Contemplate pride. What do you think of? I imagine, your mind is flooded with parades and trending hashtags. Perhaps, you associate pride with your race or nationality. This concept of pride is attached to identity. I am not going to talk about that kind of pride…I may one day in another post. Today, well today, I am going to discuss a pride found in the heart of evil in the world; a pride consuming the first man and woman; a pride linking all people to one another. A pride, I still war with, even today. This pride is not about identity. No, no, no. This pride is about divinely personal power struggle. I want to write about this pride. It is the greatest evil I know, and in a world overrun with lies, I just want to speak truth.
There is a difficulty, in believing, pride is the greatest enemy of God. How can a characteristic be an enemy? God’s enemy is Satan? Those are all good questions. The best answers can be found in two passages discussing Satan’s exile from Heaven. Ezekiel and Isaiah both give prophetic accounts of this occurrence. Both passages are directed at wicked kings, but alluded to the initial fall. As, I have read these passages aloud, the passion in each word increases. Like an actor studying a script, orally reciting Scripture puts you in the mind frame of the writer. I imagine a righteous God dictating these very words with righteous disdain at the pride in the heart of the Accuser.
(read this passage several times aloud if possible, with emphasis on bolded or italicized words)
“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone—red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald—all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created. I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.”
“You were blameless in all you did from the day you were create until the day evil was found in you. Your rich commerce led you to violence and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So, I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings. You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.”
Evil was found in the heart of Satan. His heart was filled with pride. God threw Him out. I love this passage for its contrast, but to understand the depth of evil in Satan, I look in Isaiah 14.
(read this passage aloud with an air of pride)
You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
God did not tolerate that. Satan does not fall from Heaven. God threw him out. Satan’s pride had no place in the presence of God…and neither did Adam and Eve’s.
Check in on Wednesday for the next post in this three part series.