to shoulder. They were one in heart and mind. Finally, the plea is fulfilled where Paul says, “I plead with you to be perfectly united in thought and in action,” will be true because pride is gone. A humble man doesn’t care about being right, in fact he abhors the thought of it. The only thing that will be exalted in that day is the Lord. It doesn’t matter to me whether I can box you in a corner with scripture and walk away thinking, “I am right,” because if I am right, I am wrong. The only thing that matters is that God is exalted and his glory shines out. But don’t think for a moment you can get that kind of heart. You can’t do it. It can only come from him who gives it.
Zephaniah 3:9- Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.
No more haughty talk. No more opinionated garbage. No more man just spewing out scriptures. It will indeed be the Spirit working.
Zephaniah 3:10-11- From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.
Why are wrongs committed? Because those who rejoice in their pride are allowed within the city. Why is the church unclean? Because we allow those who rejoice in their false humility to stay. We pray it doesn’t happen. We don’t even think to come before the throne of God and say, “Deliver us from our pride.” It doesn’t come out of our lips in the prayer closet. So pride comes up, and we do wrong to God every single time. “Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.” Never again will there be those who say, “I am right. I am justified.” Never! Never will a man care about whether he’s right or justified in the sight of other men.
Zephaniah 3:12- But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord.
That ought to bring tears to our eyes. That kind of promise ought to well up within our hearts a rich sounding “Amen!” Look at the situation people are in and what they worship. Ministries, churches, words, and opinions are all exalted. How we should long and plead for the humble in the land. We should glory in their lives.
Zephaniah 3:12-13- But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.”
There is no deceit in their mouths because there is no pride in their hearts. If we really want the purity God can bring, he has to rob us of all pride.
Isaiah 3:16-17- The Lord says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald.”
See how much haughtiness there is in the church among women today. We have become so accustomed to it, we no longer feel what God feels. We are so used to pride in our own hearts and we tolerate it ourselves. You can look at anybody else and say, “I am more humble than that man.” That doesn’t make you a humble man. It makes you less prideful, but that’s about it. Often people say, “I am not as prideful as that person.” The issue isn’t whether you can look at other men and say you are not as prideful. Can you look Jesus Christ in the face and have him say you are humble? Women are full of haughtiness. Scripture says that women who pray or prophesy without a covering are bald. No wonder this curse says God will make their scalps bald. There is simply no submission, humility, and brokenness.
Isaiah 3:18-23- In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
No longer will their beauty come from something outward but from an inward spirit.
Isaiah 3:24-26- Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground.
Isaiah 4:1- In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!”
These are women who belong to no one. They are women not married to Jesus Christ and are looking for someone to be united with. The secretness of pride robs us of our relationship with God. All of our fine beauty and the things we have on the outside do not speak of what is in the heart. Again, it cannot be over emphasized that only God can deal with your heart. Only he can reach down and reveal pride. Pride will not stand up and say, “Here I am.” Pride keeps us from being obedient because we want our own life. Pride gives self its power and strength. Pride says, “I have no need to submit to anybody and I do not want to submit to anybody.” Pride rears its ugly head and rebels against every authority. The ultimate authority that a man rebels against is God himself. In Leviticus 26:14, God traces their rebellion to pride and haughtiness of spirit.
Leviticus 26:14-17- But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.
It doesn’t have to be a physical army. All God has to do is let you have every one of the fears that linger in your heart. There are things that each of us have deep in our hearts that we hope never happens to us. In the hidden corners of each of us are certain things that we plead secretly with God to never happen in our lives. Those are the very things God is saying he will permit.
Leviticus 26:18- If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
“I will break down your stubborn pride.” Pride keeps them from obeying God’s word. What gives self its strength and power to live, but pride. We still think there’s something noble in our excuses and reasons. We still think we can somehow escape hell, and we will be exempt if we disobey. We call God a liar by saying he gives the Holy Spirit to those who disobey him.
Leviticus 26:20-24- Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit. If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted. If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over.
All because of stubborn pride.
Leviticus 26:25-26- And I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands. When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.
Do you remember your past sin? Do you remember the loneliness, pain and turmoil that each of you were in? It will be 7 times worse than that! What did Jesus say about the house that’s swept clean? God wouldn’t even have to actively come against us with an army. All he would have to do is withdraw his Spirit and let every sin that lingers within you live. All he has to do is remove his hand from a nation, and like the nation of Germany, men will stand in line to get jobs for the gas chamber. All he would have to do is let us have our sin.
Leviticus 26:27-29- If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.
This is something that we abhor and would never think ourselves capable of doing. We cannot bear the thought of taking our own children, placing them in a pot and cooking them to eat their flesh. How far must we go until we wake up and see that pride must go and that by the hand of God? What will it take for us to love God when he comes to us and robs us of our pride? Time and time again he’s saying, “I tried to humble you here and you wouldn’t repent.” What are we going to force God to do before we wake up? We should have told God before he ever got started discipling us that we wanted our pride gone. We say it with our lips but what’s it going to be like in our fellowship? You might say, “I want my pride gone.” Good, then let’s see it in fellowship. Where else do you think pride is going to come out? If you can’t be humble with your brothers and sisters who love you and desire no harm to you except you be humble and broken, you will never do it before God or the world.
Leviticus 26:30- I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you.
“I will destroy your high places.” Your high place is the one thing you think you have held together in Jesus. All the pride must go. Pride has secret high place that God must tear down.
Leviticus 26:30- I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you.
All because of stubborn pride.
Leviticus 26:31- I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings.
He’s not talking to non-believers. He is talking to people who love and know God.
Leviticus 26:32- I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.
Leviticus 26:33-36- I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the Sabbaths you lived in it. As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them.
We don’t need to trace this back to some sinister event in your life that causes you to sin. Trace it back to stubborn pride that just refuses to be humbled. We need to look at what we do and why we do it, and let God do his work.
Leviticus 26:37-42- They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies. You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away. But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers—their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
To avoid the wrath of God we must humble ourselves and not only confess our sins, but the sins of everybody else. It’s not a matter of me just going into the prayer closet and confessing to God and that’s it. It means we will, with humility, be honest with each other. We confess our sins to one another and pray for one another that we might be healed as James says. “If they humble themselves I will deliver.” I want you to notice it still says they have to pay for their sins, doesn’t it? Why? Because if you let up on a heart too quickly after it’s been humbled pride gets back in. We must have such a hatred of pride that we allow the Holy Spirit to put up a wall around us to keep out pride. There must be a resolve within each of us to hate pride that lingers and could try to come back in. We must remember what pride does to us and how it separates us from God to do its sinister work. God leaves the rod only that he may not have to pick it up again. He lets it sting twice only that he may not have to do it 100 times more. God seeks to deliver men from pride. He does it with harsh measures. We may have to pay for our disobedience, but that’s so that we will be obedient children from then on. That we as God’s people would honestly fear pride being in our life. How little fear there is of that. We don’t consider it public enemy #1.
Leviticus 26:42-44- I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God.
Do you see the love in what he said? “Though I discipline you with the rod and I allow a thorn in the flesh to remain in you to keep you from pride, I am the Lord your God. I do love.”
Leviticus 26:45-46- But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord. These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the Lord established on Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses.
We must come to abhor the pride that seeks to live in us. Look at Isaiah 13:9. How little we realize, with power by the Spirit, that when Jesus says a man must humble himself that’s what he really means. How few men really make it a goal in Jesus to be humble and broken.
Isaiah 13:9- See, the day of the Lord is coming cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
Paul says, “We know what it is to fear the Lord, so we warn all men.”
Isaiah 13:10-13- The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. 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. I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.
How much we need to humble ourselves and plead for God’s Spirit to do the work in us.
Isaiah 13:14-15- Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep without a shepherd, each will return to his own people, each will flee to his native land. Whoever is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword.
Certainly by the sword of the Lord, the word of God.
Isaiah 13:16- Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be looted and their wives ravished.
All because of the arrogance of man and the haughtiness of his eyes. The pride in his land, his family, or whatever he has accomplished.
Isaiah 13:17-22- See, I will stir up against them the Medes, who do not care for silver and have no delight in gold. Their bows will strike down the young men; they will have no mercy on infants nor will they look with compassion on children. Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the glory of the Babylonians’ pride, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah. She will never be inhabited or lived in through all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there, no shepherd will rest his flocks there. But desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses; there the owls will dwell, and there the wild goats will leap about. Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.
The pride of man will not continue forever. There is no use looking to the other men of pride and saying, “They are haughty.” Look to your own heart. See whether you have the humility that comes from God’s throne room that only he can work with great fear and trembling in our hearts. Be sure it’s not pride seeking to humble itself and thereby deceiving itself. Look at your fellowship therein lies the answer.
Father, we do pray that you deliver us from sin. Deliver us from pride, Oh, God and from arrogance. Do, Father, what only you can do. All of our prayers can’t humble us. All of our asking to be humbled can’t humble us. Only you can do it, Oh, God. We know, Father, that you are a God that longs to do so. You desire that none of us fall under wrath or condemnation because of pride. God, work within us a fear and trembling that will not allow pride to linger or to dwell there. Shine forth your light into our hearts, Oh, God. Bring out the ugly things, Father. Tear down the walls that we cannot see, Father, and deliver us from pride, Oh, God, that we might be an obedient people to you. That each person, Father, in this body would glory in one person, only in Christ Jesus. That no man would ever be looked up to except through the eyes of Jesus. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.