The Pride Test

I Samuel 25:1-12

“Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.”

― T.S. Eliot

As a young man David knew what it was like to have fans.  He came into notoriety by killing the 9-foot 9-inch Goliath with a stone and a sling. In I Samuel 18 we find David has gone to battle and defeated Israel’s arch enemy the Philistines. “And it came to pass …when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousand.”  God had chosen David to be the next king, but it would be years of waiting and learning before David would sit on the throne.

When reading this week’s scripture references you can almost hear the cheers and songs of praise still echoing in David’s ears. Although he could still feel the pats on the back, David was about to face a pride test, by the name of Nabal.  The Bible says that Nabal was a very wealthy man, with three thousand sheep and a thousand goats.  “But the man was churlish (rude, mean-spirited , vulgar and selfish) and evil in his doings…”. When David heard that Nabal’s men were shearing sheep near-by, he sent his men to ask Nabal to feed him and his men.  Here goes the pride, “Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name.” David felt that his name would impress Nabal enough to that he would gladly roll out the red carpet and graciously provide all that his men desired. 

David’s  men relayed the message to Nabal and returned with an unexpected reply.  “WHO IS DAVID? AND WHO IS THE SON OF JESSE?” Nabal then accused David and his men as being escaped slaves.  “…there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. “ Nabal , quickly deflated David’s ego.

How will David respond ? The next devotional will continue this story. But for this section of scripture , let’s take the pride test.  So, we might honestly examine our hearts and how we might respond to the Nabals in our life.

Pride Test

1) How do you measure your self-worth?  Do you choose friends that set their bars low, so you barely must do anything to be “better” than them? Or do you find excuses for how it’s someone else’s fault for the consequences of your decisions? 

2) How big is your ego?  We live in a world that encourages people to live a life that is all about , “me,me,me,me,me,”.  Pride can overtake you when you begin to believe your own “press releases”.  Are you so in love with yourself that you don’t see others or have room for a genuine relationship with the Almighty God? 3) Are you disrespected?  Ever watch a child build a tall tower of building blocks? It never fails that one child in the group must come by and knock down the blocks. Sometimes when we work so hard to build up our own tall tower of success and notoriety, there are people anxiously wanting to tear you down.  Self-built towers are unstable and can quickly come crashing down.

Consequences of Pride

1) Pride brings shame.  Proverbs 11:2 “When pride cometh, then cometh shame:”

2) Pride come before destruction  Proverbs 16:18  “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

3) Pride brings a person low. Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride shall bring him low:”

4) God hates pride. Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”

                                      How Can You Keep Your Pride in Check?

1) Remember God is your measuring stick.  Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

2) Listen to Godly Advice .  Proverbs 12: 15  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

3) Acknowledge God as the true source of all your victories. I Corinthians 15:57

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

4) Rest in God, knowing you have nothing to prove. Your story is really HIS Story. Revelation 11:10 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”