Pride is the greatest sin one may commit! Do you realize that pride was the first sin? Consider:
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
This text is vitally important to understand and see that pride actually sets itself up against God. This means that the holder of pride in the Genesis 3 text is in fact desiring equality with God.
(1) Seeking to discredit God.
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
This is not trivial … “Did God really say?” This is not seeking agreement as to what God said. This is a challenge to God’s integrity as the only Sovereign. In other words, the serpent (the devil) is challenging God’s right to give mankind the probationary command in Genesis 2.
Ge 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Is God not God? Has He not the right, as the One knowing everything from eternity past to eternity future, the right to instruction His creation (man) as to what they can and can’t do for their own spiritual and eternal benefit?
(2) The serpent is extremely crafty. This the text tells us. His craftiness is not of healthy, constructive advancement which is good in God’s eye. Rather, his craftiness relates to the manner in which he is able to devise wickedness in such a way that challenges God’s goodness and God’s view of how He as Creator sees His creation and what He requires of His creation.
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.
(3) The woman, although not quoting God’s probationary commandment accurately, It says:
Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”
Eve responds to the serpent:
Ge 3:2 “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
The last words are important … if you eat … “you will die”. She knew this.
(4) Then the serpent’s cunning starts:
Ge 3:4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
(a) He acts as if he is superior and more knowledgeable and more powerful than God by saying … “You will not surely die” … assuming final authority, which he does not have.
(b) Then he assumes he knows more than God by saying … “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened.” Its not that he was wrong in their “eyes being opened” when it came to holiness and sin, but that they would be “like God” knowing good and evil.
(5) This is right where pride came in … to be like God. Just eat the forbidden fruit and you’re like God! She was seduced … and she ate and led her husband into her rebellion, which he willingly did.
Ge 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
To be like God, even if it’s only knowing good and evil is pride. There is no humility and humbleness. This was Antiochus Epiphanes … so filled with pride … thinking he was a god or at least the avenue to the gods. (All pagan are nonexistent.)
1) And so he stands against God
Da 8:25 “and take his stand against the Prince of princes.”
Verse 11 informs us that … “It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host” So Prince of princes refers to God. He thought he was equal to God or better. He thought he could conquer God. He was filled with pride and the power behind him was the devil, the serpent of Genesis 3.
2) His destruction will come swiftly. “Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” He stood against God and God will deal with him personally. This is very encouraging for the people of God because we cannot fight against such an enemy in our strength. Only God is able to deal with evil like this … and He will. Once again we need to grasp the backdrop to this. God permits such tyrants to harass us as individual Christians and as the Body, the Church because of our sin. We cannot fight this. All we can do is cast ourselves upon the mercy of God through repentance and faith which leads to greater obedience. The actual battle is His. He permitted it for our good and He will end it for our good. Although said in the context of Jerusalem and Judah, the following is equally true for all who love, trust and live under Jesus’ reign
2Ch 20:15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'”
Right here lies one of the greatest lessons the believer may learn. Do what we must do and trust God to do what He does best. The battle is His. If He permitted us to endure hardship and discipline, it will only be for a predetermined season. He had already dated the end and He will bring the end to be. Returning to Antiochus, he and other tyrants like him will never be able to stop the work of God because God is stronger than them all. Stopping Bible and prayer at schools does not end the Gospel. Enforcing a secular state does not end the Gospel. Writing laws that contradict God’s Word and Will shall not end the Gospel. Our duty is to believe that God reigns and that the battle is His and He will fight for His blood washed people.
Our Father, thank You that in Your Word Jesus says that He will build His church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Thank You that You protect us Your people because You love us and will secure us for glory. Amen.