They Dealt Proudly Ex 18:11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
After Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, heard all that the Lord did for Israel he said, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods; for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them,” [Ex 18:11]. That statement, “in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them,” really struck me the other day when reading through Exodus again. You see, men deal proudly when they forget God. But even in their pride they need to be reminded that God is above them.
Pharaoh dealt proudly – He said, “I know not the Lord,” [Ex 5:2]. Well, the Lord gave him every opportunity to know him when he saw the miracles and the plagues. But he hardened his heart against the Lord and rejected the truth. He ended up destroying himself and his country in the process. You know why? God was above him. He enticed Pharaoh into the Red Sea and wiped out the Egyptian army in a morning. In the meantime, he left us a testimony that the Lord is greater than all gods.
Sennacherib dealt proudly – 2 Ki 18-19 – Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem with the intention of destroying it and Judah. He sent spokesmen to rail on Judah and on the Lord God. Look at their blasphemy in 2 Ki 18:33-35 and 2 Chr 32:15-16. 185,000 of his elite soldiers were killed in one night [2 Ki 19:35] and no one had to raise a sword. You know why? God was above him. The Lord helped Sennacherib in some of his earlier battles and let him get good and puffed up and then brought him down like a house of cards. Sennacherib’s own sons killed him [2 Ki 19:37].
Nebuchadnezzar dealt proudly – He made an image and demanded all the people in all the provinces to worship. He tried to kill Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. In all of his dealings with Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar should have known that God was greater than him. Yet, in Dan 4:30, Nebuchadnezzar boasted in pride and down he went. Look at his testimony after the Lord humbled him, Dan 4:34-37. You know why he confessed that “those that walk in pride he is able to abase,” [Dan 4:37]? Because he found out that God was above him!!
Politicians deal proudly – I don’t like anything about politics. But right now politics dominate the headlines. When you hear candidates speak, do you know what you are hearing? You are hearing pride and arrogance. A wise politician today would confess that there is no way he or she can fix the mess America is in. They would confess that they have humbled themselves before the God of the universe in hope that he would turn us back to righteousness, justice, equity and wisdom. They would encourage us by their speeches and their actions to humble ourselves, to repent and to seek God’s mercy like the king of Nineveh did [Jonah 3:5-10]. But they won’t do something like the king of Nineveh did because they are proud and they want to get elected. So, you know what’s going to happen, right? God is above us and “those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”
Do you deal proudly? Consider your own heart as long as we are dealing with the subject of pride. You’d better not forget that God is above you. And if you don’t want him to bring you down in a day like he did to Pharaoh, like he did to Sennacherib, like he did to Nebuchadnezzar and like he was getting ready to do to Nineveh, you’d better humble yourself, repent and turn to God. He can bring you and your plans down like the walls of Jericho. The Lord is slow to wrath, he is longsuffering and he is good. But when he has had enough and when his time is right, your time is up.
Conclusion: pray “for all that are in authority,” [1 Tim 2:1]. They need your prayer more than they need your support. And check your heart for pride. And remember that God is greater than all gods; he is not to be equated with any. He is above them. And he is above you. May God help us.