God is big and I am small!
John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
God is big and I am small!
My senior year of college there was one week that in chapel three of the messages we heard came from Romans chapters 8, 9, and 10. That week sticks out to me, those messages stick out in my mind still. I don’t remember the preachers or illustrations but I remember the truth they shared. That truth – God is big and I am small! They dealt with how big, great and awesome our God is and how small I am, how small we are. It is wonderful to grasp that my salvation is not based on me, my merit, or any thing I have done but is, as Romans 9:16 says, based on “the God that showeth mercy,” and is given based on the God who chose to have compassion on me, as verse 15 of chapter 9 speaks of. That verse says….. It is not my purpose to open a theological can of worms and debate the finer points of Calvinism and Armenianism. In any of that which we might get caught up in, let us not forget that God is big and I am, we are small! A life lives without that realization is a life of self and pride.
Pride is difficult to accept as a personal problem mostly because we are too proud to accept that we have issues, that we are consumed with our self. I know that in all of my relationships pride is the thing that I struggle with the most, being more concerned about me.
A man once said that “pride is the only disease that makes everyone sick but the one who has it.” Ben Franklin once said of pride, “There is perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even is I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility!” Pride is idolatry! It is making yourself big and God small. G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate conspirator and radio talk show host, is a prime example of the idolatry of pride. Shortly after being released from prison in 1977 Liddy made this statement, “I have found within myself all I need and all I ever shall need. I am a man of great faith, but my faith is in George Gordon Liddy. I have never failed me!”
Just as the idolatrous pride of G. Gordon Liddy can be clearly seen, is that same idolatrous, arrogant pride seen in the life of King Nebuchadnezzer and so often it is found in our own lives if we are honest tonight. Hopefully not to the extent of G. Gordon Liddy or King Nebuchadnezzer, but it is there. King Nebuchadnezzer was unwilling to accept that God was and is big and he was small. Great pride filled is life and it is so easy for us to do the same.
TEXT: Daniel 4:27-37
This Daniel passage shares with us King Nebuchadnezzer’s pride and how God brought him to be humbled.
First we see Nebuchadnezzer’s RESPONSE OF REBELLION in verses 28-30
King Neb (That’s what will call him. His name is way to long and you all know who I’m talking about.) King Neb had just previously heard Daniel’s interpretation of his vision in verses 24-27 which say…… In spite of the interpretation and warning that he received, the very next verses share how that the king was not humbled and did not heed the warning. How many of us are just like that? We know what is right and it doesn’t matter. We have decided that we are going to do what we want to do. King Neb continued to see himself as big and God as small.
Look as the “I’s” in verse 30.
With sin always comes consequence. Mark it down, they will come. Maybe not immediately, but they will come.
ILL: Mom waiting to let dad spank you when he gets home. Maybe even waiting to let you know you were caught until dad gets home to spank you.
Notice second, the REPERCUSSIONS OF NEB’S REBELLION
Over in Jeremiah 49:16 the Bible says….. God does not tolerate pride. Proverbs declares that it is one of the six things the Lord hates.
ILL: During the Civil War there was a Confederate General in a battle with his men. They were situated in a mansion that had been damaged and had a number of gaps in the walls. The Union Army was continuing their assault on the Confederate position. They were some distance off and attacking with cannon fire. The general began to walk in front of one of the gaps in the walls and one of his men urged him to be more careful and not expose himself to the enemy. His response was one of arrogance as he proclaimed, “What, those Yankee’s can’t hit me at this distance…” His statement was never finished, because in the next instant a Union cannon ball stuck the general and took his life. His arrogance cost him his life. If we are not careful, arrogance could cost us our spiritual life.
Bumper Sticker: “This isn’t Burger King, you can’t have it your way!”
Pride does not go unnoticed by God, consequences will come. King Neb had to go through the humbling experience of living as an animal for quite some time to finally come to his senses