PRIDE AND ARROGANCE

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By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)


INTRODUCTION

Pride and arrogance reflects a state of inordinate self-esteem, an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talent, beauty, wealth, rank, among other traits that promote self-worth.  Once a person suits up with self-esteem it can lead to lofty airs of others, with real or imagined consciousness of power.  One man stated: Pride that dines on vanity sups with contempt (Franklin).

Scripture gives warning against one's possessing such fleshly attributes:  I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible (Isaiah 13:11).


Pride and Arrogance 
Haughtiness of the Terrible

I will visit them, or inflict upon them the punishment of their iniquity and will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible, is referring to two kings of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar & Belshazzar) who were famous for their pride, arrogance, and haughtiness.

We are seeing an abundance of such in modern times; with some rulers of tyranny having already been deposed or removed from their high position, in which they exalted themselves and caused others to suffer.  As previously noted: Isaiah, in speaking the words of the Lord, said: I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and lay low the haughtiness of the terrible!

Pride Goes Before
Destruction

Scripture reveals: Pride goes before destruction and a haughty (arrogant) spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).  This verse gives warning for one not to fall into the pride and arrogance category; and the fate of those who do.

Scripture reveals that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, while walking in the palace stated: Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?  And while the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven saying, to you it is spoken (a previous warning from God); the kingdom is departed from you (Daniel 4:30-31).

Punishment Foretold
and Exercised

The punishment forewarned fell upon King Nebuchadnezzar.  Scripture reveals: They shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with beasts of the field, and they will make you to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times (years) shall pass over you, till you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whosoever he will (Daniel 4:25).

Then as foretold, the recognition, and acknowledgement, of God as Creator and ruler of the kingdom of men came to King Nebuchadnezzar.  Scripture reveals:  At the end of the days (time) he lifted up his eyes unto heaven, and his understanding returned to him, and he blessed the most High, and he praised and honored him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation (Daniel 4:34).

After Acknowledgment
Came Restoration

King Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom was restored to him, immediately after he begin to give praise and honor to the God, recognizing the ways of His judgment (justice); and that those who walk in pride, He is able to humble.  Pride and arrogance can happen to even the best; if allowed to fester and grow as a cancer.

A Bible commentary noted: The bigger a person or thing is, the greater is the fall; and very often when a man has reached the height of riches and honor, he swells up with pride and vanity on account of it; he then on the edge of a fall and ruin.

Beware of Covetousness

Scripture gives warning: Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses (Luke 12:15).  An illustration is given of the ground of a rich man which brought forth abundantly:

He thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits (store my crops)? And he said, This will I do, I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits (crops) and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry (Luke 12:17-19).

Scripture reveals the fallacy of such thinking: But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided? So is he that lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:20-21).

Amassing Worldly Riches

A Bible commentary noted: Laying up treasure for oneself is to employ all thoughts and time in amassing worldly riches for self; for the future, making no use of one's earthly substance to the good of others, but placing one's hope, trust, and confidence in uncertain riches which can dissipate in one day.

Such is not rich towards God or the things pertaining to God; and fails to depend on His providence for increase, security, and continuance; for His honor and glory, for the good of His interest.  Scripture reveals: Seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (one's true needs) shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Pride and Arrogance
of Same Caliber 

Scripture reveals: The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward (perverse) mouth, do I hate (Proverbs 8:13).  A Bible commentary noted: Pride appears in men, in thinking too highly of themselves, in speaking too well of themselves, in despising others, which is contrary to the spirit of the meek.

Arrogance differs little from pride, as the two words in the Hebrew language are much the same.  It is ascribing to a man's worth whether in things natural, civil, or spiritual.  It is arrogancy in having made oneself differ from others, when one ascribes all the good works done by them is of their own power.

Bandwagon of Popular
Movements

Scripture reveals: We dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves among themselves, and are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Many today jump on the bandwagon for a cause they truly do not understand; a false cause obtained though a deceptive nature, with false pretenses to entice.  The person taken in having failed to look into the truth of the matter; joining the movement because it is popular to do so.

Pride and arrogance comes into focus with ideals of brotherhood and unity thrown into the mix to enhance participation.  Before one jumps on the bandwagon of popular movements it would be wise to examine the true motive of their origin.  

Pride and Arrogance
Noted

King Solomon through pride and arrogance noted: I made me great works; I built houses; I planted vineyards; I made gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits; I made pools of water (to irrigate) therewith the wood that brings forth trees.  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also had great possessions of great and small cattle above (more than) all that were in Jerusalem before me (Ecclesiastes 2:4-7).

A Bible commentary noted: Solomon pursued fulfillment through pleasures, wine, great works, wealth, artistic pleasures, and fame.  All these failed to bring lasting satisfaction to the wisest man of all time, yet people three thousand years later are still trying them in a search of enduring fulfillment!

Futility and Grasping
for the Wind

Scripture reveals the outcome of Solomon's searching for wealth through earthly possessions: So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem; also my wisdom remained with me.  And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy (pleasure); For my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion (reward) of all my labor.

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought (produced), and on the labor that I had labored (toiled) to do: and behold (took note), all was vanity (futility) and vexation of spirit (grasping for the wind), and there was no profit under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:9-11).

Futility of Seeking Earthly
Pleasure and Gain

King Solomon acknowledged the futility of seeking earthly pleasure and gain.  Scripture reveals: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

A Bible commentary noted: God has commanded man to live responsibly and wisely.  The controlling factor of all of life should be the fear of God, that is, submission to God and His will.  The certainty of divine judgment demands it.  Scripture reveals: It is appointed to men once to die; but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Warning Against Pride
and Arrogance

God's Word warns against exercising pride and arrogance: Talk no more exceedingly proudly; let no arrogancy (arrogance) come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed (1 Samuel 2:3).

A Bible commentary noted: For the Lord is a God of knowledge; he knows all persons and all things; rational and irrational, the hearts of all men, all that they say, all their proud, haughty, or overbearing expressions.  And by Him actions are weighed; according to His infinite wisdom, justice and truth.  Let us not get caught up in pride and arrogance; which is contrary to the Word of God, but allow His Word to be the controlling factor in our life!

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