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 (Manna 20)
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Proverbs 16:18 says that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Many great people in the past fell because of pride. The Bible also records many such incidents. As children of God, we should be on guard against pride lest we fall prey to it.

King Nebuchadnezzar

A humble person will be welcomed by all whereas a proud man will not only be rejected by people but by the merciful God as well. Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, on seeing that his kingdom was strong and enjoying prosperity became very proud. When he was walking in his palace he said proudly, “Is not this great Babylon that! have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power and for the honour of my majesty?” Hardly had he finished his words, the judgment of God immediately came to him saying, “O King Nebuchadnezzar to thee it is spoken, ‘The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwell­ing shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most high ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with dew of heaven, till his hairs grew like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws” (Dan 4:29-33). Thus, King Nebuchadnezzar was punished by God for his pride.

King Uzziah

Uzziah, king of Judah, was crowned at the age of 16. He ruled for fifty-two years. In the beginning he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah did. God blessed King Uzziah and so he became prosperous. But when he was strong he became proud and he transgressed against the Lord God by going into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of the incense - an act which only the priest could do. When stopped by Azariah the priest, together with some other priests of the Lord, King Uzziah became angry and went ahead to burn incense. Then he was inflicted with leprosy. He died shamefully a leper (2 Chron 26:1-5, 16-21).


Proverbs 15:25 says, “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud.” King Ahasuerus of Persia promoted Haman above all his other ministers. Haman became so proud that he made ever one passing the king’s gate to how and pay homage to him. However a Jew named Mordecai, ministering at the king’s gate, paid no such homage to him. 1-laman became furious. lie plotted to kill Mordecai and also to annihilate the entire Jewish race. But God did not allow such an evil plan to succeed. Queen Esther revealed the evil scheme of Haman to King Ahasuerus. The king was very angry and commanded Haman to be hung on the gallows which he had made for Mordecai. Flaman’s estate was given to Esther and in the end Haman’s children were also sent to the gallows by the Jews (Esth 8:10, 9:13-14).

Causes of Pride

Wealth: The ancient Chinese has this saying: “Wealth breeds pride, comfort accompanies sorrows.” Moses told the Israelites patiently when they were in the desert east of the Jordan River saying, “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments and His statutes, which I command thee this day : Lest when thou hast built goodly houses, and dwell therein : And when thy herds and thy flocks multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied : Then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage” (Deut 8:11-14).

Wealth can make one proud. No wonder Agurs in his prayer said, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain” (Prov 30:8-9). Paul was fully aware of this. In his first letter to Timothy he told him to charge those that were rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gave them richly all things to enjoy.

Status: Moses told the Israelites to take note of a few things when they entered into Canaan. One of them was how a king should conduct himself. He said, “And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites : And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes to do them : That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel” (Deutl7:18-20). When one holds a high position, he can become proud easily. Haman and Uzziah were classic examples.

Success: When one is successful he can become complacent and egotistical. When King Herod had finished speaking to the people of Tyre and Sidon, they gave a shout saying, “It is the voice of God, and not of a man.” Herod was carried away by the flattery and he did not give glory to God. Immediately the angel of the Lord smote him and he was eaten to death by worms (Ac 12:20-23).

How To Be On Guard

Give glory to God in everything. Since the Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up; The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts; we must leave everything to God by giving thanks to Him and glorifying Him. Then we shall not fall prey to pride.

One who is humble will not seek vainglory. He esteems others better than himself. If one is humble he will carry out his work conscientiously. Mordecai was such a person. He served King Abasucrus as a gate-keeper faithfully. Even though Mordecai had saved the king’s life he never mentioned it to anyone including the king himself. Later when the king knew about it, he accorded Mordecai great honour. Mordecai did not become proud. He went back to gate-keeping after that. Eventually, Mordecai was made a prime minister. This fulfilled the biblical saying: “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Mt 23:12).

One who is proud loses both his virtue and his responsibility. We should work out our own salvation with trembling and fear. Be always on guard against falling prey to pride lest we be punished by God.

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