The history books are filled with stories of nations and leaders who became great in their own eyes and, through pride, paved the way for their own downfall. That God hates pride is clear from many passages of Scripture both in the Old and New Testament. Self-exaltation is a form of idolatry in that it lifts oneself up, rather than lifting up Christ to a place of preeminence.
Many nations have come and gone because they were filled with pride. In Ezekiel 27, the prophet goes into great detail to describe the judgment that was to come upon Tyrus because of the pride and self-exaltation of the people. This portion of Scripture is described as a lamentation over Tyrus, for judgment is never the delight of God. Rather, God takes no “pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ez. 33:11). God delights in showing mercy, but there comes a time when God’s judgment becomes necessary due to a prolonged spurning of the mercy of God and a refusal to abandon one’s rebellion. Such was the case of Tyrus. Tyrus was an ancient city that was built on an island that had world-renowned ports, where ships from all over the world would come and go. Tyrus was seated in the lap of luxury and her people gloried in this wealth. Her ships were made of the finest fir trees, cedars, and oaks. Her homes were filled with the finest linen from Egypt and the most beautiful array of colors. However, in spite of the great wealth and luxury, God had a word for these people: “O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.” Tyrus delighted in her wealth and gloried in the work of her own hands. God reminded her that, though she had been made great, adversity was about to break her up and cause a shipwreck from which she would never rise again. The ruins of Tyrus stand to this day as a reminder that God keeps His Word and that God judges the sin of pride and self-exaltation.
Tyrus was likened to a great ship that had everything it needed on board. The people were well-fed and well-clothed. The music played and the people had no care in the world. This, however, was not their problem. Their problem was pride in their prosperity and in themselves. There is a way to enjoy living in an affluent society, without falling into the trap of Tyrus. However, we must always be on guard that we don’t begin patting ourselves on the back and exalting the work of our own hands. We must always be quick to acknowledge God in all our way and give credit and glory to God. May we resist the temptation to be full of ourselves and full of Christ instead. D.L. Moody said, “God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.”