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The Subtle Sin of Pride

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I am not a connoisseur of great art, but from time to time a painting or picture will really speak a clear, strong message to me. Some time ago I saw a picture of an old burned-out mountain shack. All that remained was the chimney...the charred debris of what had been that family's sole possession. In front of this destroyed home stood an old grandfather-looking man dressed only in his underclothes with a small boy clutching a pair of patched overalls. It was evident that the child was crying. Beneath the picture were the words which the artist felt the old man was speaking to the boy. They were simple words, yet they presented a profound theology and philosophy of life. Those words were, "Hush child, God ain't dead!"  That vivid picture of that burned-out mountain shack, that old man, the weeping child, and those words "God ain't dead" keep returning to my mind. Instead of it being a reminder of the despair of life, it has come to be a reminder of hope! I need reminders that there is hope in this world. In the midst of all of life's troubles and failures, I need mental pictures to remind me that all is not lost as long as God is alive and in control of His world. 
We come today to a new section in the book of Isaiah. In this extended section (Isaiah 13-35), The prophet issues a series of oracle (Weighty and hard to bear messages) to at least 9 foreign nations.
These oracles are sandwiched in between Isaiah’s prophetic dealing with the evil King Ahaz, and the godly King Hezekiah.
While the immediate audience may be those foreign nations the ultimate goal of the words of Judgment from Isaiah is to provide hope to sinful and broken Judah, God’s people.
One author says that God seeks to say to Judah
Don’t trust in thing that are under Gods’ Judgment
Don’t trust anything but God, because He is Lord of all.
Don’t be a fool for lesser things.
The first nation prophesied about is Babylon. There is some argument as to whether this during a time when Babylon was the cultural headquarters of Assyria, or a time when Babylon had risen to THE prominent world power.
One thing is for sure, Babylon always stands in opposition to the things of God. Whether the tower of Babel in Genesis 11, The world power of Daniel’s day, or the one of the last days in Revelation.

God’s Pledge to Bring an End to Pride

Isaiah 13:11 HCSB
I will bring disaster on the world, and their own iniquity, on the wicked. I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant and humiliate the insolence of tyrants.
The verses leading up to this verse and following point out that God will raise up a ruthless army (who will themselves do evil and be dealt with) to wipe out this pride filled enemy. Babylon will be laid to such waste that wild animals will make it their home.
Again, there is so much debate about the who and the when this will take place, but the take away is that God will deal with the enemies of His people.

God’s Promise to Restore His People

Isaiah 14:7 HCSB
All the earth is calm and at rest; people shout with a ringing cry.
The more I study the Scripture the more convinces I am that God has made promises to Israel that haven’t been fulfilled yet… SEE
Isaiah 14:1 HCSB
For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.
And we as New Testament believers both benefit from those promises, and we can fortify our belief in God’s promises to us as well.
Remember that the main purpose of the Oracles is to provide hope in the midst of hard days.
It is often the duty of the preacher to do this.
IT has been said that a preacher has a chance to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted.
In these verses the emphasis is on comfort… calm.. rest.

God’s Punishment for Proud Leaders

Isaiah 14:22 HCSB
“I will rise up against them”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts—“and I will cut off from Babylon her reputation, remnant, offspring, and posterity”—this is the Lord’s declaration.
This is a summary statement of everything found from 14.4-22
These verses deal will corrupt, arrogant and proud leadership that exalts itself against God.
This particular Babylonian King is so arrogant and full of himself, that he is described in terms that many people believe describe Satan (the ultimate prideful creature)
See
Isaiah 14:12–15 HCSB
Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground. You said to yourself: “I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit.

Why is Pride such a big deal?

Because Pride always has at its root putting yourself in the place of God, or claiming success or victory as from your own hands, rather than realizing that God is the author of every good thing about you
James 4:6 HCSB
But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Proverbs 16:18 HCSB
Pride comes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall.
2 Corinthians 10:4–5 HCSB
since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
I think there are two things to take away from all this.
If you belong to the Lord, there is a promise of better things.
If you are filled with pride, God opposes you. You may be prideful and haven’t admitted you need to repent an make Jesus your Lord and Savior. You may be a Christian, but filled with pride and arrogance, and misplaced priorities as a result. God is calling you to repentance as well.
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