“Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
You shall be greatly despised.
The pride of your heart has deceived you,
You who dwell in the clefts of the rock,
Whose habitation is high;
You who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
And though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,’ says the LORD.”
–Obadiah 2-4 (NKJV)
Warning: Pride deceives.
The prophet says, “The pride of your heart has deceived you.”
When we think well of ourselves, we often leave the bounds of truth and slip unawares into error, only to be awoken by the sad slap of unexpected reality.
Here was a nation nestled high in the cliffs, solidly protected from the advancement of chariots and infantry by rocky crags. Who would bring them down? Certainly none from below. But then comes a voice from above: “Though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down.” The Most High is higher. Pride has deceived once again.
Here is an old man with heart difficulties. Many times the heart has left its rhythm but always returned. Things will turn out fine. He tolerates the warnings not to presume upon eternity, but has not read the New Testament given to him over a year ago.
Here is a young man behind the counter, declining to accept a New Testament. He goes to church, but cannot answer the crucial question on what basis he can hope as a sinner to enter heaven. His eyes are evasive. He replies, “People don’t worry about such things anymore,” or words to that effect.
Here is a middle-aged couple, whose youngest child is almost grown, whose income is set, wondering how to spend their money in pleasure for the next twenty-five years, . . . until one Friday, with the expectation perhaps of the weekend on his mind, the husband unexpectedly finds her dead by the pool.
Each of these stories is real, having occurred last year among those I knew. The apathy towards a serious look into the way of salvation is appalling, and broke my heart. Our lives are by-and-large comfortable and busy. The questions of eternity seem so distant, and our relative prosperity and security lead us to assume things will always be fine. Instead of getting busy repenting and seeking the mercy of the Lord in Christ, we despise His tolerance and store up for ourselves more wrath in the day of wrath. Our pride has deceived us, and I am asking us to pray for an inner awakening to reality. Will you join me in such a pursuit?