An Internet search on the destructive nature of pride produces several quotes that are right on target.
— “Pride is the first step towards self-destruction. It blinds the eyes, deafens the ears, and hardens the heart.”
— “The destructive power of pride lies in its inability to accept flaws and learn from mistakes. It hinders personal growth and leads to downfall.”
— “Pride is a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. It destroys the one who possesses it and inflicts pain on those around them.”
The world’s system that is symbolized by Babylon will face judgment because of its pride, among other vices.
As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously,
so give her a like measure of torment and grief.
Since in her heart she says,
‘I rule as a queen;
I am no widow,
and I will never see grief,’” (Revelation 18.7)
The observation that pride is a double-edged sword that destroys the one who possesses it and inflicts pain on those around them is a perfect description of the world system’s arrogance.
In today’s YouTube video with Rudy Ross, I talk about my personal struggle with pride. Pride is interwoven into my attitudes and actions like cotton is a component of a shirt.
Every follower of Jesus who wrestles with pride will do well to consider what God’s word has to say about that character trait.
A person’s pride will bring humiliation,
but one who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. (Proverbs 29:23)
Jesus said, “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
There is a phrase in Isaiah that captures the arrogance and pride of the world’s system.
Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
“I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children” (Isaiah 47:8)
Pride accompanies those who are victorious in war and commerce. Abundant health, wealth, and security lead humans to trust their achievements.
Prideful self-sufficiency is expressed in the words, “I am, and there is no one besides me.”
When self-assertion leads to the creation of the wealthiest culture in history, humans can revel in their achievements. However, when the world crumbles and there is no one beside us, we are left with no resources other than ourselves.
Alone With Plagues
Think back over the past few years. The world has experienced the COVID pandemic, major earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, worldwide immigration, and wars.
When we take the posture of “I am, and there is no one besides me,” then we are like Humpty Dumpty with the king’s horses and king’s men unable to put us back together again.
Revelation pictures this situation as the judgment of God on a rebellious and corrupt system.
“Therefore her plagues will come in a single day—
pestilence and mourning and famine—
and she will be burned with fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” (Revelation 18.8)
Three plagues will come upon her: death, mourning, and famine. No one will be exempt from God’s judgment on Babylon, which represents the world’s system.
And the kings of the earth, who engaged in sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning;
They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,
“Alas, alas, the great city,
Babylon, the mighty city!
For in one hour your judgment has come.” (Revelation 18.9-10)
The powerful who have profited from the world’s system will grieve over its total bankruptcy.
Followers of Jesus should approach the world’s calamities through the wisdom of Scripture.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness,
Waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and destroyed and the elements will melt with fire? (2 Peter 3:11-12)
The message is clear: in the face of destruction and uncertainty, seeking holiness and anticipating God’s ultimate judgment should guide the lives of followers of Jesus.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It is on the Bob Spradling channel.