“The pride of your heart has deceived you…as you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” Obadiah 1:3a,15b
G. Gordon Liddy was a Watergate conspirator during President Richard Nixon’s scandal, that ousted Nixon from the White House. When Liddy was released from prison for the crime he committed, he said, “I have found within myself all I need and all I ever shall need. I am a great man of faith, but my faith is in George Gordon Liddy. I have never failed me.”
Liddy is a picture of a proud people called the Edomites. In the Old Testament, there is a prophetic book which is named after the prophet who wrote it. His name is Obadiah. He prophesied against the nation of Edom which had plundered Jerusalem for years. Obadiah said that God would judge the Edomites, and their kingdom would be destroyed.
Before I tell you the outcome, let me identify three things you can learn about pride. Pride will always make you lose. Here are the reasons why:
1) Pride deceives. This is clearly seen in our scripture text. Your pride always will deceive you because your heart is deceitful. Your heart is self-centered. The prophet Jeremiah stated, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
2) You reap what you sow. In the 15th verse of Obadiah this is clearly seen. In addition, Galatians 6:7,8 states, “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Someone put it this way, “Sow in pride, watch your hide! Sow in God’s love, reap blessings from above!”
3) You cannot love God and be filled with pride. God hates pride. Obadiah’s name means, “servant of Jehovah”. He loved and served God.
Pride led to the downfall of the Edomites. Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” After the destruction of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70, the Edomites were never heard of again. Pride makes you lose big time. They were wiped out. You cannot take a stand against God and remain standing.
Arnold Palmer tells the story of how over-confidence made him lose in a big way. It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters Tournament. Palmer had a one stroke lead and had just hit a gratifying tee shot. Arnie recounts, “I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said “Congratulations.” I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven’t in 30 years since.”
Like Arnold Palmer, you need to learn from times in your past when your pride led you to loss, hurt, or embarrassment. Pride makes you lose big time.
SOMETHING TO DO
For the next 5 days, look up 5 Bible verses a day, that have the word “PRIDE.” Read them over in the morning before going to work, so that you will be able to meditate on them throughout the day.
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Heavenly Father, I would ask that You would help me not to be proud. Guard my heart. Prompt me when I am becoming proud in spirit, although it may not be apparent to those who are with me. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. AMEN!