Faithlife Sermons

The Painful Choice of Pride

A Life of Choices  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:21
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Although Moses made many great choices in his life, on this particular instance, he made the painful choice of pride instead of humility. Learn five fatal flaws of pride from this week's message.

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Today, we look at a dark moment in Moses’ life.
You can probably imagine what happened next. We started playing and the next thing you know, there’s a cup of red Kool-Aid laying on the carpet. I immediately grabbed a towel, mopped up the mess, and hung the towel neatly back to dry.
I thought I got away with it. When my friend left, my parents pulled me aside and asked, “Did you spill Kool-aid in the bathroom?” I couldn’t understand how they knew…I had been so careful to clean up after it so Mom would never know.
Let me present to you Exhibit A – this towel is from the very set that I used that day to clean the carpet.
You see, in my pride, I thought I had committed the perfect crime. I knew how to handle the situation, and I never imagined that there would be repercussions for my actions.
So far, from what we have seen, Moses has done really well overall. He has had some stumbles along the way, and each one has cost him something, but overall, he has done pretty well.
I was grounded from anything I would have considered fun for the rest of the evening.
This morning, though, we see one of the greatest failures in Moses’ life of choices.
If I had listened to my mom and paid more attention to what I was doing, I wouldn’t have had those consequences.
Last week, we saw how he chose the presence of God instead of the blessings that God can give.
That is the essence of acting in pride—doing what I think is right at the moment, giving no regard to what God says about it.
This week, though, he is faced with another choice: the choice between pride and humility.
In anger and frustration, Moses chooses pride, and it has dire consequences.
In case you want to come down hard on Moses here, realize that this is a choice we face multiple times a day.
To most of the world, pride sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we be proud of our kids, or proud of our team whether they win or lose? Shouldn’t I take pride in my work or my appearance? I have worked hard to get where I am, after all.
Can I push back on that idea for just a bit this morning? This is one of those places where the clear teaching of Scripture is different than the way the majority of the world operates.
Here’s a way for you and I to think about pride. It isn’t a technical definition, but it may help us to think through it in a working way:
Look at the word “PRIDE” on the screen. What letter is in the center? The letter ‘i’.
That’s what I want you to think of when we talk about pride today: Pride means I am in the center. I get to call the shots about what I want to do or don’t want to do. I get upset when I don’t get what I think I deserve, because I am at the center and whole world revolves around me.
Pride puts me first, my ideas, my time, my rights, my everything.
That’s what we are going to see Moses do today: he is going to take something God was doing and make it about himself, and when he does, he encounters serious consequences.
You and I do the same thing Moses did: we choose what we want, what we think, what we deserve, and we put it above what God says.
Jeremiah 9:23–24 CSB
“ ‘This is what the Lord says: The wise person should not boast in his wisdom; the strong should not boast in his strength; the wealthy should not boast in his wealth. But the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me— that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the Lord’s declaration.
The only cause we have for boasting is in the fact that we know God, but in reality, we wouldn’t know him if he hadn’t revealed himself to us!
In fact, the
Time after time, you and I have acted in pride, doing what I thought was best instead of following the instructions God or anyone else had given me.
Time after time, you and I have acted in pride, doing what I thought was best instead of following the instructions God or anyone else had given me.
We mess up, we may try to cover up, or we may not have the chance.
We act rashly, and the deed is done; the words are said, the money is gone, the relationship is broken, and the consequences are there.
Moses knew this reality all too well. He knew just how painful the consequences of choosing pride were.
Turn in your Bibles to where we find an example of what not to do.
Today, we see the humanity of Moses as he acts in pride and fails to do what God had asked of him.
Would you allow the Spirit of God to work this message through your heart this morning? Ask Him to show you where acting out of your own pride and selfish understanding could destroy God’s design for your life.
We will see 5 fatal flaws of pride as we see this example in Moses’ life. Begin reading with me in Numbers 20:1-8.
We will see 5 different faults with pride as we see this example in Moses’ life. Begin reading with me in
Here, Moses acts in anger and haste, and it results in serious consequences.
In order to avoid these same mistakes that Moses made, let’s look at the five faults of pride. The first one is…

1) Pride ignores instruction.

Although it is a little hard to track the timeline of everything, the Israelites have been wandering in the desert for almost 40 years.
Miriam, the older sister who protected Moses and made sure he was safe, died shortly after they got settled.
Now, the people are upset because once again, they don’t think there is any way they are going to have water.
They should have known that God would provide, but again, they seem to forget what God had already done. They complain in verse 4-5 with the same kinds of complaints they have always brought up.
When Moses prays for the people, God meets with him and Aaron and tells them how he will provide.
In verse 8, God gives very specific instructions: speak to the rock. In fact, He seems to take great pains in making sure that everyone is clear on what is supposed to happen.
Remember that this is not the first time they got water from a rock. In , Moses is told to strike the rock with his staff, but only once. We’ll find out why this is important in a minute.
What does Moses do, right after receiving these instructions? Read verses 9-11.
He takes a clear command of God and disobeys it.
Boy aren’t you glad you’re not like Moses? Oh wait…we are.
We have God’s Word, written down and preserved for centuries to tell us how to live and act and behave. We have clear prescriptions for acting with the love and holiness that God desires for us to act.
Time and time again, though, what happens? We do our own thing. Why? Because, at the very root of who we are, we are prideful.
It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where God commands them not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After a little help from Satan, though, they disobey the clear command of God.
What area in your life are your pridefully ignoring right now? “Well, God, I know You told me I shouldn’t do this, but I want to.” “I know that I should be giving more or doing more or praying more or whatever, but I just don’t think I need to.”
Is there something he has told you to do during our messages over the last few weeks, and you are digging your heels in and saying, “No”?
As a side note: if you find yourself saying, “Boy, I hope he is hearing this one,” or, “Man, I wish she were in church today to hear this,” odds are I’m talking to you.
The first reality of pride we see in Moses’ life here is that pride ignores instruction. Are you following what God has told you to do, or are you rather doing what you think is best, regardless of what the Bible says?
It isn’t enough that pride ignores what God has said, it also…

2) Pride takes credit for what God does.

Go back and look over the people’s complaint. Who do they blame for their current predicament? Moses and his poor leadership skills.
You can probably imagine what happened next. We started playing and the next thing you know, there’s a cup of red Kool-Aid laying on the carpet. I immediately grabbed a towel, mopped up the mess, and hung the towel neatly back to dry.
I thought I got away with it. When my friend left, my parents pulled me aside and asked, “Did you spill Kool-aid in the bathroom?” I couldn’t understand how they knew…I had been so careful to clean up after it so Mom would never know.
Let me present to you Exhibit A – this towel is from the very set that I used that day to clean the carpet.
You see, in my pride, I thought I had committed the perfect crime. I knew how to handle the situation, and I never imagined that there would be repercussions for my actions.
I was grounded from anything I would have considered fun for the rest of the evening.
If I had listened to my mom and paid more attention to what I was doing, I wouldn’t have had those consequences.
That is the essence of acting in pride—doing what I think is right at the moment, giving no regard to what God says about it.
This may have been a silly story of a time where I acted in pride, but I believe it reveals to us a pattern that you may recognize.
Time after time, you and I have acted in pride, doing what I thought was best instead of following the instructions God or anyone else had given me.
We mess up, we may try to cover up, or we may not have the chance.
We act rashly, and the deed is done; the words are said, the money is gone, the consequences are there.
Moses knew this reality all too well. He knew just how painful the consequences of choosing pride were.
As you’re flipping in your Bibles to Numbers 20, I want you to know this morning that we are looking at an example of what not to do.
Today, we see the humanity of Moses as he acts in pride and fails to do what God had asked of him.
Would you allow the Spirit of God to work this message through your heart this morning? Ask Him to show you where acting out of your own pride and selfish understanding could destroy God’s design for your life.
This morning, we are looking at the painful choice of pride.
We will see 5 different faults with pride as we see this example in Moses’ life. Begin reading with me in Numbers 20…
Here, Moses acts in anger and haste, and is dealt a severe consequence.
In order to avoid these same mistakes that Moses made, let’s look at the five faults of pride. The first one is…
Pride Ignores Instruction (vv.8-11)
In verse 8, God gives very specific instructions: speak to the rock. In fact, He seems to take great pains in making sure that everyone is clear on what is supposed to happen.
Remember that this is not the first time they got water from a rock. In Exodus 17:1-7, Moses is told to strike the rock with his staff, but only once. We’ll find out why this is important in a minute.
What does Moses do, right after receiving these instructions? (vv. 9-11)
He takes a clear command of God and disobeys it.
Boy aren’t you glad you’re not like Moses? Oh wait…we are.
Never mind that it was their disobedience and rebellion that kept them out of the Promised Land, or that the Israelites only moved when God’s visible symbol of his presence, the pillar of cloud and fire, moved…this was obviously all Moses.
We have God’s Word, written down and preserved for centuries to tell us how to live and act and behave. We have clear prescriptions for acting with the love and holiness that God desires for us to act.
Time and time again, though, what happens? We do our own thing. Why? Because, at the very root of who we are, we are prideful.
It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where God commands them not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After a little help from Satan, though, they disobey the clear command of God.
What area in your life are your pridefully ignoring right now? “Well, God, I know You told me I shouldn’t do this, but I want to.” “I know that I should be giving more or doing more or praying more or whatever, but I just don’t think I need to.”
If you find yourself saying, “Boy, I hope he is hearing this one,” or, “Man, I wish she were in church today to hear this, odds are I’m talking to you.
The first reality of pride we see in Moses’ life here is that pride ignores instruction. Are you following what God has told you to do, or are you rather doing what you think is best, regardless of what the Bible says?
It isn’t enough that pride ignores what God has said, it also…
Pride Takes Credit for God’s Action (11 – “we”)
What do you notice about Moses’ words as he speaks to the people? Who is going to bring the water out from the rock?
In reality, was there any way that Moses could have produced water from that rock by hitting it with a stick?
So who was actually bringing forth the water?
One of the most vile things about pride is that it often creeps up during our times of greatest spiritual success.
Evidently, that thinking had gone to his head, though.
As we draw closer to God in seeking His presence like we mentioned last week, we start to see Him moving in and through us more.
People come up to you and say, “Brother, thank you so much for helping me do…” “That was a great lesson this morning.” “Sister, your note of encouragement meant the world to me.”
Slowly but surely, an unguarded heart will take those things in and start believing them. “You’re right, that was a great lesson. I sent that note, I gave this, I did that…”
Before long, pride has completely robbed God of the glory for what He has done.
Listen carefully: God will not share His glory with anyone else. He says so in His word:
There are at least 9 different references in Scripture where God is referred to as a jealous God.
In fact, this phrase first appears in the 10 Commandments, where God condemns idolatry, saying that He is a jealous God who will not tolerate you worshipping anything but Him.
When you take credit for what God has done, you exalt yourself over Him and He will not tolerate that forever, which we will get to in a minute.
Is the pride in your heart tempted to take credit for what God is doing through you? There is nothing you have done that you can take credit for…everything you are and everything you do is because of what He has equipped you to do.
Taking credit for what God has doing actually reveals an underlying problem. That’s the third aspect of pride…
Pride Reveals Belief (vv. 12 - “Because you have not believed me…”)
At its core, pride is also disbelief.
Pride says, “God, I don’t believe that what You say is best.”
Look back at verse 10.
When Moses struck the rock, he showed that he didn’t completely believe or trust that God would do it through speaking.
Perhaps he thought, “Well, hitting it worked last time, so I probably need to hit it again…and again.”
God knows the heart, though, so when He says that Moses didn’t believe Him, we can trust that there was unbelief in Moses’ heart.
Where is there unbelief in your heart this morning? Maybe you don’t really believe that God is capable of working in a particular area in your life because it didn’t work out so well the last time you tried.
Perhaps there is a sin that God is calling you to give up, and He is asking you to take drastic measures to overcome it. You may be saying, “But God, I’ve struggled with this for years, I know I can’t overcome it.”
If you choose to ignore God’s command and not believe Him, you are exactly right—you cannot overcome it.
However, if you truly do things the way He calls you to do them, He can bring about repentance, He can equip you to do the very thing you’re scared of.
Remember that saying that something is impossible says more about your belief in God than your belief in you.
God is able to equip you to do whatever He calls for you to do. Are you going to believe Him, or are you going to try to work this thing out on your own?
Moses did, and look at the consequences. We see that our prideful disbelief…
Pride Belittles God (“...to treat me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel…”)
God demands respect, and Moses didn’t give it. Remember how we said He is a jealous God?
By taking credit for God’s work and not believing Him, Moses belittled God.
Instead of reverently doing what God had commanded, Moses rashly did what he wanted, and it didn’t give God the credit He deserves.
We do this all the time. When we don’t believe that God can really bring us through this or really work in that way, the watching world looks at us and says, “Why should I be a Christian? They go around moping and sad and defeated.”
What would an unbeliever say about the God you serve based off the way you talk, the way you communicate? Would they constantly see and hear that God is able to give victory and joy and peace, or are you making God small by moaning and groaning and complaining?
Moses didn’t treat God as holy, and I’m afraid neither do we.
Guard against pride, because obeying it will cause God to be made small and you to be made big.
Have the same heart as John the Baptist, who watched his ministry disintegrate as Jesus came onto the scene,
““He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30, NASB95)
As we look at the final aspect of pride, you’ll see that it all culminates in this. Because we, in our pride, ignore God’s instruction, take credit for what God is doing, show our disbelief, and make Him look small…
Pride Carries Severe Consequences (“…you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”)
This is a severe blow to Moses. God had called him to lead the people out, but he would not be leading them in.
It is interesting to see that God knew this from the beginning of Moses’ call. Listen carefully to the wording of Exodus 3:7-10: “The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”” (Exodus 3:7–10, NASB95)
God didn’t say that Moses would bring them in. In His infinite wisdom, God knew that Moses would disqualify himself from this position.
What were the direct consequences?
Moses missed a blessing
Because Moses wouldn’t obey God, he didn’t get to bring God’s people into the Promised Land.
Can you imagine how severe a blow this would have been for him? To know that he would wander around with the people for the remainder of this time, having already spent years and years with them, but he would not have the satisfaction of seeing them come into the land.
When you act in pride, you too miss the blessing of all that God can do.
“Sean, doesn’t God forgive?” Absolutely. He restores you back to a right relationship with Him, but that doesn’t mean He always removes the consequences. Sometimes He might, but often we carry the burden of those failures for the rest of our lives.
Think about the story of the Prodigal Son. The father welcomed him back, but the inheritance was still gone.
That wasn’t the only consequence of Moses’ sin. In fact, the other consequence may explain the reason God took this so seriously.
“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1–4, NASB95)
The rock was a picture of Christ—stricken once and for all, freely providing life to those who call upon His name.
Yet, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck it, thereby messing up the picture God had intended to use.
Moses’ pride forever tainted a symbol that God would point to forever.
Isn’t it amazing that the consequences of our sin can be so far reaching? Remember that last Sunday night, we looked at the fact that God visits the iniquity of the fathers on the 3rd and 4th generation—Your prideful reactions can mess your family up for generations.
Perhaps it’s a marriage severed or friendship broken; a decision to give up on this standard or cave to this pressure; an angry response that changes the course of the rest of your life.
Pride is truly a painful choice. Moses would bear the mark for this for the remainder of his life.
Conclusion
What has God said to you this morning about your pride? Where is it rearing its ugly, destructive head?
Don’t ignore God’s instruction, take credit for His activity, continue in unbelief, or belittle Him in front of others by your actions.
Pride is a painful choice, and the consequences of your actions may continue for longer than you could ever imagine.
So what is there to do about it? One word: Repent. Repent means to turn around; to change direction.
Stop acting in pride and allow God to work in your life to bring you to a place of absolute humility and dependence on Him.
Heed the words of James:
“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:6–10, NASB95)
Learn from Moses’ mistake—Don’t let pride sidetrack you.
What do you notice about Moses’ words as he speaks to the people? Who is going to bring the water out from the rock?
In reality, was there any way that Moses could have produced water from that rock by hitting it with a stick?
So who was actually bringing forth the water? God was!
Yet, because pride puts “I” in the center, Moses acted as if it was him and Aaron who were capable of doing these things.
Here is something incredible to notice, by the way: Although Moses and Aaron were in sin, God was still gracious and gave the people water.
Isn’t it amazing to see that about God? To see that even our sinfulness can’t stop him from being good to those around us?
He is good enough that our pride
That doesn’t mean that our pride doesn’t impact those around us. It does mean that God is still greater than all our sin.
One of the most vile things about pride is that it often creeps up during our times of greatest spiritual success.
As we draw closer to God in seeking His presence like we mentioned last week, we start to see Him moving in and through us more.
People come up to you and say, “Thank you so much for helping me do…” “That was a great lesson this morning.” “Your note of encouragement meant the world to me.”
Slowly but surely, an unguarded heart will take those things in and start believing them. “You’re right, that was a great lesson. I sent that note, I gave this, I did that. I deserve this because I have been so faithful…”
Before long, pride has completely robbed God of the glory for what He has done.
Listen carefully: God will not share His glory with anyone else. He says so in His word:
There are at least 9 different references in Scripture where God is referred to as a jealous God.
In fact, this phrase first appears in the 10 Commandments, where God condemns idolatry, saying that He is a jealous God who will not tolerate you worshipping anything but Him.
That can be tricky for us, because jealousy is usually a bad thing in our lives. However, God is so good, so holy, so amazing that he deserves all the glory we could ever give. He is jealous, meaning that he won’t allow us to give that glory to anyone because it would be wrong to point it to anyone but him.
When you take credit for what God has done, you exalt yourself over Him and He will not tolerate that forever, which we will get to in a minute.
Is the pride in your heart tempted to take credit for what God is doing through you? There is nothing you have done that you can take credit for…everything you are and everything you do is because of what He has equipped you to do.
Don’t let your pride deceive you into thinking that you somehow got where you are by yourself:
James 1:17 CSB
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
You wouldn’t have talent, opportunities, or even breath without God giving it to you!
Don’t start believing that you are the one who has done all that.
Taking credit for what God has doing actually reveals an underlying problem. That’s the third aspect of pride…

3)Pride reveals belief.

(vv. 12 - “Because you have not believed me…”)
At its core, pride is also disbelief.
Pride says, “God, I don’t believe that what You say is best. I know better and can do better than you.”
When Moses struck the rock, he showed that he didn’t completely believe or trust that God would do it through speaking.
Perhaps he thought, “Well, hitting it worked last time, so I probably need to hit it again…and again.”
God knows the heart, though, so when He says that Moses didn’t believe Him, we can trust that there was unbelief in Moses’ heart.
Where is there unbelief in your heart this morning? Maybe you don’t really believe that God is capable of working in a particular area in your life because it didn’t work out so well the last time you tried.
Perhaps there is a sin that God is calling you to give up, and He is asking you to take drastic measures to overcome it. You may be saying, “But God, I’ve struggled with this for years, I know I can’t overcome it.”
If you choose to ignore God’s command and not believe Him, you are exactly right—you cannot overcome it.
However, if you truly do things the way He calls you to do them, He can bring about repentance, He can equip you to do the very thing you’re scared of.
Remember that saying that something is impossible says more about your belief in God than your belief in you.
God is able to equip you to do whatever He calls for you to do. Are you going to believe Him, or are you going to try to work this thing out on your own?
You could also be where Moses is, though. You look around at your success and you start taking credit for what God has done. You have worked hard to get where you are, and you think you are set.
Don’t let your pride deceive you into thinking that you somehow got where you are by yourself:
God is able to equip you to do whatever He calls for you to do. Are you going to believe Him, or are you going to try to work this thing out on your own?
James 1:17 CSB
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
You wouldn’t have talent, opportunities, or even breath without God giving it to you!
Don’t start believing that you are the one who has done all that.
Moses did, and look at the consequences. Because he thought he was in charge, we see that...

4) Pride belittles God.

(“...to treat me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel…”)
God demands respect, and Moses didn’t give it. Remember how we said He is a jealous God?
By taking credit for God’s work and not believing Him, Moses belittled God.
Instead of reverently doing what God had commanded, Moses rashly did what he wanted, and it didn’t give God the credit He deserves.
We do this all the time. When we don’t believe that God can really bring us through this or really work in that way, the watching world looks at us and says, “Why should I be a Christian? They go around moping and sad and defeated.”
What would an unbeliever say about the God you serve based off the way you talk, the way you communicate? Would they constantly see and hear that God is able to give victory and joy and peace, or are you making God small by moaning and groaning and complaining?
Moses didn’t treat God as holy, and I’m afraid neither do we.
In putting “I” in the middle, my pride makes me act like I am God. In my pride, I think that I can do this on my own and I need don’t need him.
Guard against pride, because listening to your pride will cause God to be made small and you to be made big.
Have the same heart as John the Baptist, who watched his ministry disintegrate as Jesus came onto the scene,
““He must increase, but I must decrease.” (, NASB95)
John 3:30 CSB
He must increase, but I must decrease.”
As we look at the final aspect of pride, you’ll see that it all culminates in this. Because we, in our pride, ignore God’s instruction, take credit for what God is doing, show our disbelief, and make Him look small…

5) Pride carries severe consequences.

(“…you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”)
This is a severe blow to Moses. God had called him to lead the people out, but he would not be leading them in.
It is interesting to see that God knew this from the beginning of Moses’ call. Listen carefully to the wording of :
Exodus 3:7–10 CSB
Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors. I know about their sufferings, and I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the territory of the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. So because the Israelites’ cry for help has come to me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them, therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
God didn’t say that Moses would bring them into the Promised Land, only that he would lead them out of Egypt. In His infinite wisdom, God knew that Moses would disqualify himself from this position.
What were the direct consequences?
Moses missed an incredible blessing: seeing God fulfill his promise to his people first-hand.
Because Moses wouldn’t obey God, he didn’t get to bring God’s people into the Promised Land.
Can you imagine how severe a blow this would have been for him? To know that he would wander around with the people for the remainder of this time, having already spent years and years with them, but he would not have the satisfaction of seeing them come into the land.
When you act in pride, you too miss the blessing of all that God can do.
“Sean, doesn’t God forgive?” Absolutely. He restores you back to a right relationship with Him, but that doesn’t mean He always removes the consequences. Sometimes He might, but often we carry the burden of those failures for the rest of our lives.
Think about the story of the Prodigal Son. The father welcomed him back, but the inheritance was still gone.
That wasn’t the only consequence of Moses’ sin. In fact, the other consequence may explain some of the reason God took this so seriously.
1 Corinthians 10:1–4 CSB
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.
“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.” (, NASB95)
The rock was a picture of Christ—stricken once and for all, freely providing life to those who call upon His name.
Yet, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck it, thereby messing up the picture God had intended to use.
Moses’ pride forever tainted a symbol that God would point to forever.
Isn’t it amazing that the consequences of our sin can be so far reaching? Remember that last Sunday night, we looked at the fact that God visits the iniquity of the fathers on the 3rd and 4th generation—Your prideful reactions can set your family on a spiral that will last for generations.
Perhaps it’s a marriage severed or friendship broken; a decision to give up on this standard or cave to this pressure; an angry response that changes the course of the rest of your life.
Pride is truly a painful choice. Moses would bear the mark for this for the remainder of his life.
Pride is at the root of every sin we commit, and here is what is incredible: that jealous, powerful God who gives every good thing has every right to punish us.
And yes, he does allow us to have to deal with consequences for our actions.
Yet, in his grace and his mercy, he is also compassionate enough to offer us forgiveness, even for our pride.
It was pride that made the Jewish leaders hate Jesus and put him on the cross.
However, it was for my pride and yours that Jesus died.
Instead of putting his “I” in the middle, Jesus stepped into the middle of the punishment I deserved for my pride.
He died to pay for my sin and rose from the grave to show that the price had been paid.
What has God said to you this morning about your pride? Where is it rearing its ugly, destructive head?
Don’t ignore God’s instruction, take credit for His activity, continue in unbelief, or belittle Him in front of others by your actions.
Pride is a painful choice, and the consequences of your actions may continue for longer than you could ever imagine.
So what is there to do about it? One word: Repent. Repent means allowing the weight of your sin to cause you to turn around; to change direction.
Stop acting in pride and allow God to work in your life to bring you to a place of absolute humility and dependence on Him.
Heed the words of James, which we looked at in part last week:
James 4:6–10 CSB
But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Learn from Moses’ mistake—Don’t let pride sidetrack you.
Learn from Moses’ mistake—Don’t let pride sidetrack you.
Get the “I” out of the middle of your motivation, your actions, and your thoughts, and put Christ in its place.
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