This morning we want to center our attention on 'pride'. Not ‘pride’ the emotion, but ‘pride’ the sin of rebellion. It brought about the fall of Satan and in turn the fall of mankind.
There are many examples of the destructiveness of pride found in the Scriptures, but none quite so vivid as found in the book of Exodus.
"AND PHARAOH SAID, WHO IS THE LORD, THAT I SHOULD OBEY HIS VOICE TO LET ISRAEL GO? I KNOW NOT THE LORD, NEITHER WILL I LET ISRAEL GO." (EXO 5:2)
Pharaoh refused to submit to God and obey Him. As a result, God began to warn him and plead with him. He began to send 10 plagues upon Egypt. In chapter seven we see the plague of blood; in chapter eight we see the plagues of frogs, lice, and flies; in chapter nine we see the plagues of disease, boils, and hail. Now, in chapter ten we find something quite unusual. In verse number three God asks Pharaoh a very searching question: "How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?"
This morning I want us to think about that question. As we look at it …
I. We can see the pride of man.
A. Pride is foolish.
1. It shows an awful ignorance of God.
2. Ps. 14:1. "'The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..."
a. notice that David did not say, 'the fool declared with his mouth there is no God'
b. although that would be extremely foolish, that is not what he said.
c. he said that 'in his heart' the fool declares there is no God.
d. there are many people who would never think of openly denying the existence of God, but they live their lives as if He doesn't exist!
3. Pride in an individual's heart will exalt self to dangerous proportions and he will deliberately resist God's will.
"FOR I SAY, THROUGH THE GRACE GIVEN UNTO ME, TO EVERY MAN THAT IS AMONG YOU, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; BUT TO THINK SOBERLY, ACCORDING AS GOD HATH DEALT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH." (ROM 12:3)
B. Pride is deceptive.
1. "FOR IF A MAN THINK HIMSELF TO BE SOMETHING, WHEN HE IS NOTHING, HE DECEIVETH HIMSELF." (GAL 6:3)
2. Pride will make you think you are more important than you really are.
a. Nebuchadnezzar is an example. Cf Daniel 4:30-31; 5:20
b. Note the example of Uzziah: cf 2 Chronicles 26:16-19
3. Pride made Pharaoh think he was in control of Egypt and all the people therein.
"THE LORD HATH PREPARED HIS THRONE IN THE HEAVENS; AND HIS KINGDOM RULETH OVER ALL." (PSA 103:19)
C. Pride is destructive.
1. It is destructive because it is sin:
"AN HIGH LOOK, AND A PROUD HEART, AND THE PLOWING OF THE WICKED, IS SIN." (PROV 21:4)
2. Sin will destroy wherever it is found.
a. we are all aware of the destructive power of drugs, liquor, and immorality.
b. but we must not forget that all sin is destructive in nature.
c. sin knows no boundaries: it will destroy the life of a Christian just as readily as the life; of an unbeliever.
"PRIDE GOETH BEFORE DESTRUCTION, AND AN HAUGHTY SPIRIT BEFORE A FALL." (PROV 16:18)
II. We see the question of God.
"…HOW LONG WILT THOU REFUSE TO HUMBLE THYSELF BEFORE ME?"
A. It reveals the grace of God.
1. God could have struck swiftly in judgment upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians.
2. But God desired that Pharaoh might know Him. v2
3. God withholds His judgment upon unbelieving man for one purposes net they might come to know Him.
"THE LORD IS NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISE, AS SOME MEN COUNT SLACKNESS; BUT IS LONGSUFFERING TO US-WARD, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE." (2 PET 3:9)
B. It reveals the grief of God.
1. God asks, "How long..."
a. when people refuse to humble themselves before God, it grieves Him greatly.
b. it is His desire that all would come to Him: "... not willing that any should perish...'
2. Genesis 6:6-7, "When God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth ... it grieved Him at his heart."
3. If there is joy in heaven when one sinner repents,, just think of the grief that must be there when so many refuse to humble themselves before Him, repent and be saved.
C. It reveals the impatience of God.
1. God asks, "How long...?"
2. God had dealt with Pharaoh for some time:
a. He had sent Moses and Aaron
b. He had sent seven plagues as signs to reveal Himself to him.
c. and yet, with all of this, Pharaoh refused to submit himself to God.
3. There is coming a day when God will shut the door of opportunity and open the door of judgment.
a. He taught us this truth by using Noah' s ark: which was a type of Christ.
b. He taught us this truth by the parable of the ten virgins: five wise and five foolish.
"THE HARVEST IS PAST, THE SUMMER IS ENDED, AND WE ARE NOT SAVED." (JER 8:20)
c. God is grieved when we refuse to accept His grace and be saved, and one day He will shut the door and there will be no hope for those who have not accepted Him.
III. We see the answer given.
A. To avoid the question is not the answer.
1. Pharaoh offered to allow the men to go and worship, but not their families. V6-11
a. he had previously given his word until the plagues had been lifted and then he would refuse to honor his word.
b. It reminds me of many I have spoken with who find themselves in trouble and promise God all sorts of things, but never do any of them.
c. "God…if you will get me out of this I will…"
2. God had asked a straight question which demanded a straight answer.
3. Like so many today, Pharaoh tried to avoid the question.
B. To make excuses is not the answer.
1. Note: Luke 14:16-24
2. Jesus used this parable to teach man about the insufficiency of an excuse.
3. Three excuses are dealt with here.
a. the importance of possessions
b. the importance of work c. the importance of family
4. Listen to people today and you will hear the same excuses over and over.
C. Procrastination is not the answer.
1. Felix told Paul, "...go thy way for this time: when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Ac. 24:25
2. God says, "How long..." some says 'not now ... some day ... but not now'.
3. 2 Co. 6:2, "...now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation."
D. The only answer God wants to hear.
1. He asks, "How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?"
2. The answer: "No longer Lord, I surrender all."
3. James 4:6-7, "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God."
Perhaps there is someone here this morning who has never repented of their sins and called upon Christ to save them ... God asks, 'How long...?’
Perhaps there is someone here today who has stopped living 100% for the Lord.. God asks 'How long... ?’
Maybe you are here today and you know God has been speaking to your heart about something, but you have refused to obey Him ... God asks, ‘How long...?’
What will be your reply this morning?
Pride will keep us from making things right with God and with others!