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Daniel 4 and Help for the Proud

Pride

A Bible Study

Da 5:20  But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:

Da 4:37  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Pride has much to do with the history of the universe. Even if we completely bypass the fact that pride turned a cherub into a cheater, the historical impact of pride would be hard to overstate.

Daniel, for example, had been taken captive because of pride. It wasn’t his personal pride. But it was price nonetheless that led to the Babylonian victory.

2Chr 32:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign. 25  But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26  Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27  And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;

Hezekiah’s nation was scattered in harmony with an ancient curse. The larger portion of Leveticus 26 describes how God would punish his people if they refused his correction.[1]

Le 26:19  And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

And chief among the methods used to break the pride of the people was God’s plan to subjugate them to other nations – the ultimate national humiliation.

Is humiliation the normal way God uses to help persons infected with pride? It is certainly the method used with Nebuchadnezzar.

Evidences of Pride in the Life

We don’t tend to think about God. We are not really searching after Him.

Ps 10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

We get into arguments or contentions with others.

Pr 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

We show a hardihood to discipline.

Is 9:9  And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10  The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.

We refuse to be alarmed by God’s warnings.

Jer 13:15  Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken. 16  Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. 17  But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’S flock is carried away captive.

Causes of Pride in the Life

We have a pretty good life.

Ps 73:3  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4  For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5  They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6  Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

Eze 16:49  Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

We are given responsibilities or positions of influence.

1Ti 3:6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

The world exults self-exultation

1Jo 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

The thoughts are not under control. (The natural heart spews out pride)

Mark 7:18  And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19  Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats[2]? 20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

We recognize that we are part of God’s Remnant Church

Zep 3:11  In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.

How God Responds to Pride in our Life

                                                                 

            He allows us to fall to prepare us for help.

Pr 29:23  A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

He weeps when we refuse to pay attention.

See Jeremiah 13:15-17 above.

Conclusion

From what the passages in this study say about pride, it seems that it may be a much more subtle problem than arrogance. Pride is a view of one’s self that is comfortable. It feels little of its insufficiency. It feels injured when insulted or when despised.

Weak and poor people often have this type of pride. Strong and wealthy persons have it even more often.

And Daniel 4 teaches a wonderful gospel.

Da 4:37  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.



[1] It is in this chapter that William Miller found his “seven times” that he understood to be 2520 years. Read the chapter yourself and see how many times you find this phrase. Should Miller have spoken of “twenty-eight times”? v. 18, 21, 24, 28. Is there any evidence regarding whether these four verses are contemporary with each other or in succession? Whether they are a time prophecy or not? All this is related to Daniel 4 also – at least that is how William Miller understood it. (See Reply to Stuart’s Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy). We will talk about this in class.

[2] This is related to Daniel 1. Daniel avoided unclean meats. Should we? Some versions translate this phrase “purging all meats” differently, adding a few words, and thus saying that Jesus removed all distinctions between clean and unclean meats. Read the passage above. Would it make sense to bring that up in light of what Jesus is saying? Was there some change during this conversation between what was and what was not acceptable for followers of Christ?

For the Word Document: Dan_4_-_Pride

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