How to face these days without fear … Part 13

To face these days without fear know that God will humble the proud…

Isaiah 23:9 The Lord of hosts has purposed it, To bring to dishonour the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.

Henry says – God will be the author of .. (the destruction of Tyre which was filled with proud men); it was a destruction from the Almighty. It will be asked (Isa. 23:8), “Who has taken this counsel against Tyre? Who has contrived it? … God has designed it, who is infinitely wise and just. It shall be done according to the counsel of his will; and that which he aims … is to stain the pride of all glory, to pollute it, profane it, and throw it to be trodden upon; and to bring into contempt and make despicable all the honourable ones of the earth, that they may not admire themselves and be admired by others as usual.

Many other sins, no doubt, reigned among them—idolatry, sensuality, and oppression; but the sin of pride is fastened upon as that which was the particular ground of God’s controversy with Tyre; for he resists the proud… He designed to convince men of the vanity and uncertainty of all earthly glory, to show them what a withering, fading, perishing thing it is even when it seems most substantial.

It were well if men would be thoroughly taught this lesson… Are men’s learning and wealth, their pomp and power, their interest in, and influence upon, all about them, their glory? Are their stately houses, rich furniture, and splendid appearances, their glory? Look up on the ruins of Tyre, and see all this glory stained, and sullied, and buried in the dust… you will conclude that the honourable of the earth, even the most honourable, know not how soon they may be brought into contempt.

Secondly, He designed hereby to prevent their being proud of that glory, their being puffed up, and confident of the continuance of it. Let the ruin of Tyre be a warning to all places and persons to take heed of pride; for it proclaims to all the world that he who exalts himself shall be abased. God will do it, who has all power in his hand and can do it effectually (Isa. 23:11).

Adapted from the Matthew Henry commentary

We ought continually to assess our hearts and minds regarding the contemptuous sin of pride. It creeps upon us like a shadow to steal from us the covering of God’s glory.  Listen to our own speech before someone lesser known to us.. do we speak of our educational qualifications? Our skills? Our ownership of things? The successes of our children? 1 John 2:16 says, ‘For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.’ And the warning in James 4:6: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”  We need to be aware of our temptation to puff ourselves up before others.  The word ‘humble’ is another word for ‘meek’ (according to Strong’s), along with mild and gentle.  Jesus makes it clear that only the meek inherit the earth. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’, Matt 5:5. May we deal with all the pride in our hearts and minds.

Avoid Empty Confidence and Pride
 
Never think of yourself
As better than others.
Always look to
The interest of your brothers.
 
God knows what lies in man.
He sees deep down inside,
So do not let your good works
Fill you with pride.
 
It is so easy for the wayward heart
To be appeased
But remember that God does not judge like men.
By things that displease Him, men are often pleased.
 
If you have some good gift
Make sure you do not stumble.
Believe that others have better gifts
And so you will keep humble.
 
To think yourself inferior to every other person
Does no harm
But to think yourself superior to even one other person
Can negate My healing balm.
 
In the heart of the proud, there is jealousy;
Discontent reigns and is sure to increase
But in the heart of the humble man
There is continual peace.
 
By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)

Prayer: Father I come to you convicted of the pride in my own heart.  Forgive me Lord and wash me clean. I thank you for the cross that washes me through and through.  Forgive me for every time I have thought myself to be more superior to others.  Help me, teach me the way of humility. Remind me and prod me by Your Holy Spirit every time I’m tempted to exalt myself. For Your name’s sake and for Your glory. AMEN.

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