Pride goes before destruction
And a haughty spirit before stumbling
In this BIBLE study of 2 Kings Chapter 14, our Beloved LORD GOD will instruct us concerning pride. We will begin by observing the behavior of king Amaziah of Judah. As we observe his behavior, we will:
- define pride and GOD’s verdict of it
- study sinful behaviors that spring from the root sin pride, observe how a proud heart has deceived many, and consider the outcome of those who walked in pride
- carefully take into account how to overcome pride
Throughout The BIBLE our Beloved LORD GOD tells us of many things that are an abomination (something detestable, repugnant, loathing) to HIM; pride is one of them. Let’s take a moment and look at a couple Scriptures:
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
There are six things which The LORD hates
Yes, seven which are an abomination to HIM
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue
And hands that shed innocent blood
A heart that devises wicked plans
Feet that run rapidly to evil
A false witness who utters lies
And one who spreads strife among brothers
Why is pride an abomination to The LORD? It is a root sin (a sin from which many other sins grow). Pride can be defined many different ways, but we will only offer the following seven:
- Belief so excessive in one’s own abilities, that GOD’s grace is not recognized
- Arrogant (unreasonable trust in one’s own superiority, importance)
- Braggart (self-boasting)
- Conceited (exaggerated opinion of one’s self)
- Haughty (great pride in one’s self, disdain for others)
- Inordinate self-esteem
- Insolent (rude, disrespectful, insulting to others)
In our study of king Amaziah of Judah in 2 Kings 14:1-29 and 2 Chronicles 25:1-28, we learn that he was filled with pride. He half-heartedly obeyed GOD (2 Kin 14:3-4, 2 Chr 25:2), because of his inordinate self-esteem. Amaziah had an unreasonable conceit of his own superiority, choosing to do his own will over GOD’s. He was also insolent, disrespecting WHO our Almighty GOD is. Instead of seeking GOD’s counsel and help, when he was going to war against the Edomites, he hired 100,000 mercenaries from Israel for a current price of $3,202,800 (calculated as price per ounce of silver on 9/8/20 * 120,000 ounces or 100 talents of silver). It was only when our Beloved LORD GOD sent one of HIS prophets to warn Amaziah of the outcome of his foolish decision, that he turned from that course and sent the mercenaries home. Even when our merciful GOD helped him defeat the Edomites, he was not grateful for the blessing GOD gave him, instead he was arrogant. In his arrogance, not only did Amaziah completely forsake our GOD, to serve the lifeless idols he brought back from Edom (2 Chr 25:14-16); he also forced Israel into war (2 Kin 14:8-20, 2 Chr 25:17-28). As a result of his pride, Amaziah was badly defeated by Israel, Jerusalem ransacked, and he was murdered.
Our Beloved LORD GOD tells us “pride goes before destruction” and we have confirmation of HIS WORD with:
- Satan ― Who wanted the glory that belonged to GOD alone (Isa 14:13-14). All that GOD had given him was not enough (Eze 28:12-19). Satan’s pride caused his fall (1 Tim 3:6). Satan was cast from heaven (Isa 14:12, Eze 28:16, Rev 12:7-9) and will spend eternity in hell (Mat 25:41, Rev 20:10).
- Saul ― Trusted his own decisions above GOD’s commands (1 Sam 10:8, 1 Sam 13:4-15, 1 Sam 15:1-35). And was so proud of himself after his battle with the Amalekites, he built a monument for himself, at Carmel to commemorate his victory (1 Sam 15:12). Saul in his arrogance believed he could thwart GOD’s choice of a new king, by killing David (1 Sam chapters 18-24, 26-28). In this arrogance, he slaughtered eighty-five of GOD’s priests, thinking they had helped David escape from him (1 Sam 22:6-19). When he sought out a medium (necromancer or one who consults the dead), among those our LORD commanded be removed from Israel through death (Exd 22:18, Deu 18:10-11), and then vowed “as our LORD lives, he would protect her” (1 Sam 28:3-20), brought death on himself and his sons at the hands of the Philistines (1 Sam 31:1-13).
- Nebuchadnezzar ― Looked out over his kingdom and took credit for what GOD had given him (Dan 4:29-33). GOD forewarned him in a dream (Dan 4:4-18) and by HIS servant Daniel, to break away from his sins by doing righteousness (Dan 4: 19-27). Nebuchadnezzar did not listen, and the sentence was carried out against him a year later (Dan 4:29-37).
- Sinners and the disobedient ― Believe Satan’s lie, that they are like GOD (Gen 3:4-5, Eze 28:2), they rely on themselves instead of GOD. They trust in their own understanding (Pro 3:5, Pro 16:25, Pro 28:26, Eze 33:13), contend with GOD (Isa 45:9, 1 Sam 2:10, Rom 9:20) and HIS servants (Hos 4:4, Deu 17:12, Heb 13:17), and refuse to listen to HIS WORD (2 Ths 2:10-12, 2 Tim 4:4), or HIS messengers (Luk 10:16). Which brings both physical and spiritual death (Rev 20:14-15, Rev 21:8).
John Piper, the founder and senior teacher at desiringGOD.org, correctly expounded on Matthew 22:36-37 by stating, sinning is any feeling or thought or speech or action that comes from a heart that does not treasure GOD over all other things. A heart that prefers anything above GOD. A heart that does not treasure GOD over anything or anyone else. He also correctly defines sin according to Scripture as:
- The glory of GOD not honored (Psa 22:22-23, Psa 50:23, Heb 13:15-16)
- The holiness of GOD not reverenced (Lev 10:1-3, Num 20:8-13)
- The greatness of GOD not admired (Exd 5:2, Exd 10:3-11)
- The power of GOD not praised (Mat 12:22-31, Mrk 3:20-30, Rom 1:21)
- The truth of GOD not sought (2 Ths 2:10-12, 2 Tim 4:3-4)
- The wisdom of GOD not esteemed (Jer 36:1-26, Pro 1:7, Pro 23:9)
- The beauty of GOD not treasured (Psa 27:4-5, Psa 26:8, Isa 33:17)
- The goodness of GOD not savored (Psa 34:8, Psa 119:103-104, Isa 30:10-11)
- The faithfulness of GOD not trusted (Deu 1:30-33, Deu 9:23, Zep 3:1-2)
- The promises of GOD not believed (Psa 78:22-33, Psa 106:24-27, Jud 1:5)
- The commandments of GOD not obeyed (Isa 42:23-24, Jer 7:24, Jhn 3:36)
- The justice of GOD not respected (Pro 17:23, Pro 19:28, Luk 11:42)
- The wrath of GOD not feared (Psa 36:1-4, 2 Kin 18:28-35, Rev 16:8-11)
- The grace of GOD not cherished (Isa 26:10, 2 Pet 3:3-9)
- The presence of GOD not prized (Job 21:14-15, Mat 8:34)
- The person of GOD not loved (Jhn 8:42, 1 Jhn 5:1)
How do we overcome pride? By humbling, praying, seeking, and turning (2 Chr 7:14). When humbling yourself, you are willing to acknowledge your guilt by admitting (confessing) your sin (wrongdoing). When praying, you are not only asking our Beloved LORD GOD to forgive you (Psa 32:5-6, Pro 28:13, 1 Jhn 1:9), but you are also asking HIM to take the pride from within you. When seeking, you are seeking HIS presence. In HIS presence you will find answers to questions (2 Sam 21:1, Psa 73:16-17); In HIS presence your soul will find rest and refreshment (Mat 11:28, Act 3:19); In HIS presence you will experience peace and joy (Psa 16:11, Psa 21:6); In HIS presence you will relax in HIS safety and protection (Psa 27:5, Psa 31:20, Psa 42:5). When turning, you are repenting by turning your back on your wicked life (2 Kin 17:13, Eze 18:30-32, Eze 33:11, Act 17:30-31).
Thus says The LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy ONE of Israel,
I am The LORD your GOD, WHO teaches you to profit
WHO leads you in the way you should go
If only you had paid attention to MY commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea
Your descendants would have been like the sand
And your offspring like its grains
Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from MY presence