December 16, 2013
READ: Daniel 4:19-37
God is able to humble the proud (v.37).
Only a handful of people know who wrote the book Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything. The writer, who published the book under the name “Anonymous”, is a well established author who is living out the main point of his (or her) message. According to Anonymous, the book is “a call to stop imitating the world’s formula for success and instead follow the model of our humble King.”
This book, written for Christians, shows that we can know who God is, yet be dizzied by a sense of our own importance. King Nebuchadnezzar had this problem. After seeing Daniel and his buddies escape—unharmed—from a furnace, he praised God, saying ultimately, “There is no other god who can rescue like this” (Daniel 3:29). Nebuchadnezzar had the right idea about God’s greatness, but he needed a lesson in humility.
His lesson began one day when he was strolling along the roof of his palace. Surveying the scene below, he said, “By my own mighty power I have built this beautiful city . . . to display my majestic splendour” (4:30). A voice from heaven interrupted his self-congratulation. The voice told him he would go to live with wild animals and eat grass like a cow. He would return to society when he learned that “the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses” (v.32). This is exactly what happened.
When Nebuchadnezzar regained his sanity, he declared, “all [God’s] acts are just and true and he is able to humble the proud” (v.37). When we allow pride to pollute our souls, we can expect God to take us down a peg or two. However, it’s encouraging to remember that if we follow the Bible’s teaching and “humble [ourselves] before the Lord,” he will lift us up in honour (James 4:10). We will be humbly His. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Read Deuteronomy 8:12-15 to see how prosperity can lead to pride. Read Psalm 138:6 to see how God relates differently to those who are proud than to those who are humble.
Would you rather try to correct arrogance in your life or to have God take action to do so? Why? How can pride and arrogance harm relationships?