Located sixty miles northwest of Nazareth, on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, lies the remains of the once powerful, prideful city of Tyrus (Tyre). Ancient Tyre consisted of two parts, the first part of the city was on the mainland, the second part was located on a small island just off of the shoreline. Tyre was a wealthy metropolis, a destination of merchant ships, a center of trade and commerce. It would be King Hiram of Tyre who would famously supply the “cedar trees from the forests of Lebanon” and the skilled workman to aid in the building of Solomon’s Temple. At the zenith of her power, Tyre controlled virtually all commerce on the Mediterranean. However, centuries later, that once-powerful nation would be reduced to a bare rock where fishermen would spread their nets to dry, providing a stark, silent testimony of the fate of a “proud look.” God warned that He would “break down their wall…and lay thy dust in the midst of the sea.” In fulfillment of that prophecy, Alexander the Great would pummel the harbor city and dump her ruins in the “midst of the sea.” Tyre would be that “desolate city” Ezekiel prophesied.
Never underestimate the seriousness of a haughty spirit in the eyes of our holy God. Consider from His Word some of these epitaphs of pride: Ahithophel, one of David’s trusted advisers, who “hanged himself” simply because his counsel was not followed and his ego was crushed; Haman, “hanged on the gallows” when his plan to avenge his wounded pride backfired upon him; the mighty King Herod who was praised by his subjects as he spoke “…it is a voice of a god, and not a man,” and “immediately the angel of the LORD smote him because he gave not God the glory.” Can we all agree that “Pride goeth before destruction?” But one boastful Bible character found repentance and humility in the midst of his pride.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would view his great kingdom one fateful day and boastfully stated, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built…for the honor of my majesty” His fate for his prideful boasting… insania zoanthropica, an actual psychiatric term, a rare disorder in which a person takes upon himself the characteristics of an animal. Nebuchadnezzar “was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen…his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.” What an interesting topic of discussion this situation had to be throughout the kingdom! But as this king wallowed upon the ground as an wild beast, stripped of all his royal dignity, God graciously led him on a path to the true Source of worship, and this humbled king “praised and honoured” the ultimate King. The once lofty Nebuchadnezzar’s epitaph would read “I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment; those that walk in pride he is able to abase,” spoken by a man who had experienced being abased firsthand!
We serve a God Who deserves all the glory, not shared glory. What will my epitaph read? Will it be one of pride, filled with self-glory and self-accomplishments, or will it reflect a life of humility before a God worthy of all my praise and gratitude, knowing that it is only through His grace and power that I am able to accomplish anything for Him?
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.
God, humility can be a difficult characteristic to attain unless our eyes are constantly focused of You. When I’m tempted to claim the glory that You deserve, gently remind me of what a glorious, wondrous Father I have.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1815-63d7cd51b1ccf' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1815&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1815-63d7cd51b1ccf' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1815-63d7cd51b1ccf' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>