“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you…your settings and mountings were made of gold.” (Ezekiel 28:12-13)
How beautiful this person sounds.
Who could it be?
Who is this passage talking about?
Who was this perfect model of wisdom and beauty?
Was it Adam?
No, Ezekiel is referring to our greatest enemy in this passage: Satan.
Read on in verse 17, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” In Isaiah 14:13-14, Isaiah says, “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’”.
Ok, that sounds more like the Satan we think of. Corrupted and proud... A creature who would rather focus on himself rather than honor the God who created him. A person so consumed with his own gain - to increase his assets, beauty and standing. Yes, that's Satan - with all his pride. How horrible he was to disregard his King. How evil that he tried to make himself a god rather than worship God Almighty.
Gulp. But wait a minute... I too am guilty of being consumed with myself. I too have fallen to my own pride rather than honor God. I too am selfish - seeking personal gain. I'm embarrassed to admit it - but I too am as despicable as the evil one.
I am not righteous. I am not holy. Simply put, I am not God.
God is God.
Sometimes I'm so consumed with my own self, safety, happiness, well-being, comfort, plans... (Gulp again.)... Sometimes I act like my ways are more important than His ways. I put ME before Him. Wow. That is self-love and the basis of pride.... the opposite of humility. That is the same as the anti-god who is Satan. Lord, help!!! I don't want to be that!!!
Augustine called pride: "the love of one's own excellence." Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that "inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin." Solomon says in Proverbs 16:18 that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Bottom line: When we give into pride, we forget God. We forget all that He has provided us. We begin to lift up our own SELF to a place that (in our minds) makes us excused from God's intended plan for us. Not good.... Really - NOT GOOD!
Rather than honoring and worshipping the God who created him with all his beauty and splendor, Satan became proud and attempted to lift himself higher than God. YIKES! We all know his coming fate!
Go back to Ezekiel and read on, “All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.” Read in Isaiah also, “But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate.” The messages of Isaiah and Ezekiel regarding the fate of Satan (and those that follow Satan) are clear. Destruction.
So, what is the cure to pride? How can we overcome our self-centeredness?
We must live each day as Jesus did - giving God the glory that He alone deserves by giving God our whole life!
Jesus lived each day of His life on earth fulfilling His Father's purpose. Our value should be based on the biblical truth that in Christ, we are His people. We were created in God’s image and likeness - not because of anything we accomplished on our own. So, we should live as Jesus commands and follow His example in our own day-to-day walk.
I don't know about you, but that really changes my devotion and attitude toward God verses my selfish desires. That makes me view each new day as an opportunity to be His good and faithful servant.
As we journey ahead with the hope of eternity in HIS glorious presence, let's remember that through Salvation in Christ, we are the adopted children of God. Only by the love of Jesus are we able to escape the fate that Satan and those who reject Christ will face. It is unbelievable to think that God would love us that much to give us the chance to get over our own pride and selfishness. It is incredible that He is that gracious, merciful, loving, constant. We need to let go of our own comforts and customs and worship Him alone.
We are His people. His servants. His followers. As Jesus lowered Himself to save us, we must remember that our lives must be lived in faith and submission for Him. Let's ask God to replace our pride with the hope of His purpose. We can do this in Christ. And we can worship God alone in faith and love together.... God is all we ever need to focus on. He ALONE is worthy of our eternal praise!