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Chief of all Sins

The bible says an awful lot about pride. Almost every story of the bible illustrates some aspect of it. Satan appeals to the pride of Adam and Eve when he tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. There is pride in Cain’s killing of Abel. Pride destroyed King Saul. It lurks quietly in the motives of David when he murders a good man so that he can have that man’s wife. Ironically, it infected King Solomon who warned so extensively against it in the Proverbs (Deuteronomy 17:16-20, Isaiah 2:6-13, 1 Kings 7:2-3; 10:14-22). It metastasizes through the Hebraic religious leadership and finds a disturbingly comfortable home in the hearts of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Satan suffers from it, and it destroyed his position in Heaven (Isaiah 14:14). It crowns the body of sin, because it is the worst of all sin.

Each story always seems to list the same ingredients – attempting to make sure we understand the dangers of allowing pride into our lives. Consider the story of the ancient humans at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). God had commanded them after The Fall, and then again after the flood, to fill the whole earth. In opposition to God’s command, they decide to make a name for themselves by building a tower to Heaven, specifically so that they won’t be scattered all over the planet. In this story, the people collectively overestimate their ability to build something. Though their technology was great for its day, it was not enough to build to heaven. The bible seems to sarcastically point out that God had to come down to see it (Genesis 11:5). The people wished to elevate themselves in name and status. Pride always has some element like this, which is an attribute of Satan’s fall (Isaiah 14:14). Finally, God always metes out some kind of punishment for the behaviors born of prideful hearts.

Pride is easiest to see in such basic examples of overestimation, status elevation, and disobedience. But its effect is usually more stealthy. It is pride that keeps a person in sin. It’s pride that keeps a person from laying down sins at the cross. It's pride that keeps a person from asking for help. It’s pride that is the chief ingredient of stubborness. It is pride that ends marriages, topples lofty careers, dissolves friendships, corrupts familial bonds, and keeps a person from hearing the voice of God, or obeying his perfect commands.

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