Pride: The Root of All Spiritual Sinkholes | The Perils of Pride

At the end of twelve months, he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.”  

 

Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws. 

 

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, 

 

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, 

    and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 

all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, 

    and he does according to his will among the host of heaven 

    and among the inhabitants of the earth; 

and none can stay his hand 

    or say to him, “What have you done?” 

 

At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. 

 

Daniel 4:29-37 

 

 

Today, we’re addressing a sinkhole that has plagued all of humanity since the beginning of civilization: Pride. Pride is the root of all spiritual sinkholes. It has ensnared countless believers, and many relationships and reputations have been ruined by pride.  

 

Pride keeps us from saying we were wrong, needing help, or speaking forgiveness. Pride also keeps us from saying, “I love you” or “It was me.” 

 

Pride is a slippery sinkhole many of us have plummeted into. If you’re thinking that this message isn’t for you, that alone indicates that you may very well be in the sinkhole of pride.  

 

Countless men and women of Scripture have grappled with pride, but today, we’re looking at Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the great empire of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was a king who had it all, but was consumed with pride, which led to his downfall. His life is a narrative that gives us great insight into how pride can be our undoing. 

 

Daniel 4 recounts the story of King Nebuchadnezzar as he ascends to power and descends into pride, leading to a humbling yet transformative experience during the latter part of the chapter. His story is a cautionary tale about the danger of unchecked arrogance and failing to recognize God’s sovereignty. 

 

Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king who ruled a vast empire and attributed his success to his own abilities and skills. Pride closed his eyes to the reality that all his blessings came from God. Nebuchadnezzar fell into this spiritual sinkhole, lost everything, and was forced to live like a wild animal until he recognized Who really was in charge. He had a wake-up call in the wilderness: he realized he wouldn’t be who he was without God.  

 

 

THE PERILS OF PRIDE 

 

 

Pride is deceptive 

 

And the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 

 

Daniel 4:30 

 

Pride is a sin that deceives us into believing we are self-sufficient and don’t need anyone, especially not God. Pride fooled Nebuchadnezzar into thinking he was the author of his success. For us today, it’s so easy to fall into this trap, and social media doesn’t help with that. We must not let pride deceive us into thinking we did it without God. 

 

The other side of pride is its manipulative, cunning, and conniving side, where we act righteous and full of false humility—a religious peacock full of superficial spirituality—always needing the ego to be stroked, whether it’s posting about everything we do on social media or seeking attention elsewhere. 

 

There are real movers and shakers in this world, but they just move in blessed quietness. 

 

Pride is destructive  

 

While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 

 

Daniel 4:31-32 

 

God forewarned Nebuchadnezzar through a dream, but nothing changed. He was still hard-headed. He lost his perspective. He no longer saw God as the source of His blessings. 

 

Nebuchadnezzar was so full of self-importance that it made him obsessed with material things to the extent that things possessed him. Eventually, as God had warned, he lost his kingdom, wealth, and sanity.  

 

 

Loss of humility and empathy 

 

Nebuchadnezzar hadn’t only lost perspective, but he had lost humility and empathy. With all of his power, he could have alleviated the hurt and burden of his kingdom. Instead, consumed with pride, he used his power to keep a heavy hand on his subjects. 

 

 

Loss of sanity and self-control 

 

Nebuchadnezzar also lost his sanity and self-control. Once filled with pride, it can take you places you never thought you’d go.  

 

If you’re still thinking that this message doesn’t concern you somehow, here’s a 10-point pride checklist to see whether or not you’ve got pride. 

 

  1. You are always looking for attention. 
  1. You disregard the opinions and feelings of others. 
  1. You find it difficult to apologize. 
  1. You find it hard to admit mistakes. 
  1. You refuse to accept and seek help or advice from others. 
  1. You’re defensive, offensive, and aggressive. 
  1. You have a sense of entitlement. 
  1. You’re always angry. 
  1. You’re unwilling to compromise. 
  1. You refuse to learn from past mistakes. 

 

If you scored on any of these points, know that, like everyone else, you’ve got some areas to work on.  

 

THE PRESCRIPTION FOR PRIDE 

 

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, 

 

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, 

    and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 

all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, 

    and he does according to his will among the host of heaven 

    and among the inhabitants of the earth; 

and none can stay his hand 

    or say to him, “What have you done?” 

 

At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. 

 

Daniel 4:34-37 

 

Though Nebuchadnezzar lost it all, in the end, he gained more than what he lost when he humbled himself before God.  

 

 

CONCLUSION 

 

Pride shows up in many ways, so stay tuned for next week’s message as we continue to talk about the root of all sinkholes and the penalties of pride. 

 

Lord, help us to identify the places and spaces in our lives where pride has taken root. We have become intoxicated with self-importance, entitlement, and the need always to be right, offensive, defensive, and aggressive in our tone and interaction with others.  

 

God, help us out of this sinkhole of pride. Don’t allow pride to stand in our way of You. Free us from self-sufficiency, and may we genuinely believe that everything we are and have has always come from You.  

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