WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 17, 2022
TOPIC: GOD CAN MAKE PROUD PEOPLE HUMBLE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37 New King James Version).
When Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, visited him after he had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he came with Moses’ wife and her two sons. He met Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God.
Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the LORD had delivered them (Exodus 18:8). Expectedly, Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the LORD had done for Israel.
Jethro blessed the LORD who had delivered the Israelites out of the hands of the Egyptians and Pharaoh and delivered His people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Jethro further said, “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them” (verse 11 New King James Version). That was a powerful statement.
God was greater than all the gods, including the gods of Pharaoh and Egypt. He was greater than Pharaoh and Egypt. Pharaoh was proud. He refused to allow the Israelites to go. He spoke as if he was a god; he behaved proudly before God and Moses. When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him that the LORD God of Israel said he should let His people go, that they might hold a feast to Him in the wilderness, Pharaoh, proudly replied, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go” (Exodus 5:2 New King James Version).
In Exodus 10:3, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and told him, “Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me’” (New King James Version). Take note of the phrase: How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Pharaoh continued to be proud.
But by the time the LORD whom he had defied and refused to humble himself before had finished with him with the last and most dreadful plague brought upon Egypt, the death of the first-born of man and of the beast (Exodus 11:4-8; 12:29-30), Pharaoh knew that God was not in the same category with him. Pharaoh and the Egyptians knew God as the LORD when he gained honour for Himself over Pharaoh and his chariots and horsemen (Exodus 14:4, 17-18). Pharaoh’s chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that pursued the Israelites perished in the Red Sea (verses 27-30).
Beware of pride! There is no way we can talk about pride in the Bible without talking about Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who was driven from human society and lived with animals in the forest until seven seasons had passed him by. That happened twelve months after he had a dream about this. Daniel had interpreted the meaning of the dream to him and advised him to stop sinning and do what was right. He also told him to stop doing wicked things and be kind to the poor.
The day Nebuchadnezzar’s dream came to pass, he was walking about his royal palace and said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30 New King James Version). That was a proud statement. Nebuchadnezzar did not give credit to God for the kingdom he ruled over. He ascribed it to himself.
The Bible says, “While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses’ That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws” (verses 31-33 New King James Version). What a negative transformation!
God can make proud people humble. Nebuchadnezzar was an example. By the time He was through with him, he knew that no man is God and God is above all. Nebuchadnezzar said, “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation” (verse 34 New King James Version).
Nebuchadnezzar said other things that showed that God had made him humble! Humble yourself; don’t let God make you humble. Learn from the lives of others in the Bible and outside the Bible who were proud but were humbled. Don’t be proud; don’t wait to learn from your experience.
Hear Nebuchadnezzar: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37 New King James Version). Take note of the last sentence he made: And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. The New Century Version puts it this way: He is able to make proud people humble. Beware! There is no proud person that it is impossible for God to humble.
There is no reason to be proud. Nebuchadnezzar wouldn’t have become the king of Babylon without God. Babylon became a world power because God wanted it like that. Daniel reminded Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon, who also became proud, of how God punished Nebuchadnezzar for his pride.
Daniel said, “O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him” (Daniel 5:18-20 New King James Version).
He further reminded Belshazzar of other things that happened to him until he knew that the Most High God ruled in the kingdom of men and appointed over it whomever He chose (verse 21). Daniel said Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, had not humbled his heart, although he knew all that happened to Nebuchadnezzar.
Belshazzar’s sin was that he lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven by using the vessels brought to Babylon from the house of God in Jerusalem to drink. He and his lords, wives, and concubines drank wine from them and praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which did not see or hear or know. They didn’t glorify the God who held their breath in His hand and owned all their ways. That was why the fingers of the hand were sent from God to write His judgment on the wall of his palace, which all the king’s wise men couldn’t interpret but Daniel did. That very night Belshazzar was slain. God can make proud people humble.
Don’t take credit for what God has done. Humble yourself. Cyrus, the king of Persia, understood this and acted humbly. Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, he said, “All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah” (Ezra 1:2 New King James Version). He acknowledged the supremacy of God.
Don’t be proud no matter what you have achieved. Paul said, “And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7b New King James Version).
God can make proud people humble. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18). A similar scripture says before destruction the heart of a man is haughty and before honor is humility (Proverbs 18:12).
God can make proud people humble. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6b). There is no reason to be proud. Humble yourself before God and humble yourself before others. 1 Peter 5:5 says, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (New King James Version).
Hannah said in 1 Samuel 2:3, “Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the LORD is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed. Humble yourself” (New King James Version). Whatever the gifts God has given you, the qualities you possess, or the achievements you have made, humble yourself. If the Lord is using you, humble yourself. Serve the Lord with all humility (Act 20:19a). God can make proud people humble.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I give You all the glory for what You have done in my life and for me. Forgive me of the ways I have not glorified You but myself. Holy Spirit, keep me humble; don’t let me give God a reason to make me humble. Father, humble the wicked who are walking in pride; put them down and gain honour for Yourself.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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