“In the pride of your heart you say, ‘I am a god;’
Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god…You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you.” (Ez 28:1, 6, 9)
Of course I wouldn’t say, “I am a God.” But as I look at the struggles in my heart right now, I see that I am anxious. I think it is up to me to fix everything. I try to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s a pride problem.
I struggle with giving to “the least of these.” I want to qualify my sacrifice for others — who I give to, when it’s convenient to give. Another pride problem.
Lately I am having problems with a chemical imbalance of some sort at times. Paul said, “to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh.” (II Cor 12:7) Maybe God allows me to have this challenges in the flesh as a pride solution! I surely do need to remember to be humble!
Pride can be a very scary thing. The verse I started the blog with is from Ezekiel 28. It is about Tyre. Here is what Jesus said about Tyre, after he had sent the 72 out to proclaim the good news and they were rejected by the Jewish cities:
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” Luke 10:13
In Ezekiel 28, Tyre was the most prideful of prideful dogs! The way she was described, it is hard to imagine that another city could be more prideful. Yet even she was not as prideful as the Jewish cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. If she had seen the miracles they saw, she would have repented. They could not see the miracles, or the significance of them. They did not repent! Their hearts were so hard.
We need to see the miracles that are happening all around us — the miracle of answered prayer. the miracle of being in God’s grace, the miracle of changed hearts, the miracle of insight, and many others.
Instead, I want more, more, more! I look at what I still want to change, at the prayers that still need to be answered. I miss the “surpassing great revelations” God is giving me. Is this hardening my heart? Do I take the miracles for granted?
Is there a relationship between acknowledging the miraculous work of God and repentance? Does having the heart of a child, that I am in wonder at each act of God, help me to serve him better? For sure! As Jesus goes on to say in the parallel version of this verse in Matt. 11:25, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”
And Jesus precedes his indictment in Matthew of the Jewish towns with this illustration:
“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’” Matt 11:15-17
What song is God playing for me? Let me have ears to hear. Let me not be deafened by my frustrations, by my anxieties. Let me dance with praise as I see God working throughout the day, and may this help me to be more of the person I need to be.