Jeremiah 48: The Danger of Pride
Jeremiah 48 prophesies the downfall of the people of Moab. It is a very long chapter, and there is a very long list of all the reasons that God is going to have this happen, but the main one is the fact that they were overly proud.
Jer 48:7 For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.
Jer 48:29 We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.
I point this out because pride is one of the things that it is sometimes hard to see within ourselves. It is one of those things that kind of sneaks up on us, and it seems like it was the same way for the people of Moab.
Jer 48:39 They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him.
The people were going to wonder why everything fell apart. They thought that it was going well, and they were proud of their society. They were going to be genuinely surprised when they found that they had been invaded just like everyone else.
That comes back to pride. Pride gives us a higher opinion of ourselves than that which is merited. Self-esteem is a good thing. It is good to like the person that we were designed to be. I don’t want to come across as sounding like we ought to continually live in a state of self-loathing.
However, the perspective is what is important. We may like things that we have done, but the praise for it goes to God rather than to us. For example, say I built a beautiful building. I did build it with my hands, but I am not responsible for the fact that I am good at building. The talent comes from God who gave it to me in the way that He designed me.
If we think that we are the beginning of our own talent, we’re stopping a step too early, and that is where pride is dangerous. That was what was happening to the people of Moab. They were trusting in themselves, and they did not go up a level to realize that it was actually God who really deserved the praise.