A Humble and a Contrite Spirit
Updated: September 28, 2005
Proverbs 16:18 states, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Judgment on pride and a haughty spirit has already been determined by God.
Isaiah 14:12-17 says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! v.12
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: v.13
Pride is of the heart. Matthew 12:34 says, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
Isaiah 14:14-17 continued.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. v.14
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. v.15
Lucifer was later called the great dragon, the old serpent, the Devil, and Satan (Rev 12:9) because of his pride. Satan's judgment was written in verse 15.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; v.16
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?" v.17
Lucifer's fall was because of pride.
The Fall and Rise of Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and had consulted with the wise men of his kingdom. They were not able to make known the interpretation of the dream to him. Nebuchadnezzar consulted with Daniel and told him the dream.
Daniel 4:19-37 says, "Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. v.19
The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; v.20
Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: v.21
It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. v.22
And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; v.23
This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: v.24
That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. v.25
And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. v.26
Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. v.27
All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. v.28
At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. v.29
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? v.30
This describes many of the ministries of the world, "I have built." To say that you work for the Lord is just pride, what one should say is that the Lord worketh through me to build the house, lest the labour be in vain. But that can only be spoken, if it has been revealed by the Spirit to your spirit. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. v.31
And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. v.32
The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. v.33
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: v.34
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? v.35
At the same time my reason returned unto me;..... v.36
We see here that Nebuchadnezzar, because of his pride, had lost his ability to reason. When he lifted up his eyes unto heaven and blessed the most High, and praised and honoured him that liveth forever, his reason returned unto him.
.....and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me;
This came only after he lifted up his eyes unto heaven, and praised and honoured the most High. v.36 continued
.....and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. v.36 continued
We see here that he was established in his kingdom and excellent majesty was added to him, as he blessed the most High God.
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." v.37
The words of this verse speak for themselves.
If we look in Daniel 5, we see that Daniel is speaking to Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, and describing to him what happened to his father's kingdom and why. In verse 20, his heart was lifted up in him, his mind (the word "mind" in Young's in Hebrew is ruach which means spirit) became hardened, (the word "hardened" in Hebrew is tequeph which means to be or become strong) and he was in pride (the word "pride" in Hebrew is zud which means to act proudly or presume.) In summary, Nebuchadnezzar's heart was lifted up in him, his spirit became strong, and in his pride he acted proudly or presumptuously. The loss of his kingdom was a result of his pride.
David Desires to be Cleansed from Secret Faults
David in Psalm 19 describes the actions of God's word in a believer's heart.
Psalm 19:7-14, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. v.7
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. v.8
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. v.9
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. v.10
Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. v.11
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. v.12
Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. v.13
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." v.14
We see here that David had asked God to cleanse him from secret faults and to keep him back from presumptuous sins, sins of pride. Presumptuous sins prohibit a person from walking upright and from being innocent from the great transgression.
God Will Revive the Spirit of the Humble
In Isaiah 57:15, God tells us who he dwells with, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
It is plain in this scripture that God will not dwell in a heart of pride.
Colossians 2:6-7 tells us, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: v.6
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." v.7
When we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, we need to be rooted and built up and established in the faith. Since Jesus dwells in our heart by faith and he gives grace to the humble, a person with a prideful heart cannot be established in the faith. Pride is the reason that many that call themselves Christians have little or no active faith. They have got faith, but it is not active. Faith without works is dead. (James 4:20)
In Acts 15, There were certain men that came to Antioch saying that it was needful to be circumsed and to keep the law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas went up to Jerusalem to discuss with the apostles and elders about this matter.
Acts 15:6-11 states, "And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. v.6
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. v.7
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; v.8
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. v.9
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? v.10
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." v.11
After much discussion the answer was sent back to the church at Anitoch. We notice in verse 9 that our hearts will be purified by faith. If we choose to live by the law we tempt God and put a yoke upon ourselves.
Continuing on in Acts 15:25-29, "It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, v.25
Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. v.26
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. v.27
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; v.28
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." v.29
A person that chooses to live by the law is in pride.
In Psalm 34:18 it says, "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."
Psalm 51:17 states, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." God will not despise a broken and a contrite heart.
God Resisteth the Proud but Giveth Grace to the Humble
James 4:1-10, "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? v.1
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. v.2
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. v.3
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. v.4
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? v.5
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. v.6
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. v.7
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. v.8
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. v.9
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." v.10
God bless you,