Without humility, we aren’t going to make it. We are the ones who have to humble ourselves. God hates pride.
I Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Pride: boasting, exaggerated self esteem, exalted opinion of self, self-importance, all about what I want.
When we’re humble, we show a consciousness of our defects. Every person in sin is proud and won’t seek God or his will.
Psalm 10:4-7 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
Jesus said no one is good but God (Matthew 19:13-22). We don’t deserve anything but death. The wages of sin is death but eternal life is a gift from God (Romans 6:23). If we start thinking like those in the world that we’re owed something, we’ll get angry and frustrated when things don’t go our way. We won’t rely on God but on our own strength. When all the Israelites experienced the same things as they came out of Egypt, God wasn’t pleased when they murmured and complained about the way (I Corinthians 10:1-11). The proud hate God. If we don’t humble ourselves to God when trials come, we won’t ask for his help. If we get attitudes, we’ll be proud. The first sin was from pride. Eve ate when the serpent said she’d be like God (Genesis 3:1-6). The devil was never in heaven. He was a liar and murderer from the beginning. God created the devil to give us choice: to serve God or not. Angels can’t choose but were created to only serve God.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning… there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Pride can work on us in different ways. The spirit in the world is “all about me.” We can get caught up in boasting or exalting our opinions. We have to be careful about this when we use social media. If we’re murmuring and complaining, we can be sure pride is working. Pride is working if we seek to be exalted. The apostles argued about who’d be greatest before they had the Holy Ghost (Mark 9:30-37). Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself.
Daniel 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.
He wouldn’t give God credit for anything and wouldn’t humble himself. God made him eat grass in the field like an ox for 7 years. It took that long for him to be humble and learn that God was in control.
Daniel 4:30-33 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar…The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.
Nebuchadnezzar knew God humbled him. It’s still true that God is able to humble us. It’s better if we humble ourselves.
Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.
Belshazzar had a drunken party. He brought gold and silver vessels that were stolen from the temple at Jerusalem to drink wine from. He did it even knowing what had happened when his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar was exalted in pride.
Daniel 5:1-4 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and…whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple…in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein…They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
Fear originates from pride because it’s about leaning on self and not trusting God. How we handle fear will determine if we lean on our own strength in pride or humble ourselves to rely on God. When Belshazzar saw a hand write on the wall, his fear made him shake physically and mentally. He was greatly troubled when his wise men couldn’t read the writing.
Daniel 5:5-9 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote…upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another…And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then…the king’s wise men…make known to the king the interpretation thereof. Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled…
Are we willing to learn from other people’s problems and mistakes? Belshazzar saw what happened to Nebuchadnezzar but didn’t learn from it. We have to put humility on every day. The queen knew what happened to Nebuchadnezzar and remembered Daniel’s wisdom. People knew about Daniel and said he had an excellent spirit. He was never proud or lifted up in his own wisdom. He prayed three times a day and knew he had to depend on God every day.
Daniel 5:10-17 Now the queen…said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee…There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom…was found in him…Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel…Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake …I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee. And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought…but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing: And I have heard…thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou…make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered…give thy rewards to another; yet I will…make known to him the interpretation.
Daniel reminded Belshazzar how God gave Nebuchadnezzar power and majesty, but he got lifted up and his mind was hardened in pride. Belshazzar knew this but didn’t humble his heart. Daniel wasn’t afraid to tell Belshazzar what God said.
Daniel 5:18-23…God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And…all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him…But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne…was driven from…men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen…till he knew that the most high God ruled…Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord …brought the vessels …drunk wine in them…praised the gods of silver, and gold…and the God in whose hand thy breath is…hast thou not glorified:
Belshazzar put the scarlet clothes and gold chain on Daniel, and made him third ruler. He didn’t say anything. He was found wanting when weighed in the balances of truth. We will all be weighed or judged by the truth.
Daniel 5:24-29…This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. Then commanded Belshazzar…clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made…third ruler…
Finding fault and being harsh with people isn’t from the love of God or from humility. It comes from pride. We can keep an even balance of God’ teachings when we stay humble. We’re obedient to God and to what the pastor says when we stay humble. Saul got impatient and disobeyed Samuel, his pastor. God called it rebellion. People can have reasoning that is in opposition to what the pastor asks, but humility will be shown by submitting and accepting.
I Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)