God versus Pride
God Versus Pride (Daniel 4)
It is a basic, biblical axiom that God sets His face against pride. It is a deadly sin. The Word reveals a dramatic confrontation between God and the pride of Nebuchadnezzar, the arrogant king of Babylon. The king gave his own testimony concerning the power of God to confront and humble the proud. What you see on a grand scale with Nebuchadnezzar may happen on a small scale with anyone.
God always confronts the proud and ultimately brings them to the place of humility.
I. The Word of God Reveals the Roots of Human Pride
Nebuchadnezzar demonstrates every hue in the rainbow of pride. Engrossment with personal accomplishment causes pride (vv. 4, 30). The enlargement of one's endeavors can cause arrogance (v. 11). It is a rare individual who can watch the growth of all he touches and remain humble. The enhancement of one's life with beauty may cause haughtiness. Even the ability to endow others with good things may lead to pride (v. 12).
II. The Word of God Reveals Judgment on Human Pride
God's judgment against pride is appropriate in its announcement. God may speak judgment by a dream (v. 5), a delegate (v. 13), a declaration (v. 19), or from heaven itself. God knows how to speak to the proud person's heart, to find a crack in his armor.
God's judgment may be total in its abasement. A proud man may be diminished, deserted, and even dehumanized (v. 33). God can deal with pride in an absolute totality of overwhelming judgment.
God's judgment is purposeful in its accomplishment. God desires to bring the proud person to a point of confession and redemption (v. 17).
III. The Word of God Reveals His Mercy After Repentance from Pride
The proud person can find a way back to God. There must be a resignation to divine sovereignty (v. 34). That will result in a restoration of human rationality. There will then be a confession of divine eternity, that God reigns forever. At the end, there will be a demonstration of divine equity (v. 36). God does not desire to crush even the proud person, but to redeem.