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Tag: hard

Does Pride Come Before the Fall?

God is able to humble those who walk in pride.

Written by GodLife on 25/06/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GodJusticePride


Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Daniel 4:37

A historian wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” One of the Bible’s best examples is found in the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of a worldwide empire, had a dream that foretold God’s judgment upon him. He nevertheless ignored the dream and did exactly what he was warned not to do, taking credit for the empire and everything achieved by it. God’s judgment fell, just as promised. How could a situation like this work out to his benefit?

The dream that warned the king

With all he had going for him, King Nebuchadnezzar was stubborn and prideful. In the second chapter of the book of Daniel, he dreamed about a great statue symbolizing his kingdom and other future empires. Only Daniel could correctly interpret the dream, so he was promoted. The king offered praise to Daniel’s God: “‘Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.’ Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon…” (Daniel 2:47–48). 

In the next chapter, the king built a giant statue and it was suspiciously similar to the dream’s statue. Whoever refused to worship the statue when certain music played would be burned alive in a furnace (Daniel 3:4-6). However, when God’s miracle delivered some faithful Hebrews from Nebuchadnezzar’s punishment, the king once again made a law: “Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way” (Daniel 3:29).

Chapter four starts with some similarities: God gives the king another dream that only Daniel can interpret. This time, though, it’s all about Nebuchadnezzar himself. Daniel tells him it means for seven years he would lose his mind and his kingdom, acting like an animal and eating grass, until he genuinley recognized God’s rule (Daniel 4:25-27).

The forgetful, prideful outburst that cost him everything

A year passed and the king had obviously forgotten all of this. He said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). God’s judgment took place exactly as predicted. He lost his sanity and became unable to care for himself or feed himself.

The surprise blessing that made it all around the empire

After the seven-year-long judgment was complete, the king said, “…my reason returned to me… I …praised and honored him who lives forever …his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will …none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:34-35). What an amazing confession!

What’s different about this chapter of Daniel is that it is written to “…all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth…” (Daniel 4:1). It’s written in a different language than the rest of the book as well. Most shockingly, it is written in the first person. This chapter is Nebuchadnezzar’s proclamation. It is an official state document translated into multiple languages and sent to the world, confessing his sin against God and the “signs and wonders the Most High has done for me” (Daniel 4:2). It is the king’s personal testimony explaining how he repented and came to know God as the one, true and living God.

The lesser-known part of my initial quote about the corrupting nature of power is, “Great men are almost always bad men.” What an ironic phrase! Why hasn’t that part of the quote become better known? Maybe because it shows us our habit of elevating people for the wrong things. Read through the Bible and identify important births and the stories of leaders. From the time Jesus was predicted, as the “offspring of woman” in Genesis 3:15, to Jesus’ tragic words about His people’s readiness to accept a future substitute “Messiah” instead of Him, who would “come in his own name” (John 5:43Daniel 11:36), people have looked to some of the most flawed people as heroes, saviors and leaders, and have always been disappointed.

Moses, the great leader, was left behind because of one fit of anger. Strongman Samson was shamed and blinded by his lust for a forbidden woman. King David stole a faithful servant’s wife and allowed the man to be killed in battle. Why weren’t these stories left out of the Bible? Because God will not put up with our tendency to idolize people.

Against the bleak backdrop of all these disappointments—the outright villains and even the heroes of the Bible—Jesus shines like a diamond! Take it from a former undisputed king of a worldwide empire: “all His works are right and His ways are just; and those who walk in pride He is able to humble” (Daniel 4:37).


Pray this week:

God, as your Word says, I have nothing I did not receive and so I have no reason to overestimate myself or boast as if I earned something. Train me to be clothed in humility so that you can work in my life. Through Jesus I pray this, amen.


Is it possible that pride is in the way of something God wants to do for you? Pride is a sin that’s hard to identify, let alone confess

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Joseph’s Christmas Story: Full-On Faith

Joseph shows us how to react to surprising and difficult circumstances.

Written by GodLife on 18/12/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ChristmasFaithGraceHumilityJesusJoseph


When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:24-25

Considering the birth of Jesus, it’s an interesting exercise to put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. Think about it. As he is making preparations to marry his fiance, Mary, he learns that she has become pregnant even though they have not been together as man and wife.

What would your first reaction be? Rage? Sorrow? Disappointment? Shame? Any of these emotions would be certainly understandable. However, Joseph didn’t react like this at all!

Let’s look into what Joseph’s reaction was and how God was present, helping him all the way through one of the most difficult times in his life.

Humility and grace

Purity was a huge deal in the Jewish culture of the day, so marrying a woman who had become pregnant out of wedlock was not something that was seen as acceptable. Because of this, when Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy, the Bible says he decided to quietly separate from her and move on with his life.

“And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19)

This act of grace alone shows that Joseph is a man of great integrity, because many young men in that culture would have put her to shame.

The power of faith

As the story continues, we see that Joseph has remained with Mary through her pregnancy, all while he contemplates what his next steps should be. Then he gets a visit from an angel of the Lord who tells Him that the baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit and commands him to stay with Mary and name her baby Jesus.

If this happened to you, what would you think? Would you say ‘Yes Lord!’ or would you be scared and doubt that what you heard was actually from God? I think most of us would doubt, but here’s how Joseph responded:

“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:24-25)

Extreme faith. That’s what it took for Joseph to listen to the angel of the Lord and believe that God was watching over him and directing his steps. 

Joseph’s story shows us the power of faith and what can be accomplished if we simply believe. Will you believe what the Lord is telling you today about your difficult life circumstances?


Pray this week:

Lord, thank you for showing me what it means to have complete faith in you, no matter how crazy the circumstances are around me. Help me to trust you like Joseph did and believe that you have the best for me. Amen.


When have you had a hard time trusting the Lord with a difficult circumstance in your life?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member