By Benjamin H. Liles
"In the tenth year, in the tenth months, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt...I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia" (Ezekiel 29:1-10, New King James).
Imagine with me if you will: you lead a mighty nation, one of the mightiest the world has ever seen. It stands head and shoulders above them all, reigning supreme. But God never intended for man to be a proud creature. This man, a leader of one of the strongest nations said, "My River is my own; I have made it for myself" (Ezekiel 29:3). God hates the sin of pride more than anything else!
It reminds me of what the LORD said to Isaiah, to give a proverb to the king of Babylon, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God..." Five times this being says this: "I will" comments. God hates the sin of pride so badly He deals severely and swiftly with that person who does such a thing.
It's not that God enjoys doing that sort of thing anyway! Honestly, He doesn't. This is what God prefers: "If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14, King James 2000, italics for emphasis).
The reason the sin of pride is the worst of all is because it takes the focus off God and reverses it on ourselves. It's kind of like this, "I don't really like what you said, so I'm going to do this," kind of devil-may-care attitude. And what it really shows is the lack of relationship you have with the One who made you. God, who through Jesus Christ, reconciles the world to Himself through the atoning work of the cross, is also the same One who shakes the nations to their foundations, "where the shaking begins" (Shaking the House, Back to the Street, Petra, 1986).
God hates pride more than anything in this world. First, because it assumes He can't deal with what we're going through. Second, it's pure and utter rebellion, and scripture says, "For rebellion is like the sin of divination [witchcraft], and defiance [stubbornness] is iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected this message from the LORD, he has rejected " (Samuel says to Saul, 1 Samuel 15:23, Holman Christian Standard). Last, it separates us completely from God abandoning us to our lusts and desires that carry us away from Him and His love.
Now, I don't know about anyone else here, but I love my God who redeemed me this past week (last Tuesday night, to be exact). My actual testimony can be read again, if you like. I've been riddled with pride, ego, and such a strong self of self that when God invaded my life fully I felt like i couldn't hold on to that old life anymore. It was like Paul, the Apostle, who Jesus Christ said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads" (Acts 26:14, Berean Study).
In Strong's Lexicon, this word translated as "goad"--kentron--can also mean, "to offer vain and perilous or ruinous resistance." In other words, Saul was resisting Christ's call on His life so much, that it literally took the Savior of the world to invade His life. It's why the writer of Hebrews penned the words (sorry for repetition), "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31, New American Standard).
Yet, there are times where you want to be in the hands of the living God, such as a major health scare (such as my gallbladder surgery), or when you're going through an emotional crisis, possibly a relationship crisis, you're not sure how to handle grief, the sudden loss of a friend or family member, so forth and so on. But overall, truly, you don't want to "desire" to be in His hands for what that really means is He's going to judge/try you. In those moments, you want to humble yourself, admit that you were wrong and to ask for His forgiveness.
It doesn't mean you can go right back to doing what you have been doing; it's not a license to sin. When I say this, it's not to scare or intimidate anyone to choosing God, but I seriously believe and sense that I would not be in heaven had I died last Tuesday night. I'm fortunate to be reborn as I fully repented before Him. I admitted so much I was wrong about to Him, to my wife, to my parents and I laid every hurt, burden, pain and sorrow down at His feet. I never felt so much LOVE in my life when I unburdened myself that way. He wants to turn you upside down and turn your life around, so to speak.
In closing, I think the reason God went after Egypt the way He did is more than Pharaoh's pride. Pharaoh, at that time, did not know or care about the God of Joseph or His people. No, this Pharaoh almost seems to be thinking, "I am a god!" More like a false god, at that. Pride does funny things like that. It puffs you up, like a Staypuff Marshmallow Man, only to be put over a roasting fire, where the gooey softness dries out and melts between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate. The point is that God's judgment is no joke. You don't want to see the limit of His patience. I think you'd much rather have a restorative, re-conciliated relationship with the God who sent Jesus to die in your place.
"Father, I never desire to be proud or even prideful. If there is even a whiff of that on me, help me remain humble before You. I'd rather Your chastisement over Your rebuke any day. I thank You and praise You for giving me another day to witness Your majesty and Your glory. I'm ever thankful for the fact You came into my life, keeping me from making a truly terrible choice. I would rather a thousand days in Your courts than anywhere else. I also feel, at the same time, unworthy to be considered Your child. But I am thankful and grateful anyway for Your wondrous and gracious love. I did nothing to earn it, but accepted the sacrifice Your Son, Jesus Christ, paid for me so I may have a relationship with You based on faith. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."