The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood … nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
In the wonderous, wild, and life-giving journey of reading through and meditating upon the Bible, which is the living Word of God, are those occasional potholes that can bring the steady sojourn to a screeching halt. It can be the eye-rolling moments, such as when Elkanah asked his despondent wife, Hannah, why she was weeping over her barrenness when, after all, “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8).
Or there’s the utterly jaw-dropping, the do-you-even-know-what-you’re-saying moments, such as what the seething, incensed, and murderous crowd calls down upon itself in demanding the death of Jesus despite Pilate’s pronouncement of His innocence, “His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25).
Yet, one of the most horrific accounts is what Jesus gives John the Apostle to record concerning the days before His conquering, glorious return to Earth in the Revelation 9 passage above. It’s almost impossible to grasp, the portrait John paints of what unrepentant humanity calls down upon itself because of pride—and ends in eternal spiritual death and separation from God for them: People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds (Revelation 16:10-11).
One thing is crystal clear from the onset, from Genesis to Revelation and all other 64 books of the Bible in between: pride is the problem, and not one of us is immune from its lofty, lying lure. In a wonderfully worded letter to ministry partners, OCF rep for ROTC Ministry Larry Sherbondy succinctly captured the darkness that the sin of pride is—an abomination, “reserved for those sins that are utterly reprehensible, utterly revolting to God because they strike at the very essence of His character, which is His holiness.”
As Larry wrote, “it was shocking to realize that something our society generally affirms—pride—also qualifies in Scripture as an abomination.” Why does pride join sins such as sexual perversions, child sacrifice, and sorcery as abominations?
“Basically, pride exalts people—most specifically, me—and diminishes God. It stands up to God’s rule and says, ‘Me too!’ It is the evil that motivates Satan; it is the evil that claims personal sovereignty over one’s own life. Pride takes credit for what could not have been accomplished without God’s enabling. It robs God of glory … it keeps people from coming to Christ in repentance and faith.”
OCF prayer warrior teammates, as we consider the words of Proverbs 16:5—Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord—what are the ways we can come before the Lord in renewed repentance and prayer to stave off the deadly, destructive trap that is pride? And especially for those who have not called out to the Lord to save them from the sentence of eternal death hanging over their heads?