“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” –I John 2:16
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 8:10-20
The first six lessons in this quarterly are based upon the six things that God hates, as found in Proverbs 6:16-19. Although it states, “seven are an abomination…” two are so closely related that they were combined in one lesson.
There is no apparent significance to the order in which these six things appear in the text, but the fist one mentioned is a proud look. The pride that God hates is not the look of satisfaction of a job well done, an admiration for our children, being able to solve a problem, or the things with which we often associate pride. The pride God hates is fostered by the one air that sees no need of God. A person with this type of pride may be rich but he can also be poor. It knows no cultural or ethnic bounds. It is a very basic trait to all humanity.
Why does God hate this latter type of pride? It is a barrier to any dealings with God. It doesn’t recognize God and feels no need of Him. A person so inclined feels he can do things in his own power and in his own way. He is also a person who refuses to admit any wrong or to say, “I’m sorry.” He may be hard to deal with. This pride must be broken or it will break the person. God cannot help someone who doesn’t want help.
In our own efforts to help ourselves, without God’s help, He sees us as cold and naked and blind (Revelation 3:17). He wants to help us but in order to do so we must humble ourselves and ask for help. When the arrogant pride is replaced by a strong trust in Someone wiser, God can open us to a whole new world that had been closed by pride. We can feel the peace within that only He can give—a peace that passes understanding.
- Describe the outward manifestations of the pride that God hates. Revelation 3:14-18; Proverbs 21:4, 24-30.
- What would God prefer our attitude to be? Jeremiah 9:23-24; Deuteronomy 8:17-18.
- List problems that pride can cause. Proverbs 28:25-26; Proverbs 17:19; Proverbs 13:10; III John 1:9-11.
- Describe the problems pride caused in Jesus’ day. Mark 12:38-40; Luke 11:43, 52-54.
- How does Paul put down boasting? I Corinthians 4:6-7. What did pride do to Nebuchadnezzar? Daniel 4:28-33. How many times was he warned? Daniel 2:47; Daniel 3:28; Daniel 4:4, 22, 26-27. When his judgment was lifted what did he proclaim? Daniel 4:34-37.
- What did pride almost do to Naaman? II Kings 5:8-12. What wisdom prevailed and what was the result? II Kings 5:13-14.
- Explain what Paul thought his “thorn in the flesh” was for? II Corinthians 12:5-10.
- How can a person overcome pride? Philippians 2:2-5; James 4:6-7; I Corinthians 13; 4-7; Romans 12:3, 16.
- What will God do to the proud? Isaiah 2:11-12; Isaiah 13:11; Proverbs 16:5, 18.
An area that many Christians develop prideful attitudes in is their church. Often they have pride in the building itself, because they have helped build it or given finances towards the building of it. Many also have pride in the services, classes or the assistance they provide in these areas. Because of their pride, God is unable to speak to them, they are closed to Him: they don’t hear His chastisement or rebuke, He is unable to move them to repentance, and unable to lead them to a greater walk with Him.
Examine your own life. What areas of pride do you have?