The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
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Monday, May 14, 2012
Wren building nest
(photo by Doris High)
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"The Deceitfulness Of Pride"
"The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?' 'Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,' declares the LORD" (Obadiah 1:3,4). “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Proverbs 16:18). “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
Obadiah is the smallest book in the Old Testament having only one chapter with 21 verses. This prophecy is against the Edomites, an ancient people who had descended from Esau, Jacob's brother, and who were a long-time enemy of God's chosen people.
The Edomites had rejoiced in the destruction of Jerusalem by her conquerors. This was at the time of the Babylonian conquest. (The hatred of Israel by her neighbors is ancient.) Psalm 137:7 states, "Remember O Lord what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. 'Tear it down' they cried, 'tear it down to its foundations!'" Obadiah was written to assure God's people of His impending judgment on the Edomites.
Our daily verse indicates a timeless principle: pride deceives. This ancient people indeed had some distinct military advantages due to the seeming invincibility of their geographical position, which indeed was amazing. The cities of Edom were cut right into the face of the cliffs providing imposing natural defenses, which gave their inhabitants a sense of invulnerability.
They thought they could taunt the misfortunes of their neighbor Israel and remain untouched. They had declared, "Who can bring me down to the ground?" However the Lord declared, "I will bring you down" (v. 4) and the historical record indicates that He did just that.
Pride continues to deceive. The hard but valuable lessons from history are often ignored by the heart of a nation and the heart of an individual.
Surely Biblically informed people can't claim that America, or any country for that matter, has a moral superiority. I believe the Lord of the universe would say today to our land, "The pride of your heart has deceived you."
Where is your source of hope and assurance today? In your education? Your position? Your financial plan? National defenses? The arm of flesh (yours or anyone else's) will surely fail you!
Our only firm foundation is Jesus Christ. Today and everyday let us ever be mindful of pride's deceitfulness! As God's redeemed people let us humble ourselves before the Lord today. Let us remember His warning, "Pride goes before destruction" and hear His Word that directs His people to, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Jesus, You're my firm foundation,
I know I can stand secure.
Jesus, You're my firm foundation,
I put my hope in Your holy Word,
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, I choose to heed the words of Scripture that caution us not to be a proud people or destruction will fall upon anything that I have built in my own strength for my self-glory. I want my heart to be filled with godly gratitude instead of a prideful attitude so that it deflects that which is about me and reflects all that is about You. In the same spirit as John I cry out, "Help me to decrease so that You will increase in my life." More of Jesus, less of me, I pray. Amen.
John Stott stated, “The chief occupational hazard of leadership is pride.”
Mother's Day at the Webers: It was not a typical Mother's Day since Brooksyne took to the sickbed after she got a nasty cold over the weekend. Ester and I went to church on our own and really missed her presence. Ester presented her with this small cake when we came home. We were delighted on Saturday when we received these beautiful flowers from a good friend, Marilyn, who lives in San Diego. The cake is gone but the flowers live on!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Humble Yourselves In The Sight Of The Lord" Video Maranatha Singers
"Jesus You're My Firm Foundation" Video John Chisum
More photos from Doris High's wren collection is here.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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