PRIDE – Obedience or Defiance?

In our last post, we saw how the worldly defined pride . . . prideful explanations of why pride is a good thing.

We also saw how the text defined pride . . . how pride is NOT a good thing – how it is just the opposite of what the world promotes and adores: an exaltation of SELF.  We learned that pride is presumptuous – that to be prideful is to behave insolently.  Pride ignores the poor and needy.  Pride testifies against you to the Creator of all things.  It mistreats the righteous.  It leads to disgrace.  It is used by those that would usurp the role of God by speaking for him.  It opposes God.  Finally, we remembered how the serpent used pride to get Eve to pick its lie over God’s truth by telling her she would be like God if she ate the fruit.

Pride is a lie – Pride is an illusion – Pride is a sin.

Some of the world seems to understand the folly of pride based upon these quotes that are just the opposite of the quotes in our first post:

  • A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.

    C. S. Lewis

  • And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility.

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.

    Gilbert K. Chesterton

  • In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.

    John Ruskin

  • Man, proud man, drest in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what he’s most assur d, glassy essence, like an angry ape, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven, as make the angels weep.

    William Shakespeare

  • Of all the marvelous works of God, perhaps the one angels view with the most supreme astonishment, is a proud man.

    Charles Caleb Colton

  • Pride defeats its own end, by bringing the man who seeks esteem and reverence into contempt.

    Henry Bolingbroke

  • Pride is pleasure arising from a man’s thinking too highly of himself.

    Baruch (Benedict de) Spinoza

  • Pride the first peer and president of hell.

    Daniel Defoe

  • Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

    Billy Graham

  • So much of how we act and what we do is based on humility or pride – that’s everything. And when you can humble yourself, you know, we are more like Christ when we can humble ourselves.

    Tim Tebow

  • Pride and conceit were the original sins of man.

    Alain Rene Le Sage

 

These are just a few quotes by famous people in history that don’t see pride as something to aspire to, but as something to be wary of.  The disparity between the two side is large.

 

The text tells us that:

 Proverbs 18:12 (CJB)

12  Before being ruined, a person’s heart is proud;

before being honored, a person must be humble.

 

Proverbs 29:23 (CJB)

23  The proud will be humbled,

but the humble will be honored.

 

This is reiterated by Yeshua (Jesus) when he tells his talmidim (disciples) that

 Matthew 23:12 (CJB)

12  for whoever promotes himself will be humbled,

and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.

 

Luke 18:14 (CJB)

14  I tell you,

this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other.

 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,

but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

These are not statements that “might” happen, these are statements that “WILL” happen!  Pride is full of arrogance.  After all, is it is arrogant to think that you can exalt yourself with no consequences?  But some of you might say, “I have freewill.”  I want you to pay attention closely to what I am about to say:

Freewill is one of two things:

1)   Obedience

or

2)  Defiance

obedience or defiance

 

There is no other way to look at it. Pride is Defiance. You have the ability to choose, but your choice is either to obey the Creator and his commands or to defy the Creator and his commands.  You have the freewill to humble yourself or exalt yourself.  So many times in the text there are 2 paths – the narrow gate or the wide road – one leading to obedience, one leading to defiance and destruction.  You see, in the acharit-hayamim (the end of days), the proud will be humiliated and the arrogant will bow down – Adonai alone will be exalted:

 

Isaiah 2:11 (CJB)

11  The proud looks of man will be humiliated;

the arrogance of men will be bowed down;

and when that day comes,

Adonai alone will be exalted.

 

At the heart of the matter is the heart – our heart towards our Creator.  When we are arrogant and prideful, where is our heart towards our Creator?  When we are arrogant, when we are prideful, our very actions say there is no God because when we are prideful we oppose God, in that sin, which separates us from him because he is light and there is no darkness in him:

 

Psalm 10:3-4 (CJB)

3  For the wicked boasts about his lusts;

he blesses greed and despises Adonai.

4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 

Maybe you are discounting this verse as non-applicable to you.  What about if I amplify it and expound it? Lets look at some of the words as we do:

Wicked – ‏רָשָׁע‎ rāshāʿ.

 The adjective rāshāʿ, “guilty,” “evildoer,” “impious person,” like the other words from its root, often refers to being guilty of a wrong—especially against another person (Exo. 2:13; Num. 35:31). It is often translated “wicked” and used as the opposite of being righteous, such as in the classic contrast of Ps. 1:1, 4ff. Some characteristics of the wicked are that they do not seek God (10:4); they forsake the Law or instruction of God (119:53); they are cruel (Prov. 12:10); they gush evil from within them (15:28); they crave evil with their whole person (21:10); they are rejected by the Lord and will be cut off and perish (2:22; 21:27); and they have no peace (Isa. 48:22).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “7857,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Pe-Resh, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “7857”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the

 guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction

 boasts about his lusts;

he blesses greed and despises Adonai. 4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 boast – ‏הָלַל‎ hālal

 …Hālal most commonly occurs as a root meaning “to boast,” “to exult,” or “to praise.” The root is likely connected with the idea of “singing.” It may be related to the Akkadian alalu “a shout for joy,” alalu “to sing a song of joy,” elelu, “jubilation” or the Arabic halla “to sing joyfully.”…

The Hithpael stem has a reflexive idea: “to praise oneself,” which is tantamount to, “to boast.” Indeed it sometimes refers to self glory or self confident boasting (1 Ki. 20:11; Jer. 9:23; 49:4; Ps. 49:6; 52:1; Prov. 25:14). But it can also be used of boasting in or glorying in another, such as glorying in idols (Ps. 97:7) or making one’s boast in the Yahweh (Ps. 34:2; 63:11; 64:10; 105:3; Isa. 41:16)…

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “2054,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Gimel-Zayin, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “2054”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction

exalts and praises himself

about his lusts;

he blesses greed and despises Adonai. 4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 lusts – ‏תַּאֲָוה‎ taʾăwāh

 …Taʾăwāh also means “lust” in the bad sense. In the desert wilderness, the children of Israel on their way to Canaan complained about their journeys. They remembered the food of Egypt and rejected the provision the Lord had given them: “The mixed multitude that was among them fell a-lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who will give us flesh to eat?” (Num. 11:4). They lusted a lust (cf. Ps. 78:29f). The result of this attitude was disciplinary punishment: “While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah [the graves of lust]: because there they buried the people that lusted” (Num. 11:33f).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “8707,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Sin-Taw, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “8707”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 

Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction, exalts and praises himself

 on account of his appetites, longings and lusts;  

he blesses greed and despises Adonai. 4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

blesses – ‏בָּרַךְ‎ bārakh

 …This verb primarily denotes the favorable relationship between object and subject. Rather than focus on ritual or magical utterances, the function of the verb in most of the contexts it appears in is to express the sentiment of gratitude or honor. Only rarely is this verb used as a request (1 Ki. 10:9; Prov. 5:18; Ruth 2:19).

The formulas for blessing are nearly evenly divided between God blessing humans, humans blessing God, and humans blessing other humans…

Bārakh is used sarcastically. For example, in Job 2:9, his wife asks, “Why don’t you bless God and die?” Knowing that she was speaking in this manner, the phrase should be translated “curse God and die.”

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “1313,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Aleph-Beth, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1313”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction, exalts and praises himself on account of his appetites, longings and lusts;  

 he gives honor to

greed and despises Adonai. 4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 greed – ‏בָּצַע‎ bātsaʿ

 This Hebrew verb means “to cut off,” “to break off,” “to gain by violence” or “to finish.” It often denotes the presence of dishonesty, greed, and injustice. Ezekiel 22:27 portrayed Israel’s wicked leaders as “wolves tearing the prey to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain.”

Amos prophesied that the Lord was pledging to completely obliterate the temple complex, from the tops of the ornate columns to the stones of the foundation. He would cause the thresholds to “break off.”

Job said of the wicked, “For what is the hope of the godless, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life?” (Job 27:8). In Lam. 2:17, Jeremiah declared, “the Lord has done what He purposed; He has fulfilled His word.” Job expressed his desire to die by saying that he wished God would let loose his hand and cut him off (Job 6:9). Hezekiah, being extremely ill also spoke of God cutting him off (as a weaver would material from the loom) to indicate death (Isa. 38:12).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “1239,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Aleph-Beth, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1239”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction, exalts and praises himself on account of his appetites, longings and lusts;  he gives honor to

 gains or unjust profits through or by dishonesty, greed and/or injustice

and despises Adonai. 4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 despises – ‏ָנאַץ‎ nāʾats

 Meaning “to contemn,” “to disdain,” nāʾats has cognates in Ugaritic, Middle Hebrew and Targumic with the same semantic range, though the Middle Hebrew adds the nuance of “to blaspheme.” An Akkadian cognate means “to look upon with contempt,” an Arabic verb means “to avoid,” and a Targumic cognate noun is the legal technical term for “slander.”

The noun connotes a variety of nuances having to do with rejection. Most occurrences refer to the rejection of Yahweh, often in covenantal contexts. The wilderness generation repeatedly rejected Yahweh, ranging from the rebellion of Korah (Num. 16:30) to the lack of trust in Yahweh’s warring ability in light of the report of the spies (Num. 14:11). Yahweh announced his coming rejection by the people once they settled in the land (Deut. 31:20). Jeremiah pleaded not to have the Covenant revoked—for Yahweh not to reject his people (Jer. 14:21). Lamentations records the rejection by Yahweh of his leaders (Lam. 2:6).

A number of individuals rejected Yahweh. The wicked and impious of the Psalms did so (e.g., Pss. 10:13; 107:11). David rejected Yahweh by having an adulterous encounter with Bathsheba, although ultimately Yahweh did not reject him (2 Sam. 12:13). The sons of Eli disrespected the offerings given to Yahweh, thus forfeiting their lives and the priestly lineage (1 Sam. 2:17). False prophets likewise rejected Yahweh while ironically proclaiming that they spoke in his name (Jer. 23:17). Pagans also despised the name of Yahweh (cf. Isa. 52:5).

In non-Yahwistic references, the noun is used to describe the attitude of those who do not wholeheartedly seek wisdom and despise reproof (Prov. 1:30; 5:12; 15:5). Ultimately, since wisdom comes from the fear and knowledge of Yahweh, lack of interest in wisdom is tantamount to a rejection of Yahweh.

The common denominators of these nuances are that the one who despises absolutely rejects the one who is despised, and the despiser is already acquainted with the despised before rejection. The verb has both a legal force, in the case of covenantal revocation, and an emotive force which damages one’s relationship with Yahweh. In all cases, the verb conveys complete, but not necessarily permanent, rejection and separation.

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “5180,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Nun-Ayin, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “5180”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 

Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction, exalts and praises himself on account of his appetites, longings and lusts;  he gives honor to gains or unjust profits through or by: dishonesty, greed and/or injustice

 and has rejected and looked with contempt on

Adonai. 4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 Adonai – ‏יְהָוה‎ yehwāh

 YHWH Yahweh. The personal name of the living God found 6,823 times in the Old Testament. It is his redemptive, covenant-keeping name, called the Name (Lev. 24:11,16) and “this glorious and awesome name” (Deut. 28:58).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “3176,” in The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Heth-Yodh, (Springfield, IL: World Library Press, Inc., 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “3176”.

 We could amplify and expound this to say:

 Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction, exalts and praises himself on account of his appetites, longings and lusts;  he gives honor to gains or unjust profits through or by: dishonesty, greed and/or injustice and has rejected and looked with contempt on

 the great I AM whose is faithful to his covenants – who is the beginning and the end – who will be what he will be – whose name is his reputation.

4  Every scheme of the wicked in his arrogance [says],

 “There is no God, [so] it won’t be held against me.”

 Scheme – ‏גֹּבַהּ‎ gōvahh

 305 גָּבַהּ‎ (gābah) <H1361>, <H1362> be high, exalted.

Derivatives

305a גָּבַהַּ‎ (gābōah) <H1364> high, exalted.

305b גֹּבַהּ‎ (gōbah) <H1363> height, exaltation.

305c גַּבְהוּת‎ (gabhût) <H1365> haughtiness (Isaiah 2-11, 17, only).

. . . The usual nuance behind the words under discussion is pride or haughtiness.

Of interest is the negative usage of this word in connection with some part of the human body. For example, pride is linked with the heart in: Ezekiel 28:2, 5, 17; Psalm 131:1; Proverbs 18:12; 2 Chron. 26:16; Jeremiah 32:25 (all with the verb); Proverbs 16:5; 2 Chron. 32:26 (with adjective and noun). Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 5:15 and Psalm 101:5 connect pride with the eyes. Proverbs 16:18 and Eccles. 7:8 tie pride with man’s spirit, and Psalm 10:4 with man’s “nose”/countenance. On a few occasions individuals are said to be guilty specifically of this sin of pride: Uzziah (2 Chron. 26:16); Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:25-26); the prince of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:2, 17). Conversely, Isaiah speaks of the suffering servant who will be exalted (rûm), lifted up (nāśaʾ) and be very high (gābah) (Isaiah 52:13).

In the LXX the word is translated as hupsos or hupsēlos, but never as hubris.

Bibliography:  TDOT, II, pp. 356-60. THAT, I, pp. 394-97.

V.P.H.

R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Bruce K. Waltke, ed., “305: ‏גָּבַהּ‎,” in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 145-146.

 We could finish this by amplifying and expounding the final few words to say:

 Psalm 10:3-4 (Amplified and Expounded)

3  For the guilty and impious person – one that does not seek God – one that forsakes his laws or instruction, exalts and praises himself on account of his appetites, longings and lusts;  he gives honor to gains or unjust profits through or by: dishonesty, greed and/or injustice and has rejected and looked with contempt on the great I AM whose is faithful to his covenants – who is the beginning and the end – who will be what he will be – whose name is his reputation.

4  The guilty and impious person – the one that does not seek God – the one that forsakes his laws or instruction, raises and exalts himself in his bearing and demeanor with his own pride and haughtiness and arrogantly does not seek or require God.  Instead, because God is far from all of his thoughts, he says:

God is nothingness – He does not exist.

 

You see when we raise ourselves up – when we exalt ourselves, we arrogantly state that “we do not need God.” Our pride becomes our means to our accession to the throne of heaven.  We dismiss God and his commands as inconsequential.  We are going to heaven regardless.  One that is prideful has to come to this conclusion!  Why, you might ask? Because if one considers even a modicum of what the text says concerning pride leading to Sheol, one would have to dismiss much of the text to continue in a prideful state – to dismiss that text is to dismiss the one that gave us the text because as you may remember earlier in this post, we learned that the text tells us that Adonai ALONE will be exalted!

 

Isaiah 2:11 (CJB)

11  The proud looks of man will be humiliated;

the arrogance of men will be bowed down;

and when that day comes,

Adonai alone will be exalted.

 

Combine that with Psalm 10:4 and to be prideful is to say:

 I will exalt myself –

 I am like Most High –

 God is nothingness – He does not exist!

 This is sin – pure and simple.

 

Intense post, huh?  In our next post on pride, we will deal with some real world examples past, present and personal of how much pride is embedded in our lives as believers – much of the time without us even aware of it.

 

Be blessed and have a wonderful time with your families on this 4th of July!

About Even If Ministries

Dani'el 3:17-18 (CJB) 17 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
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2 Responses to PRIDE – Obedience or Defiance?

  1. mimisuze says:

    This is a very serious teaching. You can’t “just read it”………..definitely a “pebble” or a boulder.

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