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Pride Goeth Before a Fall
Shalom, all my family and friends!!
I was reading about the tower being built at Babel (Bereshit (Genesis) 11) under the direction of Nimrod (Bereshit (Genesis) 10:10), and my attention was drawn outside of my office window. I live atop Brushy Mountain, almost right on the apex of the mountain; if I go south for about twenty miles, I go down the mountain to a valley area where Sallisaw lies, and if I go north for about twenty miles, I go down the mountain to a valley area where Stilwell lies. Yet, even atop the mountain, I am not the tallest person/thing standing, there is a seventy-five-foot-tall Cedar tree in my backyard; even on the highest point of Brushy Mountain I still have much height to climb … physically.
Nimrod had much height to climb physically as well, it wasn’t his building of a tower that got him into trouble … it was his pride. You see, no matter the heights you find yourself at, your pride will always try to take you higher. I get prideful sometimes. I’ll give you a moment to quit choking on your coffee! But, seriously, I do get prideful sometimes, and, in those moments of pride, guess what happens. Life becomes confusing. I’ll let that sink in, too. Lots for you to think about today; yes?
Pride Goeth Before a Fall
Habaqquq (Habakkuk) 2:4--”See, he whose being is not upright in him is puffed up. But the righteous one lives by his steadfastness.”
In this verse, there are two universal positions that יהוה sets out for us, in very clear language … the proud and the righteous. And what יהוה is asking of each of us, individually, is, “Which position is the position that you wish to take? You must choose your position; but, know that the prideful person will be destroyed and the righteous person will be rewarded?”
Even in the ha-Berit ha-Chadashah (the New Testament), this position of sides is set before us, specifically the reward for righteousness …
Romiyim (Romans) 1:16-17--”For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Messiah, for it is the power of Elohim for deliverance to everyone who believes, to the Yehudi first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of Elohim is revealed from belief to belief, as it has been written, ‘But the righteous shall live by belief.’ [Habbaqquq (Habakkuk) 2:4]”
Galatiyim (Galatians) 3:11--”And that no one is declared right by Torah before Elohim is clear, for ‘The righteous shall live by belief’ [Habbaqquq (Habakkuk) 2:4]”
Ib’rim (Hebrews) 10:38-39--”’But the righteous shall live by belief, but if anyone draws back, my being has no pleasure in him.’ [Habbaqquq (Habakkuk) 2:3-4] But we are not of those who draw back to destruction, but of belief to the preservation of life.”
If, after reading these verses, I cannot understand why I would be confused when I become prideful, I need to read these verses again, then, read these verses again, and again and again if need be. Because really there is no confusion … pride of self causes punishment. Period.
It is one thing to be “proud” of your child for getting to the end of a book that he or she struggled to read; it is one thing to be “proud” of yourself for making a good grade on a term paper; it is one thing to be “proud” of your spouse when he or she has finally got that long-sought-for promotion at work … it is quite another thing when you allow that pride to puff you up so much that you set yourself or others or other things above your worship of יהוה.
Baruch ata, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-olam, she’asani betzalmo.
Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the universe, Who created me in His image.