A Rags to Riches Story
Proverbs 16:18 reminds us that pride comes before the fall and a haughty spirit causes one to stumble. We see that truth in action in Isaiah 14.
While we see the immediate fulfillment of this passage in the king of Babylon, many scholars believe the text also speaks of Satan. Note the arrogant words in verses 12-17. What a sobering picture of a leader who goes astray! Both the oppressive king and Satan had one common characteristic: a lust for pride and power. Consider the devil’s fall from his original place in heaven, as described in Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and Revelation 12:20:
1. The one cast down (to the bottomless pit)
(Is. 14:15; Rev. 12:10; 20:3)
2. Full of wisdom (Ezek. 28:12)
3. Perfect in beauty (Ezek. 28:12)
4. Song leader and musician of heaven (Ezek. 28:13)
5. The anointed cherub (Ezek. 28:14)
6. One who covered the throne (Ezek. 28:14, 16)
7. Great dragon (Rev. 12:9)
8. The serpent (Rev. 12:9; 20:2)
9. The devil; the spirit of deception (Rev. 12:9; 20:10)
10. Accuser of the brethren (Rev. 20:10)
21 Christian Growth Issues in the Bible
I. You Can’t fulfill Your Purpose If You’re Too Full of yourself
a. Mark 7:21-23
II. David’s Humility and Gratitude, Even When God Denies His Request
a. 1 Chron. 17:1-27
III. Two Kinds of Leaders
a. Dan. 2:1-29, 24-49
IV. Something to Be Proud Of
a. 1 Cor. 1:18-31
b. 1 Cor. 2:1-5
Judgement by Christ: Jerusalem & All Men
I. Jesus Pronounced Judgment On Jerusalem
a. Matt. 23:34-24:35
b. Matt. 23:34-36; 37-39
c. Matt. 24:1-3
d. Matt. 24:4-25
e. Luke 21:20
f. Matt. 24:23-25
g. Matt. 24:26-31
h. Matt. 24:32-35
II. Jesus Will Judge All Men on the Final Day
a. Matt. 24:36-41
b. Matt. 24:42-25:46
III. Important Lessons We Learn
a. Matt. 23:34-24:35
b. Matt. 24:37-39
c. Matt. 24:45-51
d. Matt. 25:1-13
e. Matt. 25:14-30
f. Matt. 25:31-46
Contrast in Pride and Humility
When the magicians of Babylon fail to interpret a troubling dream, Nebuchadnezzar threatens to kill them all. He embodies pride and arrogance. Contrast him with Daniel, who steps forward to interpret the dream, yet refuses to accept personal glory. Instead, he honors the God of heaven.
The Glory Factor
1 Cor. 1:18-2:5
It is natural for leaders to want a bit of glory. Most leaders enjoy the limelight and feel it is only human to want their ego stroked from time to time. Paul resisted this tendency to pursue the glory that only God deserves. He focused on the superiority of God’s wisdom and teaches leaders some valuable truths about:
1. The perception of God’s wisdom – it seems to be foolishness (1:18).
2. The permanence of God’s wisdom – it is infinite (1:19, 20).
3. The power of God’s wisdom – it can do what ours cannot (1:21-25).
4. The paradox of God’s wisdom – it is backwards (1:26-28).
5. The purpose of God’s wisdom – it ensures He gets the glory (1:29-31).
Paul concludes that leaders must respond in humility, seek dependence on God, and not seek the glory He alone deserves. He draws three conclusions about his leadership:
1. I renounce human values – I will think the way God thinks (2:1, 2).
2. I renounce human strength – I’ll be weak & seek His strength (2:3).
3. I renounce human wisdom – I’ll ask for God’s wisdom & favor (2:4, 5).