The Sin of Pride
The 28th chapter of Ezekiel gives a description of an Angelic
creation of a very high order. To this anointed cherub is
ascribed great wisdom, understanding, and brightness. His
glory was as the splendor of precious stones. Being utterly
blameless in his ways and outstanding in beauty, the Lord
termed him the "stamp of perfection" Ezekiel 28:12
This "day star" (called Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12)
occupied a throne in God's holy mountain. He had been assigned
a certain sphere of responsibility and had been given a specific
dimension of authority. His access to the "stones of
fire" (verse 14) speaks of his interaction with heaven's
inner governmental circle, and with God Himself.
Yet, there came a time when a terrible iniquity was found
in him, a heart lifted up in pride. Because of the magnitude
of his wisdom and the excellence of his beauty, he became
exalted in his thought and opinion about himself. He declared,
"I am a God" Ezekiel 28:2. No longer content with
his appointed place, he coveted more authority and greater
prominence for himself.
Thoughts of exalting his throne and becoming like the Most
High dominated his being, and became the catalyst for a terrible
rebellion and tragic fall. Because of this arrogant exalted
pride, this high and glorious creature became disqualified
from God's governmental order, and was expelled from heaven.
Pride is a grave sin. In Proverbs 8:13, God says, "pride
and arrogancy...do I hate." In I Peter 5:5, we note that,
"God resisteth the proud". This means that He sets
Himself against them, and cuts off their blessing and favor.
God will not fellowship the proud, for He declares "I
dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of
a contrite and humble spirit. . ." Isaiah 57:15. According
to Proverbs 16:18, pride and arrogancy will most surely be
followed by destruction, and a fall.
Pride is so terrible because it contaminates our whole being,
and everything that we do or say. All of Lucifer's wisdom,
understanding, and brightness became corrupted by his exalted
spirit. Think of it! We may have great revelation, signs and
wonders, and many experiences of success, but the element
a lawless and exalted ego voids it all.
When self becomes prominent and assertive, and projects
itself to rob God of the honor and the glory that is due to
Him, then God will manifest Himself in acts of judgment. He
will not allow His glory to be given to another.
What are the sources of pride? Where does it come from?
Our possessions, our attainments, and our successes, both
natural and spiritual, can all become grounds for an exalted
Nebuchadnezzar took great pride in the city of Babylon,
and in the vastness of his empire. He boasted: "Is not
this great Babylon, that I have built...by the might of my
power, and for the honor of my majesty?" Daniel 4:30.
God literally brought him down to crawl on the earth with
the beasts of the field.
Saul of the Old Testament quickly became high minded, and
strong of will inthe exercise of his kingship, forcing God
to remove him. God had chosen him when he had been "little
in his own sight," I Samuel 15:17. But, now he was rejected.
As we have seen in the case of Lucifer, even spiritual blessings
and attainments can bring an exalted spirit. Uzziah the king,
was greatly blessed and marvelously helped of the Lord, but
"when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction.
. ." II Chronicles 26:16. With bold presumption, he violated
God's order for the sanctuary, and was smitten with leprosy.
King Hezehiah was also greatly blessed of the Lord, and
dealt with in great mercy. Yet, instead of manifesting humble
gratitude for all the benefits rendered him, his heart was
lifted up in pride. II Chronicles 32:26. What Godly fear should
attend our walk, when we consider that even a good man can
be overtaken by this sin of pride.
In the case of Paul the Apostle, the Lord saw that the abundance
of his revelations could easily produce an exalted spirit
in him. Thus, Paul was given a "thorn in the flesh,"
the messenger of Satan to buffet him, or to "beat him
down." What it was, we do not know. But, we clearly see
that its purpose was to weaken him and humble him, and make
him continually reliant on God's grace. This was an absolute
necessity to prevent the exaltation and ruination of God's
The presence of pride within us is not easily recognized
nor readily acknowledged. We see it in others much better
than we can in ourselves. It is the work of the Holy Spirit
to expose this and to convict us of it. Can we consider asking
the Lord to search our hearts, and to try our thoughts?
What are some indications of pride and some characteristics
of the proud?
The proud crave for attention. Their uncrucified ego is
continually projected, and demands to be the center of focus.
They seek to impress others by what they say and do, by what
they possess, and by what they are. Inwardly, they desire
more recognition, a higher position, and greater rewards.
Those exalted in spirit are obsessed with a feeling of superiority.
They often demand that their own ideas and opinions be readily
embraced and implemented. They have a low esteem of other
people, and find it difficult to accept and appreciate others'
ideas and performance. They find themselves inconstant competition
with other persons for acceptance, prominence and popularity.
The proud usually have difficulty working under the supervision
of others, or relating to anyone in authority, for they feel
that their own ideas and methods are always best. Because
of this, they often fall into sins of disobedience, murmuring,
and rebellion. They soon become misfits in the home, at their
work, or in the church, and accuse others of not loving and
Eventually, the complaint of the proud ascends even unto
the throne of God. They begin to feel that even God is not
treating them fairly. Surely, they are worthy of better jobs,
more blessings, greater prominence and higher position. n
times of hardship or adversity, their complaint becomes hard
and bitter, for they feel unworthy of such treatment. What
great deception can accompany pride! "For if a man think
himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth
himself" Galatians 6:3.
The Word of the Lord is clear and firm to all the haughty
and high-minded," Humble yourselves under the mighty
hand of God. . .be clothed with humility!" I Peter 5:5,6.
What a contrast that exists between the proud and the humble!
The humble are of a meek and lowly spirit. They have had the
cross applied to their ego. Self no longer projects itself
toward recognition, applause, or reward. The drive to dominate,
control, or instruct other people is gone. In its place has
been birthed a "servant spirit" that is willing
to wash the disciples' feet, willing more to prepare a meal
than to eat it, willing to accept the most menial of tasks,
The humble take a "back seat" in relation to others.
There is no reaching for power, position, or prominence. With
lowliness of mind, they esteem others better than themselves.
There is no demand that their rights be respected or that
they get their just due. They are not strong or dogmatic in
their ideas or opinions, and are not offended when their suggestions
are not implemented.
In times of promotion, they do not step forward, but rather
hide themselves" among the stuff" I Samuel 10:22.
These meek and lowly of heart carry with them a proper sense
of unworthiness, considering themselves to be the chiefest
of sinners, and the least of all saints. Truly, of such is
the Kingdom of God!
Thank God there is a cure for this dreadful disease called
pride. Let the heart that is plagued by this evil run to the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His cross we see that our
sinful, exalted ego was crucified with Him (Romans6:6). This
usurper of the glory and illegal resident of our heart's throne
room has been stripped of its power. In Jesus' death, we were
set free from its dominion, and in His resurrection, we were
enabled to walk in newness of life.
By embracing and applying this work of the cross, we can
literally experience the power of God transforming our lives
(I Corinthians 1:18). The Apostle Paul gloried in this working
of the cross, for by it he became dead to the lust, vanity,
and pride that is in the world (Galatians 6:14; I John 2:16).
He could declare from the reality of experience, "I
am crucified with Christ" Galatians 2:20. The rule of
self had ended, and a new life rooted in the faith of Christ
had now taken over.
Let us sincerely pray: "Father, I humble myself before
you. I ask you to search my heart and know my thoughts. Let
there be an exposure of all vanity and pride within me. I
repent of a life-style corrupted and dominated by an exalted
ego. Lord, help me to look beyond my inability to change myself,
and embrace the transforming power of the cross. This very
day, I would become anew creation in Christ. Grant it, Lord,
for the glory of Thy Name. Amen."