“I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their wrongdoing; I will put an end to the arrogance of the proud and take down the pride of the tyrants” (Isaiah 13:11)
It will take you seven minutes to read this post. After seven minutes, you’ll also have a roadmap to help you not get lost as you read the Scriptures.
The great theme of the Bible in ten words:
“God brings down the proud, and He exalts the humble.”
C.S. Lewis defined pride as “the complete anti-God state of mind.” [i]
Pride is the anti-God tumor of the mind that infects the rebel. It’s a cherished head disease that leads to the rebel’s destruction. Pride bursts out in words like:
#@&%* GOD! I’ll live MY life MY way!
God destroys the proud.
He breaks them. He brings them down. That is the theme of the Bible.
- “God brings down the proud” (Psalm 18:27).
- The LORD has sworn and declared: “I loathe the arrogant…” (Amos 6:8).
- “The LORD has a day of reckoning for every proud person…that the proud may be brought down” (Isaiah 2:12).
- “The Lord will tear down the house of the proud” (Proverbs 15:25).
- “I will make the pride of the strong ones cease” (Ezekiel 17:24).
Days of judgment for the proud are called in the Hebrew Scriptures:
Yom YHWH is translated into English as “a day of the LORD.”
“A day of the LORD” in a prideful person’s life is when God destroys the things the proud person prizes for pleasure and purpose.
It is a day of judgment for rebels.
A day of the LORD comes for the PROUD, and when it arrives, it manifests as:
- Economic collapse (famine).
- Physical sickness (disease).
- Deadly conflict (war).
- Sudden death.
Those in right standing with God (e.g., “the humble”) may tangentially experience a “day of the LORD” when His judgment occurs in our families, our cities, our states, or our nation. The humble, however, have peace with God, realize God’s purpose, and say, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
God’s purpose in bringing “a day of the LORD” is to end society’s pride because the anti-God tumor of the mind is the root of all rebellion against the King of kings.
St. Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas declared pride the root of all sin.[ii]
Pride is the root of all sexual immortality. It’s the root of all greed. It’s the root of all social injustices. It’s the root of all tyranny. Pride is the root of every sin known to mankind.
“#@&%*! what GOD says! I’ll do it my way.”
Sin is common to us all. What God detests is a man taking PRIDE in his sin. God will bring the proud rebel down.
In the Bible, multiple days of the LORD (Yom YHWH) appeared in various generations of people in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Israel, Judah, Libya, Greece, Rome, and dozens of other societies.
AN ILLUSTRATION OF A DAY OF THE LORD AT TYRE
The fortress island city of Tyre was to the ancients what New York City is to us today.
The Tyrian’s wealth was unsurpassed. The city’s immorality was unspeakable. Their wickedness was unimaginable.
The root of the Tyrian rebellion against the LORD is found in the spirit of their king. He looked around at his power, his pleasures, and his preeminence and not only gave no thought of God, he gave to his Creator the middle finger. His swelling tumor of pride in his mind led the king of Tyre to rebel against the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.
So, the LORD sent a message through the prophet Ezekiel about a coming “day of the LORD” for Tyre. This is the message from the LORD through Ezekiel to the king of Tyre:
“Son of man (Ezekiel), say unto the king of Tyre, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because your heart is lifted up (pride), and because you have said, ‘I am a EL’… I will bring strangers (the Babylonians)…who will bring you down.” (Ezekiel 26:2-8)
“El” is the Hebrew word for “Supreme God.”
The king of Tyre had the spirit of antichrist. He placed himself on the throne of his life. He suffered from the swelling tumor of pride. He lived his own way, not God’s.
So God brought the king of Tyre and the Tyrian people down in 586 BC. The Tyrian “day of the LORD” included famine, disease, conflict, and death, all caused by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army, who “worked for the LORD” (Ezekiel 29:20).
Some people wrongly think that there is but one antichrist.
No. There have been, will be, and are now hundreds of thousands of antichrists. The spirit of anti-Christ is the DNA of the swelling in the mind of mankind that causes people to say, “#@&%*! off God.”
God will bring the antichrist spirit down every single time.
AN ILLUSTRATION OF A DAY OF THE LORD IN TREES
In the Bible, people are often compared to trees. The branches of trees and the capillaries of human lungs look very similar.
What people breathe out (CO2), trees breathe in. What trees breathe out (oxygen), people breathe in.
“A righteous man is like a tree planted by rivers of living water” (Psalm 1:3).
“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree” (Psalm 92:12).
TALL trees in the Bible picture PROUD people.
“And all the trees of the field (e.g., people in the world) shall know that I the LORD have brought down the TALL tree, I exalt the low tree.” (Ezekiel 17:24)
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a dream in Daniel 4 of a TALL TREE that came crashing down to the earth.
Nebuchadnezzar called the Jewish magi named Daniel to interpret the dream.
“Your Majesty, you are that TALL TREE! You have become great and strong in your mind… a messenger from heaven has come to say, “Cut down the TALL tree and destroy it” (Daniel 4:22-23).
Nebuchadnezzar, the TALL TREE, was to be humbled.
Nebuchadnezzar winds up going insane (a disease), eats grass like cows (poverty), experiences conflict in his palace (there is fighting to replace him on the throne), and Nebuchadnezzar almost dies.
But then Old Neb is restored by God’s grace. The scroll of chapter 4 is the personal testimony of Nebuchadnezzar, as told by him. Nebuchadnezzar writes:
“It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom” (Daniel 4:3-4)
God brought the TALL TREE (Nebuchadnezzar) down.
Raised the LOW TREE (Nebuchadnezzar) up.
- Martin Lloyd-Jones said, “The two most powerful words in the Bible are “But God…”
God brings down the proud person so that He might raise up the humble person that trusts Him.
AN INSPIRATION FROM A DAY OF THE LORD IN TIME
We live in a day when PRIDE is celebrated. We have GAY PRIDE WEEK and LGBQT+ PRIDE MONTH. We have PROUD PEOPLE in politics, business, education, and entertainment.
At the Grammy Awards this past week, the song UNHOLY was sung by Sam Smith, dressed like the devil, and his song mate, Kim Petras, a song about sexual immorality, incest, and living life with an anti-God mentality.
Unholy is the anthem song of the proud.
Madonna spoke of Sam Smith and Kim Petras who sang UNHOLY: “You guys need to know ― all you troublemakers out there ― you need to know that your fearlessness does not go unnoticed,” she said. “You are seen, you are heard and, most of all, you are appreciated.”
With all due respect to Madonna, I will speak to Sam Smith, Kim Petras, and every other proud person gripped by the swelling tumor of pride, using the words of the LORD.
“You guys need to know – all you rebels out there – you need to know that your rebellion does not go unnoticed by God. The LORD sees you. He hears you. And most of all, the LORD will not let your pride remain; He will bring you down.”
Humility is the mark of a person touched by the power and grace of God.
The humble are broken people with nothing in life they can depend upon except the Creator.
The humble are His.
It takes a humble person to trust the Messiah and believe His Way of living is God’s plan for man.
It requires humility to “die to self” and follow Jesus.
The mark of God’s grace is brokenness.
Followers of Jesus, do the world a favor.
Stop telling proud sinners, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
Tell them of their coming YOM YHWH. Tell them that the day of the LORD coming to them is designed to break them of their anti-God mindset.
And when their day comes, brokenness – and God’s restoration – is the consequence.
Christians, when you find someone broken, put your loving arm around them and tell them of God’s promises in YESHUA for the broken person who trusts Him.
The right use of the Law and the Gospel is to let the proud know of YOM YHWH (the Law) and to take all the time needed to explain all the riches of grace in YESHUA to the broken (the Gospel).
That is the great theme of the Bible.
[i] See the Chapter “The Great Sin” in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
[ii] Source: Augustine’s Confessions, p. 13, and Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, Question 84).