We know that most portions of the Scriptures were written to specific groups of people, but we also know that God’s Word is timeless and His instructions applicable to our lives today.
I was struck with that reminder the other day when I read the words in Obadiah: “The pride of your heart has deceived you.” I nearly fell from my chair at the implications — not that I didn’t already know how pride can harden our hearts and steer us into sin, but I suddenly realized that EVERY TIME I have been deceived, it has been because of pride.
How is that possible? Aren’t other people the ones who usually deceive us? True, dishonest and manipulative people are often the ones whose words or actions instigate our deception. But if we didn’t already have pride in our hearts, we wouldn’t be so apt to fall for their lies.
The Scriptures are clear that those who believe there is no God are fools. But are those of us who claim to believe in God and yet make our choices and decisions apart from Him any different? When we attempt to sift through the facts and come to conclusions by using our own limited mental abilities, by depending on our education or experiences, or by seeking ungodly counsel, we have in effect said, “There is no God.” Therefore, we too are fools. The pride in our heart has led us astray, for we have bought into the lie that we are sufficient unto ourselves.
True, God has given us an intellect and expects us to use it — wisely. And that’s the key. Psalm 111:10 is our safeguard to keep us from falling into pride and foolishness: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Having a healthy fear of the Lord means that we turn to Him first and rely on His Word to make choices and judgment calls. And we can only do that if we make Bible study a regular practice.
First Corinthians 10:12 warns us, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” If we are making it a practice to lean on God and trust the wisdom of His Word, rather than the pride of our hearts and our own fallible abilities, we will not fall; we will not be fools; we will not be deceived. Instead, we will stand strong, and we will be able to lead others to that same solid place where Love reigns and Truth sets us free….