July 13

Ezekiel 28-30, Psalm 40

People often weigh sins and in so doing compare themselves with others and allow themselves to feel pretty good. At the top of most lists are sins such as murder, rape, and kidnapping. But on God's list in Proverbs 6:16-19, it says, "These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look..." Pride is deadly, by inflating ourselves and our good works in our own eyes, we are blinded to our own sinfulness and our desperate need for repentance to an infinitely good God. It is this sin which probably keeps more people from entering the kingdom of Heaven than all others.

Chapter 28 of Ezekiel contains an interesting transition from the actual king of Tyre in verses 1-10 to Satan who fueled the king in verses 11-19. We read of the actual king in Ez 28:2, "...Because your heart is lifted up, And you say , "I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas,' Yet you are a man, and not a god, Though you set your heart as the heart of a god". We know that verses 11-19 are about Satan from sections such as in 28:13, "You were in Eden, the garden of God...", 28:14, "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God". It goes on to describe his downfall in verse 17, "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground,...'. We get a more complete picture on the pride of Satan when we refer also to Isaiah 14:12-15. In verse 13-14, after naming Lucifer as the one referred to, it says, "For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; ...I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."

Pride was the original sin which attacked the angels in heaven as seen in Lucifer, and it was the original sin that faced humanity, as we see in Genesis 3:5, Satan lied to Eve playing to pride, saying, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Pride has plagued every society through the ages. The final verse in the book of Judges summarizes that long period of history with, "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25). This lie and this sin permeates our society today. The popular New Age movement is based on the idea of self-deification, where those involved believe they can actually be like God. But this is not distinct to a particular movement. The book of Revelation concludes in verses 18-19 with a stern warning to anyone who would add or take away from the words of this book. Yet through out the religious world this is just what we see. Many denominations avoid talking about areas of the Bible for fear of the reaction of those in the congregation. By eliminating, reinterpreting, or twisting Scripture many denominations are now embracing same-sex marriage. By focusing on only certain portions of Scripture the very popular prosperity gospel churches have flourished. Even as a nation we hear the term, "American Exceptionalism" used referring to our superiority as a nation, which should concern all of us in the face of what God has done to proud nations which have come before us. Each one of these examples have elevated their views and opinions over the complete Word of God and wreaks of pride. We must all ask ourselves and honestly examine ourselves and make sure that God is on the throne of our lives, not ourselves, not our thoughts, not our views of right and wrong. Staying in God's Word daily and humbling ourselves as we read of One so much greater than ourselves is a wonderful formula to keeping ourselves with a proper perspective.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster