Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished (Proverbs 16:5).
We have heard already, that a proud look is greatly offensive to God ; but although there be no appearances of pride in the countenance or behaviour to provoke the displeasure of the Almighty, yet he is the searcher of the heart, and if he finds it governed by pride, he will execute the vengeance written in his word upon the haughty sinner. Man looks on the outward appearance, and frequently makes false judgments. The demure Pharisees were counted humble and self-denied men, when they were hunting after the praise of the people; but their inward pride was well known to our Lord, who tells them, that what was highly valued by men was abhorred by God.
The proud abound in the world. This abominable sin is natural to the posterity of him that fell by attempting to be like God. The forms of it are very various, and the grounds of it cannot be reckoned up, for it is an insatiable monster that will find nourishment to itself in any thing. Some are proud of their dignity, and power, and high birth ; others boast themselves because of their great riches. Some are proud, like Goliath, of their stature and the vigour of their limbs; others boast of their beauty, and that pleasing form which shall soon be turned into corruption. Some are proud of their righteousness, and others (O the infatuation of the human race!) glory in their shame. But whatever shape pride may assume, and whatever is its ground, it is seen by the all-seeing eye of God, and makes the man in whom it dwells and reigns, an object of his abhorrence and avenging arm.
None can imagine the terrors of that punishment which is inflicted by the hand of the Lord, on those whom his heart abhors. But is there no possibility of avoiding it? None, unless the haughty spirit be humbled into a submission to the righteousness of faith. Though hand join in hand, those that walk on in pride shall be abased, and spurned into hell. Unknown myriads of angels fell by pride into the bottomless pit, and are groaning, and shall for ever groan, under the power of God’s wrath. Although all the proud on earth should enter into a confederacy with all the legions of devils and damned spirits in hell, and exert their utmost combined force to oppose the execution of Almighty vengeance, they will only be like mountains of tow and rotten wood, reared up to oppose the progress of a raging flame.
The reading for today is an extract from “Exposition of the Book of Proverbs” by George Lawson.