(Today’s post by Joshua Jones)
Pride. When I think of pride, I think of college football. And not just college football, I’m talking about SEC football. Saturdays in the Fall. Think about the feeling that thousands of fans have before “the big game”. No matter who your favorite team is, whether you bleed crimson and white, bark like a bulldog, wear hideous bright orange, or chomp your arms like a gator, these fans are pumped before the big game. You would be hard pressed to find a true fan that would say, “Yeah, we might get whooped today.” However, being arguably the best conference in college football, the SEC has its days. The days in which pride leads to a loss. Even to the same conference. As a hardcore Alabama Crimson Tide fan myself, I still have not got over last season’s Iron Bowl loss to cross-state rival, Auburn. In the last second of the game, a cocky decision led to a missed field goal kick return which left all of college football in shock. The quest for the three-peat was over. Pride comes before the fall. And what a painful fall it was.
Today, we encounter Ezekiel, God’s chosen prophet, as he speaks out against the people of Tyre. Tyre was a great maritime nation of the time. It was a very prosperous nation, and did business with most of the nations around.
In chapter 28, the Lord God spoke out against the prince of Tyre:
“Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are a man, and no god, though you make your heart like the heart of a god… therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you make your heart like the heart of a god, therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you, the most ruthless of all nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor.” (Ezekiel 28:2, 6-7)
This man’s pride was his downfall. The prince of Tyre was so prideful that he considered himself to be a god! Through his wisdom and his wealth, the prince of Tyre had built up an illusion of himself as great and untouchable.
As well, the King of Tyre was addressed by the Lord:
“You were a signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty…Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.” (Ezekiel 28:12,17)
Like father, like son. The King and Prince of Tyre were both so cocky that their pride resulted in their fall. They worshipped themselves, their wisdom, and their wealth, instead of the source, God Himself. Through all of their gained wealth, they could not stand up against the consequences of their sins. These provisions, initially given by God, were used to elevate themselves, rather than elevating the Provider. Ultimately, Tyre was destroyed by Alexander the Great when he laid siege on the city. The haughtiness of Tyre could not stand.
Take a moment to examine your life. Are there things that God has given you that you are using to elevate yourself? It is not wrong to have. God blesses his people abundantly. However, when our possessions become about our status, we glorify ourselves, make ourselves gods, and remove the One True God from that place in our lives. As we have seen, God does not tolerate idolatry, and pride leads to a great fall. Take a moment to confess to God areas of your life in which you rely on anything other than God, and ask for forgiveness. Ask God to open your heart to fully rely on him.