GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Pride- A Destructive Dead End Road
By Keith L. Estes
Stalker says, “The essence of sin is selfishness, and pride is the inordinate assertion of self.”
Why did the angels fall? Pride! Milton in Paradise Lost pictured the outstanding feature of the leader of the angels in this tragic drama as arrogance. He cries, “Better to reign in hell, than to serve in heav’n.”
Maxie Dunnam says, “All of this seems so dramatic, but that’s not the way it is with most of us. The way pride usually expresses itself is not be dramatic, but it is pervasive. Think of pride as preoccupation with self, the inordinate assertion of self. Stop for a moment and reflect on your life and that of those around you. Do you see why those who have investigated the subject most deeply see pride as the primary sin?
Webster says pride is “an inordinate self-esteem an unreasonable conceit of superiority. The Oxford English dictionary reads…”an overweening opinion of one’s own qualities.”
Let’s consider the pride of King Nebuchadnezzar found in the book of Daniel. He was responsible for building the great ancient city of Babylon with its hanging gardens. (One of the wonders of the ancient world.)
The scripture states that, “At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said,” 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?”
While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice form heaven, 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 (years) 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 the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds claws.
Two important questions arise from this incident: Could it happen to a man? And could it have happened to Nebuchadnezzar? The answer to both questions is “Yes.”
There is a mental illness known as zoanthropy in which a man thinks and acts like an animal. It is also called boanthropy, more specifically, when a man thinks of himself as an ox. In answer to the second question, this illness is not mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s annals, but one would not expect such a humiliating experience to be chronicled. On the other hand, his long reign of forty-three years is more than long enough to include the lengthy sickness.
In the book of Proverbs it says, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
God wanted to teach a lesson to Nebuchadnezzar and also have us learn about the serious side effects of the sin of pride. Remember that it was through pride that Lucifer fell! He said, “I will be like the most high.” He deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. “You will be like God,” he said.
Pride is ultimately placing yourself above God.
Nebuchadnezzar finally learned his lesson. He gives his testimony, as written in the scripture,
“And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory, of my kingdom, mine honor and brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, also whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: (justice) and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.Nebuchadnezzar learned that pride is a preoccupation of self and is a destructive dead end road.
Reference: The Book Of Daniel- Chapter Four, Isaiah Chapter 12, The Holy Bible.