How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
Isaiah 14:12-14 (ESV)
On May 16 I became 70 years old! To celebrate I am going to share with you something significant from the perspective of my advanced age!
Through the years I have experimented with many types of ministry roles. I have served—I have led—I have watched—and I have evaluated. I’ve witnessed lots of good, but I’ve also unfortunately witnessed lots of bad. One of the most serious transgressions against divine law I have seen is how pride puffs up an individual—and how God judges it—with jarring harshness.
What is pride? It is an inordinate self-esteem or unreasonable conceit of one’s own superiority which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often contempt of others.
In Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is a scientist who studies chemical processes and the decay of living things. Through his studies he gains insight into the creation of life and eventually gives life to his own creature-monster. He later regrets meddling with nature, however, when he inadvertently endangers his own life, as well as the lives of his family and friends, after the creature seeks revenge against him.
In the Afterword section of the book, there is a summary statement about the pursuit of genius and fame leading to the fracture of families and society; and also—even more damning—that “pride causes a man to be at his weakest when he aspires to become like a god.”
In Ezekiel 28:13-14 we are told that Lucifer was a beautiful angel and due to his own pride, he desired to become like God. He wanted the glory and power of God. The Bible calls such a desire sin. In response, God threw him out of heaven, and we know him today in his fallen state as Satan or the Devil.
In my 70 years, what have I witnessed? Pride destroys and will inevitably bring a person down—LOW—because there is only one God, and there will never be another. Isaiah 44:6 says, I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.