God Resists the Proud

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5)  Why might God resist the proud?  Let us look at a few reasons.  Pride will keep one away from entering the kingdom.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” It is necessary for one to see his need, humble himself and come to the Savior.

The ways of the proud are right in his own eyes. Proverbs 26:12 “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Jeramiah 10:23 “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” God provides direction in life; the proud thinks he knows the best way.  God resists such a one.

The proud person does not see a need for repentance, which would mean an admission of sin, a change in his mind, and a change of his actions. Jesus said in Matthew 9:12-13 “When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’” The proud doesn’t see a need to change.

The proud person is self-righteous.  He doesn’t need the righteousness of God.  Jesus gave the parable of the two men that went up to the temple to pray. Luke 18:11-14 “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The Pharisee was proud and self-righteous and God rejected him.  God justified the humble tax collector.

Pride can be a form of self worship. The one who is proud or boasts takes credit upon himself when it belongs to God.  Glory should be given to God. God doesn’t want anyone else to get the glory that He deserves. King Nebuchadnezzar was proud and took all the glory for his greatness upon himself?  Daniel 4:30-37 “The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’ While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.’ That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” God resisted Nebuchadnezzar for taking the glory upon himself.

A similar thing happened to King Herod.  Acts 12:20-23 “Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country.  So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.”  God also resisted King Herod for taking the glory upon himself.

King Nebuchadnezzar and King Herod were both exalted with pride and took all the credit for their greatness.  They gave no glory to God and He struck them down.  In essence, they were thinking of themselves as gods.  But the Lord Jehovah is a jealous God.  Exodus 20:3-5 “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.”   The Lord is a jealous God in that He wants all the worship to Himself and all the glory to Himself and does not want us to give the worship or glory to some other god or to ourselves.  Nebuchadnezzar and Herod took the glory to themselves and God struck them down. One who is proud may be similar to Nebuchadnezzar and Herod. 

1 Peter 5:5b-6 “’God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” I encourage you to be humble and not proud so that God will give you of his grace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.