Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: First World Problem (04/17/14)
TITLE: Pride and Punishment
By Sharon Eastman
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After the harshness of winter, spring brings people outdoors in droves. They bask in the warm sunlight, smell the aroma of greening grass, and listen to the welcome melodies of birds. It is the best time of the year to watch people. Some are joyful and happy to be alive while others seem “stuck up”, conceited, arrogant and proud. Pride is a sinful condition of human nature, and God hates it. “Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” Prov. 16:5 KJV
In the secular realm we first learned about pride in the Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. As we turn back the pages to our childhood history, let us summarize this great illustration of pride.
There once was an emperor, who was exceedingly fond of clothes. He loved the manner in which they adorned his fabulous body. Because of this folly, he neglected his empire’s civic duties, He was enthralled with himself. One day two swindlers arrived in town and conned the Emperor with a scheme to make him a majestic robe consisting of the newest, finest threads in the world. These special invisible threads would endow the Emperor with special powers to discern which of his subjects were loyal and those who were not. Day and night the two swindlers wove these invisible threads on looms pretending to construct this imaginary garment. The Emperor’s ministers, although they couldn’t see anything, watched its progress and complimented the new flowing robe.
Finally, one day the Emperor was to lead an important procession in the city. He decided to wear his new garment while leading it. The people hustled on the streets to see the Emperor in his new clothes. With the element of peer pressure, all the witnesses and subjects raved about his new clothes. But, all they witnessed was a naked man. It took a child to discover the reality of this folly. “But, he hasn’t got anything on,” said the little child.
There stood a nude man in foolishness and shame, and this was all the consequence of the sin of pride.
In the Bible a very real picture of pride is presented. King Nebudkanezzar was the king of Bablyon, and about in 600 BC conquered the city of Jerusalem, capital of the Israelite nation. He exiled all the beautiful and intelligent people into Babylon. One of these was the prophet Daniel, a handsome, talented and bright Hebrew. After winning many battles, expanding the empire, and embellishing the majestic Babylon, Nebudkanezzar became puffed with pride. He knew the Hebrew god, Jehovah, was powerful, but he refused to acknowledge or honor him.
In time he had a terrible dream and called upon the “magician,” Daniel, to interpret it. A horrendous prediction was given, and it came to fruition. Nebudkanezzar lost touch with reality and lived like an animal for seven years. Insanity consumed him. The Lord restored him to health after the predicted time. Nebudkanezzar was totally humbled and began to worship the living god. “Now I, Nebudkanezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”Dan. 4:37 NIV He, like the Emperor of the childhood story, suffered sorrow and shame for his proud action. The Lord had mercy upon him and bestowed upon this king more power and glory than previously.
Pride is the root cause of many problems. It was pride that caused Adam to eat the fruit of the tree of life. He wanted to be like God. Pride was the root cause by which Satan tested Job. After suffering severe distress, his prosperity and prominence was restored. And, pride and greed caused the foolish young rich man to reject Jesus. He couldn’t abandon his prestige or wealth.
Pride is a terrible sin and gives birth to grave consequences. “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov. 16:18 KJV No one is smarter, more creative, and loving as God. We should serve God in humility and awe, giving all the glory to him.
Lord, As springtime refreshes the senses, let our spirits be refreshed in you. Help us to refrain from the sin of pride, and let us serve you in all humility, love and awe. Amen
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