Beware of Pride

When self-importance reaches the point of making a person self-centered and uncharitable, it’s a destructive force against our spirit.  It is the self-prideful attitude that is dangerous. We have seen it in the actions of dictators and kings who acquire such great power and believe they are gods. It is when arrogance makes them lose all compassion and caring for their people and make foolish decisions that are harmful to themselves and others, but they often don't see it until it's too late.

This week at church I was in a different Sunday school group and learned a bit about Pride.  This class was studying in the book of Esther, specifically the pride of Haman and his downfall because of it.


This day Haman was feeling pretty good about him; not only was he honored by the king, but now the queen was requesting that he come to a banquet prepared for just him and the king. How much higher in the kingdom could he get? Haman could not wait to gather his family and friends and tell them the news of his escalating greatness, but he could also not help but tell them about Mordecai, the Jew. How could he be happy with Mordecai sitting at the king's gate?
His wife and friends came up with a quick solution. Why not build a gallows and hang Mordecai in the presence of all people? This would serve as a warning to those who refused to bow before him. He quickly called for the necessary men and immediately had the gallows built.

Haman, the man second only to the king himself, had built a gallows for Mordecai. He only needed the king's permission to proceed with the hanging……

That night, the king had trouble sleeping. He finally quit trying to sleep and decided to read from records of the chronicles of his reign. Perhaps some nice boring reading would help him to sleep. However, that is not what happened. As he was reading he found the entry recording the help of Mordecai in the arrest of two men who were plotting to kill the king.

And would you know who entered the outer court as the king was asking what had been done for Mordecai? Haman, who could hardly wait to get permission from the king to hang Mordecai. Hearing the king's question, he became even more excited. He of course, thought the great man to be honored was himself.
How much better could things get? First he is named 2nd in the kingdom, then Queen Esther invites him to a banquet along with King Ahasuerus, and now the king is intending to honor him.?!?!!?

So, what do you think is going to happen next? Things have gone from bad to worse for Mordecai--at least in the eyes of Haman

“…the king said to him, "What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?" And Haman said to himself, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?" And Haman said to the king,
"For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set. And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.'" 

This definitely sounds like an answer that Haman would give? He could just visualize himself being paraded before the people on the king's horse, and in a royal robe.
God has other plans. Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.”
To make matters worse, Haman was the one who had to run along side of the horse proclaiming, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!"


How quickly things turn around! Suddenly the very man that Haman wanted to hang on the gallows was the man that King Ahasuerus wanted to honor. (Now the Queen knew of Hamons plans to Hang Mordecai and the Jews including herself)

“…as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, "What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled”
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king." 
Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, "Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?" And Esther said, "A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!"

Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.
And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king…..
…. "Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?" As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face. ….. "Moreover, the gallows  that Haman has prepared for Mordecai,…. "Hang him on that." 

So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.


Does your life seem hopeless? Do you feel like the troubles that surround you will never end, and that God does not hear your cries for help? 
I am sure that Mordecai felt the same way.

Our ways are not Gods’ ways, and our timing is not the Gods’ timing!  God hears us cry out to Him, be certain that God's response will be in His time not ours. 

Gods’ time is the perfect time. Not a good time, the best time, just in time, but the Perfect time.

What an amazing God we have!


So the first lesson from the example of Haman is to beware pride in your life. 
Perhaps the best way to watch out for pride in our lives is to recognize things are of pride in your life. If any of them are present in your life, watch out, because pride comes before a fall. God will humble us, and then we will fall if we do not see the error of our ways.  Here are a few I found …

Think about yourself.
Talk about yourself.
Use the personal pronoun “I” as often as possible
Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others.
Listen greedily to what people say about you.
Insist on consideration and respect.
Demand agreement with your own views
Sulk if people are not grateful to you
Never forget
Expect to be appreciated.
Be suspicious.
Be jealous and envious.
Trust nobody





Mediating on the Word and Giving thanks each week..... 




        


6 comments:

  1. I think you could just rewrite what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love in the negative, and it give a pretty good summary of what pride is: Pride does not suffer long [and] is not kind; pride envies; pride parades itself, it is puffed up; it behaves rudely, it seeks its own, is easily provoked, thinks evil; rejoices in iniquity, but does not rejoice in the truth; bears nothing, believes nothing, hopes nothing, endures nothing. Pride fails.

    Manifest Blog

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  2. This is all so very, very true! Thank you Stephen.
    I am visiting your blog, I hope others take a look as well.
    Blessings to you!

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  3. oh wow. this has convicted me tonight of pride in my own life. thank you, dear tracy. xo

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  4. I must decrease so Christ can increase. I've heard that saying since childhood. Christ cannot be seen in a prideful life. This is a great study on pride, Tracy.

    Blessings,
    Pamela

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  5. Haman is a good illustration of pride. I've always liked the end of that story.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  6. I have had a few run-ins with that pride attitude, I'm sorry to say. The worst thing about it was it was me! Pride is one of those things that creeps in unnoticed and disguises itself as something else. I agree with Stephen above, pride could be written as the total opposite of love in Corinthians 13.

    Thank you for your insight.
    Charlotte

    ReplyDelete

I love it when we share and encourage one another!! Thank you for joining me on my journey.


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