Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
We see this in the life of Herod Agrippa I, (not to be confused with Herod Antipas who had been involved with John the Baptist and Jesus in the gospels). Herod Agrippa was the grandson of King Herod, who had attempted to kill Jesus as a baby. And he was just as bloodthirsty as his grandfather was.
He was responsible for the death of James, and would have killed Peter had God not delivered him. And for Peter’s escape, Herod killed the men who had been guarding him.
Herod was a powerful man…and very proud. He had exerted his power to the point that the cities of Tyre and Sidon, two cities that had been in dispute with him, had humbled themselves and sought to make peace with him. And as he sat before them, they shouted out,
This is the voice of a god, not of a man. (22)
Herod accepted this praise, and because of it, an angel struck him, and shortly thereafter, he died.
If there is one thing that God hates, it’s pride, because pride places a wall between us and him. We start to think we can live without God and that we don’t need him.
Our pride also puts a barrier between us and others. How often, because of our pride, do we destroy our relationships, our friendships, our marriages, and our families?
And as with Herod, pride will ultimately lead to our destruction if we refuse to repent. If we in our pride say, “I don’t need you God,” God will eventually give us what we want: life for all eternity without him. But when we get it, we’ll find out that we’re cut off from life, love, joy, and peace. Because all of these things find their source in God. That’s what Herod found out.
How about you? Is your pride standing between you and your friends, your spouse, the people at work, or the people at church? Even worse, is it standing between you and God?
As Peter wrote,
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (I Peter 5:5-6)