Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
This is part of Moses’s speech to Israel as they are about to pass into the land of Jordan after wandering in the wilderness for forty years.
Moses and God are reminding the Israelites and us of the importance of humility.
Humility: freedom from pride or arrogance; the quality or state of being humble
Humble: not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive
God was about to give a new generation of Israel, a land that would make them a powerful and wealthy people. God knows how wealth and power can go to man’s head. It always has and it always will.
King Solomon knew of the pitfalls of pride. He spoke of vanity and defined it as “striving after wind”.
Solomon also listed it as one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” in Proverbs 6:16-19:
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
The first abomination is, haughty eyes (ESV), or a proud look (KJV), or arrogant eyes (CSB), or haughtiness (TLB). Various Biblical versions with various words, but all convey the same meaning: pride.
I have talked about pride before. In my post “Pride and Bad Counsel” I wrote that pride is one of the most common themes when it comes to a tragic story about the downfall of a powerful person.
In Daniel 5 we see the destruction of King Belshazzar, whose pride caused him to declare himself a god, which led to his death.
And in Deuteronomy 8:17-18, God warns all Israel about pride.
There are numerous other instances of pride and its destruction throughout the Bible.
Our hard work can earn us rewards in life, and we must rely on ourselves to survive. We must diligently work to grow as a person and we must strive for righteousness. But this is nothing to set us above or below any other person.
The hard work is expected. It is our duty to God and ourselves to do our best in life. We all succeed and we all fail. In the scheme of the world, the universe and God these successes and failures are insignificant, as are we.
So with pride all you are doing is making the mountain out of the mole hill. With pride you are losing you perspective on life.
Moses tells the people: “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.”
The power is life, the gift that God gave to you.
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