American Pride Will Be Our Downfall
By: Brian A. Yeager
Last year there was a bomb placed at the Boston Marathon. This year, there was a rallying cry to be strong for this year’s event. Special ceremonies, etc. have been held. In a speech prior to this year’s Boston Marathon, the Vice President of the United States (Joe Biden) made this statement: “They try to instill fear. That’s their objective, that’s what they tried to do in Boston. To make us afraid. Not just Boston afraid — to make America afraid, so that maybe, maybe we begin to change our ways, America will never ever ever stand down. We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line” (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/04/vice-president-biden-applauds-bostons-courage/).
Joe Biden is not alone in his thinking that our country is somehow invincible. We can see and hear that from political speeches, movies, books, songs, etc. People think that our country is all-powerful. This is a false confidence on many levels. Our technology, military, government, morality, etc. are not the “world’s best”. We live in a fallible country. We live in a country wherein immorality is celebrated and pride is encouraged.
The word of God warns us not to begin thinking so highly of ourselves. Notice a few Scriptures, of many, that our country needs to consider: “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom… Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall… Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain… 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… Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 16:18, Proverbs 25:14, Romans 12:3, and I Corinthians 10:12).
When you read the Scriptures that were just quoted, you should be able to see clearly that pride does not lead to good things. Real exaltation comes at the hand of God as a result of humility (I Peter 5:6). Lifting up a person or any group of people is not in our power.
Consider this, what has been the end of nations in the past that have exalted themselves? What happened to nations that thought they were invincible? What happened to world empires like the Egyptians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Grecians, Romans, Spanish, Byzantines, Ottomans, Britons, Germans, etc.? Are those nations dominate today? Did their military might, earthly wisdom, and wealth keep them in power? Has there ever been an Empire among men that could not fall? Will there ever be? The word of God teaches us to learn from the past (Romans 15:4 and I Corinthians 10:1-11). We’d do well to consider what has happened to proud nations before ours.
The Bible Gives Us Some History To Consider
Concerning Assyria, the word of God says this: “Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands” (II Kings 19:17). Assyria was powerful. They not only conquered the heathens, but also conquered many of God’s people with the Lord’s will being behind it (II Kings 17:6-24). Assyria had a problem though. That problem was the same problem our country has. Assyria became proud and did not fear the Lord (II Kings 17:25). Consider what Isaiah said concerning this people: “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger,
and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man” (Isaiah 10:5-13).
Nebuchadnezzar was the head of the Chaldean Empire. Into his hands was given the lands of many nations (Jeremiah 27:1-8). Nebuchadnezzar knew that it was foolish to be proud (Daniel 4:37). However, notice what happened: “O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will” (Daniel 5:18-21).
Israel was humbled when they became proud (Hosea 5:5). The Edomites were humbled when they became proud (Obadiah 1-4). The Egyptians were humbled when they became proud (Ezekiel 31:1-18). Not only did God punish Egypt, but even those nations who trusted in them (Ezekiel 30:1-6). The prince of Tyrus got proud, then humbled (Ezekiel 28:1-10). The list could go on and on. The point is the same (Isaiah 2:11).
We live in a proud country. It is only a matter of time before our nation gets humbled (Luke 14:11). Let us therefore maintain the proper mindset of humility before our God (James 4:6-10). Let’s not learn the ways of our country. Let’s not be cheerleaders for the arrogant. Remember the lessons of the Scriptures and history - THE PROUD ALWAYS FALL!
Volume 14 – Issue 38 - June 8th, 2014