Why Does God Resist the Proud?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

The Bible teaches that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, so why does God resist the proud so much?

God the Evangelist

The Bible teaches that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, so why does God resist the proud so much? For those who continually reject Jesus Christ, they have become gods unto themselves, meaning, they depend only on themselves for everything and have no need of a god in their lives. No one’s going to tell them how to live, but we should tell them about the consequences of rejecting Jesus Christ. That’s part of the reason God has called us and saved us (Matt 28:18-20), but it’s a hard thing to do, I grant you that. I know this. God alone can open their hearts like God did Lydia’s to be attentive to Paul’s words (Acts 16:14), which of course was the gospel, but until a person humbles themselves before God and see the awfulness of their sins and their desperate need for the Savior, they are still blind. And pride is much of the reason. They are like a camper; self-contained, having all they need; at least they think they do. It’s not our responsibility to save anyone. It is their response to His ability (John 6:44). But that doesn’t mean we’re not responsible for sharing Christ. We are!Best Place To Start Reading the Bible

Our Idol

I believe what is most important in our lives is what we will worship most in our lives. It may be our job, our family, our house or car, but if it’s not God, it is idolatry. Anything or anyone placed ahead of God is an idol and God will not accept anyone who rejects Him and specifically, anyone who does not put their trust in Christ. He must be first and foremost in our lives (Matt 6:33), or we prove ourselves to be frauds and false converts. Truly we worship most what we value most, so what is it for you? I must ask myself the same question!

Our Pride

It’s actually okay to be proud…proud of someone else’s accomplishments or the way someone behaved, but that is directed toward others. When pride becomes self-focused, then it can hinder our walk with God. The Hebrew word for pride is “zadown” and it’s a lot worse than you might think. It means “insolence” and “arrogance.” In the Greek the word pride is “alazoneia” which means “empty, bragging,” and “insolent,” so whoever is full of pride is a person that is arrogant, insolent, and empty of anything of true value; at least according to God. Ouch! That is now what we are called to be in this Christian life. We are to remain humble before God and before others or He will humble us. There is no reason to have a self-induced pride. We can be proud we make good choices, but even that should be attributed to God as His Spirit prompts us to do the right thing.

Our Fall

TemperThe great Wisdom of Solomon shared in the Book of Proverbs includes a rebuke of the proud. He writes, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Prov 16:18). Notice that pride always comes before the fall. It’s not a fall that comes first and then pride. That would make no sense because most who fall are somewhat humbled…or least they should be, but pride comes first…the fall is next. It’s only a matter of time before God humbles them. We can either humble ourselves today before God, or He will do it for us. One way is infinitely more painful though (Rev 20:12-15).

Our Judgment

God hates the proud heart, saying, He will “punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless” (Isaiah 13:11). God also says “the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:17). Pride can almost make us the “Great I AM” if we’re not careful. The Apostle John wrote that “all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). It was pride that caused Lucifer’s great fall who later became the Devil or Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15) as he was cast out of heaven, and pride can be the cause of our downfall too if we’re not careful. God “has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:52).

Our Resisting

There’s one thing I’ve noticed in Scripture and it’s the fact that grace only flows downhill; to the lowly and to the humble. It never goes uphill to the high and mighty. It seeks the lowest points; to those who are small in their own eyes. That’s the opposite of pride. James wrote that God “gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). The word used for “opposes” is much stronger in the Greek as it means literally, “ranging in battle” or “being at war with,” so God is at war with the proud but He gladly gives His grace to the humble.

Thanksgiving, USA. 1942 Author Unknown

Our Conclusion

Pride keeps so many people out of the Kingdom, and that’s tragic too because someday, even those who resist God and are full of pride will be humbled someday (Rev 1:7), but then, it will too late. They will have already been judged, either after death (Heb 9:27), and awaiting the final judgment, or at the appearance of Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:12-15). It is both certain and sure. What God has declared will come to pass, so I pray you repent of your sins and put your trust in Christ today (2 Cor 6:2) because He is at war with those who are full of themselves. And He could come at any moment, but God cannot ever fix those who are first not broken and cannot fill those who are full of themselves.

Here is some related reading for you: How to Avoid the Sin of Pride

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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