Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Do you think you are special? Then repent now before you get hurt! The LORD Jehovah cannot stand anyone thinking highly of himself in his heart. It does not matter how important you might be, or how many friends you might have, you will certainly be punished; the God of heaven will make sure of it. Humble your heart this very minute.
You are nothing (Ps 39:5,11). You are truly less than nothing (Ps 62:9; Is 40:17). You arrived ignorant and helpless, dirtying yourself, and you will leave the same way. If you are very successful, you might leave behind a small estate that will be spent in a few months. The day of your death will be forgotten in weeks, and your grave will be lost.
Your accomplishments are nothing, and they will be forgotten before your funeral, when you cannot recall your own name. You are so fragile and weak that a clothespin on your nose can end your existence (Is 2:22). Your soul lives in a house of clay; the foundation of your body is mere dust; and you can be killed easier than a moth (Job 4:19). Get down!
The blessed and dreadful God of heaven and earth abhors and loathes proud people (Ps 113:5-6). He is extremely disgusted and intensely averse to their arrogance and pompous opinions. He hates them and their proud thoughts and looks (Pr 6:16-19; 15:9). And He will crush and grind them to powder in this world and the next (Job 40:9-14; Dan 4:37).
The words, “proud in heart,” are the specific sin God hates. It is a high opinion of yourself, leading to an attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; it is inordinate self-esteem. Boasting is not the point here. You may keep your pride to yourself. But God sees it, and He will judge it. You must think lowly and soberly about yourself, lest you lie to yourself about your value (Pr 16:18-19; Rom 12:3; Gal 6:3; Phil 2:3-4; II Tim 3:1-5).
Consider this horrible sin! You can avoid things that cause lust of the eyes (Ps 101:3). You can reject opportunities for the lust of the flesh (Rom 13:14). But what about pride? It whispers to your heart every minute of every day and every night! Even in bed your thoughts can be arrogant and critical – comparing yourself to others. In every act and event of life, there is a constant temptation for pride to creep in. Lord, have mercy!
The words, “though hand join in hand,” describe agreement and association with others for safety. It does not matter if others flatter you, or are just as proud. It does not matter what steps you take for protection. It does not matter that you try to be righteous in other areas. You cannot cover for this sin. God will bring you down – fast and hard – for sure!
The first sin in the universe was pride – Satan’s pride (I Tim 3:6). And he was punished for it. How severely? He and his angels are reserved for eternal torment in hell forever (Matt 25:41; II Pet 2:4; Rev 20:10). The devil’s great abilities cannot save him at all.
Are you proud in heart? Find out! Do you wish others treated you better? Why? It must be because you think you are important. Do you worry about others admiring you? Do you resist correction and instruction? Do you envy and resent blessings to others? Can you list any ways you are better than another? Do you gloat a little at their failures?
Does selfishness make serving hard? Are you defensive to reproof and warnings? Do you deserve more public recognition? Can you apologize easily, fully, and quickly? Do you whine about unfair circumstances? Does your spouse have to apologize first? Can you remember others’ past failures? Do you like to argue about “principle”? You may think adultery, drunkenness, and smoking are horrible, but God hates your self-righteous pride!
If you persist, you are done! The Bible is sure: pride brings a penalty! “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Pr 16:18). “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty” (Pr 18:12). “Surely he scorneth the scorners” (Pr 3:34). “Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased” (Luke 14:11). “God resisteth the proud” (Jas 4:6).
If you have a problem with pride, and God will certainly punish you, what can be done? Repent! Fear the Lord, and hate pride and arrogancy (Pr 8:13)! “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (Jas 4:10). “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (I Pet 5:6).
Manasseh was likely the wickedest king in the history of Israel, but God freely forgave him, when he humbled himself greatly (II Chron 33:1-13). And if he was the wickedest king, then Ahab was second; but God honored his humility as well (I Kings 21:25-29). What does God require? That you walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
Want to kill pride? Confess your sins fully (Jas 4:5-10). Get a vision of God and crush your heart before Him (Ps 4:4; Is 57:15). Pray like a fool (I Kgs 3:7; Ps 131:2). Never commend yourself, not even indirectly (Pr 27:2). Always admit what you are and have is a gift (I Cor 4:7). Tell your faults, so others will know the real you (Rom 7:8; Jas 5:16).
Apologize quickly and admit unqualified guilt (Mat 5:23-24). Thank those who admonish and correct you (Ps 141:5). Make others and their things most important (Phil 2:3-4). Get down and enjoy the uncomely (Rom 12:16). Do not compare yourself with others (II Cor 10:12). Learn true charity (I Cor 13:4-7). Be a great servant (Luke 22:24-27).
Still want to kill pride? Avoid the spotlight as much as possible (Luke 14:7-12). Enjoy serving those who cannot repay (Luke 14:12-14). Do your charity in secret (Matt 6:1-4). Rejoice at forgiving those who wrong you (Matt 18:21-22). Get down, and enjoy it! The LORD will be pleased, and He will bless you, just as surely as He will punish the proud.