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Sabbath: From Pride to Humility — 19 Comments

  1. Nebuchadnezzar is also known as Nebuchadrezzar and in fact is called that in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. There is some evidence to suggest that the latter name is closer to the original Akkadian. It means "O god Nabu, preserve/defend my firstborn son". These is a suggestion that "Nebuchadnezzar" is a Hebrew transliteration and may be an intentional pun. It can be taken to mean "O god Nabu, preserve/defend my jackass" which could be regarded as somewhat derogatory. I don't think we should make too much of it. The name has gone through several translations to reach our anglicised version, but it an interesting bit of trivia that I found as I studied this week.

    This week we study Nebuchadnezzar's period of insanity and one would think that this would show up in secular history. The only thing that we do know from secular history is that he ruled for 43 years and in the latter part he would not listen to anyone, not even his sons (sounds a bit like some national leaders today doesn't it>) When Nebuchadnezzar died there was a period of instability ultimately ending with Belshazzar's capture by Cyrus.

  2. Today's lesson states "...how do we dare to be proud, boastful, or arrogant when, in reality, humility should dominate all that we do?"

    What kind of view of God and of reality does this statement reflect?

    Have you ever stopped to consider why God is the way He is (it is not sacrilegious to do so: Jeremiah 9:24)? Is it because He is so powerful that He has the authority to be that way just because He wants to? Or could it be that there is only one way that the reality of true/abundant/perfect life is actually possible/viable? If so, that would mean that God is the way He is because that is the only way that is possible. I do not believe this in any way reduces God, rather I see it as amplifying Him.

    Have you ever stopped to consider why God advises us to be a certain way and to do things a certain way? Could it similarly be because that is the only way that leads to the one viable way of life - abundant life (John 10:10)?

    I do not believe God has a "how dare you" approach towards any human at any time. I believe we misportray God when we introduce such a notion.

    PS: We often read of God 'commanding' in the Bible. If you dig into the meaning behind the word command, it can mean to order someone to do something - but it doesn't always/only mean that. More broadly, the phenomenon behind the word is described as presenting an "authoritative prescription". What this means is that someone who genuinely knows what they are talking about outlines the reality pathway that will (and only can) lead from A to B - cause and effect. Note that it is authoritative (see Matthew 7:28,29) rather than the notion of authoritarian . Understanding this makes a world of difference when considering God's "commands" in scripture and when considering God Himself. It also helps us more accurately comprehend the notion of the greatest ‘commandment’ being to love God and others. Try applying the typical notion of command as ordering someone to love you and see how far you get!

    • Phil I do believe we really have to fall in love with God to really understand a God of love, mercy, and judgement. We are drawn to Him if we don’t resist. When we believe in God we can’t help but love Him unless we turn our nose to Him. The evidence is there for us to love Him. Gods love has no parallel. We will be studying it for eternity. His love is so great that our sins are cast as far from us as the East is from the West. Another illustration that His love is so great, if we reverently and sincerely worship Him, our sins are cast to the bottom of the deepest trench of all the oceans, it happens to run parallel to Japan and stretches way south. We have no reason to stagnate in depression. No reason to get cast down, just trust in Him. Though thy sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow. But catch the next verse, if you’ll willingly obey. His love is always there for everyone, yet if we want to partake of it we must be willing to follow His commands, recommendations if you will.

      That is how I look at Bible commands. Another thought is some of us who have not spiritually fully developed our frontal lobes may need commands.
      Besides being a loving God He is a leader. Example is the pillars of fire leading the Israelites out of Egypt. They needed a Commander in Chief to lead. Their spiritual frontal lobes had been seared while in Egypt.
      Come to think of it, even if our spiritual frontal lobes are fully developed we still need to fully rely(lean,depend) on God, however we characterize God.
      Andre Crouch testified of that in his famous song/testimony, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, I have learned to depend upon His word”.

      For reference:
      STC p.15.2.
      Psalms 103:11-12.
      Isaiah 1:18-19.
      Micah 7:19.
      Psalms 42:11.
      MB p.113.3-114.1.

      • Thanks, John, for the beautiful explanation.

        It seems to me that God adapts His communications to our way of thinking. Throughout history, certain ways of thinking predominated, but there were always people who needed different ways of communication. And if we are submitted to God, the Holy Spirit interprets all of God's Word to our understanding. That's why I don't think it's useful to try to persuade others to interpret Scripture in the precise way that sounds best to us.

    • Phil, I do love your observation about why God is the way He is. Indeed, if we walk in pride, we are not merely in contempt of a powerful authority figure. We are fighting against reality itself. That said, I am somewhat puzzled by your objection to the "how dare we" language. After all, does it not seem rather strange that we should actually dare to fight against the truth, to try to bend reality to suit ourselves? Our ultimate downfall would be all that much more certain!

      • Thanks for your points RG. If a 'how dare we' fight against reality sits well with you, I don't have a problem with that. My comment is for those who would benefit from knowing that God views them from the perspective of compassion rather than 'how dare you'.

    • Phil, this might well be my misunderstanding. Are you suggesting that God became God by some method or measure and “advises” us how to do the same?

      • Thanks for asking the questions Kenny.

        No, I am not suggesting that God became God.

        But while I am not suggesting that we can become God, God is informing us of all that is needed to participate in being redeemed from our default inheritance under the first Adam (perishing) to the abundant life inheritance graciously offered to us by the Second Adam.

      • Maurice I could only find the word Nebuchadnezzar in
        less than two or three places at the outside, the word Nebuchadnnezzar.

        • Hi Paul, I use Bible Gateway for my searches. Most of the time I use the KJV translation as the basis for my search in Bible Gateway because I am more familiar with the language. Bible Gateway's search engine is pretty good for me and beats the one that I have on phone app by a long shot.

          • Nebuchadnezzer. Jer 21:2,7; 22:25; 24:1; 25:1,9; 27:6,8,20; 28:3,11,14; 29:1,3,21; 32:1,28; 34:1; 35:11; 37:1; 39:1,5,11; 43:10; 44:30; 46:2,13,26; 49:28,30; 50:17; 51:34; 52:4,12,28,29; 2Kings 24, Ezekiel 26:7; 29:18,19; 30:10

    • Also Paul, try a different search engine, a different search engine worked for me. To give you a hint, if you don’t have a Bible search engine read Jeremiah chapters 27, 28, and 29.

      • In the KJV Jeremiah uses Nebuchadnezzar 10 times and Nebuchadrezzar 27 times. I am not sure that the use of both names is significant though.

  3. Pride v humility
    Uriah Heep a character in Charles Dickens book David Copperfield is famous for being so proud of his humbleness!
    What is the difference between pride and humility? I discovered this distinction on line, maybe there are others.
    Pride is an inordinate self esteem, an unreasonable feeling of superiority in ones achievements, while humility is recognizing other contributions to success.
    The main lesson Nebuchadnezzar (and us) learn is to give glory to the LORD for without Him we are nothing.
    How can I become humble? By focusing on helping others rather then myself.
    Matt 5:5, 1Peter 5:5-6, Prov 3:34, Eph 5:21

    • I think pride is self-focused while humility is service-focused. That encompasses all you wrote, Shirley.

      Humility does not involve denigrating self. Rater, I believe it means forgetting self in service to others. Moses was humble at the same time that he was a strong leader. He was focused on serving God and His people.

      As a side note, in my life I have several times fallen for obvious displays of "humility" (which generated a great deal of admiration from me because I knew I wasn't humble) only to find out later that the individuals involved were quite self-focused.

      The bottom line, as I see it, is to throw ourselves into serving Christ by allowing Him to use us to meet the world's deep need for direction to Him. That's the way to avoid both pride and false humility, which is but pride in disguise.

  4. Great is our loving Father-the Holy Ghost was given to guide us away from pride.
    Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

    Pride began in heaven with Lucifer but never stopped there. Pride followed him wherever he went,so pride is here on earth.

    Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God. {GC 495.1}

    Satan tried to deceive humans in many ways by saying, only people who are rich, wealthy, have lots of assets, have education or have power are prideful. Whether you are rich or poor, if you are not connected to God, pride can occupied your mind like Satan. Pride is a sin like any other sin. It takes out the rich and the poor, the educated or the foolish. I met some people who are poverty stricken, some who are poor and have lots of pride.
    Dorcas society has things giving away free but some poor do not make use of it. Food distribution at the church but some think people will see them as suffering/struggling so the dont collect food. People preferred to go and buy food on the sabbath instead of going to someone house for lunch or eat at the church. Some come to church physically hunger and leave hungry instead of asking for food. Despite our reasoning for or against, many of the answers are lodged in pride.

    One friend of mine went to a country as a missionary. She said they took some things for the people and place the sign "free" on the things, after a while they noticed no one were taking the things.They thought because the people were poor they will not afford to purchase the items.After inquiring about the reason was told people dont take thing that says 'free' cause they thought no one gives out free things. They also felt it was an insult to them because they were gaven things that were not good. After a while, they place a price to the very same things and the people came and purchase them. Was told the people though poor were very prideful. Some people are proud of being poor, homeless or even uneducated and preferred to stay that way even if something better is offered.

    Many times people say they are ashamed to do, go, or collect things but is it because of pride and we do not realized it is pride because we have live with that sin so long Satan has blinded our eyes?

  5. From Pride to Humility

    After looking at the topic and reading the lesson, several Bible texts come to mind but I will comment on two of them.For such a man so deep and steep in pride much rubbing down would be necessary to make him humble. As we delve deeper into the lesson we will see what made the king humble eventually.

    Proverbs 8:13 says,
    "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate."

    The fear of Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Nebuchadnezzar did not have the fear of the Lord or else he would have been a wise man/ king. Also, he loved pridea and even a proud look God hates.

    James 4:6

    But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

    God opposes the proud because pride goes against the very character and nature of God. Pride originated in heaven with Lucifer. It caused choose and confusion in the Holy Hill and this confusion and mayhem is still pervasive so this planet as Lucifer transferred it here and we can see the adverse and negative effects it is havIngrid especially on humanity. Pride therefore has a bad reputation and should not be hugged up and kissed.


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