Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
“I’m so glad I’m humble,” prayed a deacon. Everyone thought he was humble, but he was proud of his humbleness. That was sin, and he didn’t see it that way. He wouldn’t have the sense to recognize the value of being humble if the Lord didn’t give him the sense.
1. SOME OF OUR SINS MAY BE A SECRET TO OTHERS.
BUT, GOD IS AGAINST IT, EVEN IF WE DENY IT’S EXISTENCE. SOME SINS MAY BE THE REASON WE CANNOT BE LIFTED UP.
Psalms 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance.
2. IT IS GOD WHO HAS THE POWER AND DESIRE TO RAISE PEOPLE UP.
We are here on this earth for such a short time. It will seems like a split second compared to eternity. Those who lose sight of that, will place all their emphasis on NOW rather than the future. The poor and sickly may be among the very highest people in heaven.
1 Samuel 2:7-8 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He hath set the world upon them.
A. IT IS FOOLISH TO LIFT OURSELVES UP. GOD DETERMINES WHO WILL BE EXALTED.
–GOD RAISES UP THOSE IN AUTHORITY.
–BLESSINGS SOMETIME MAKE PEOPLE LIFT UP THEIR HEART AGAINST THE TRUTH. GOD IS THE SOURCE OF TRUE BLESSINGS. WHEN WE TAKE CREDIT FOR THEM, WE BRING SURE JUDGMENT.
Deuteronomy 8:13-14 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
–BEING SECURE AND WITHOUT FEAR CAN ALLOW A HEART TO BE LIFTED UP IN PRIDE, AS IF IT WAS BECAUSE OF OUR OWN WISDOM.
2 Chronicles 26:14-16 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
–GOD RAISES UP LEADERS. (Leaders are not born that way. They grow through experiences).
GOD DID NOT WANT NEW CHRISTIANS TO BE ORDAINED INTO ANYTHING OF LEADERSHIP UNTIL THEY GREW SPIRITUALLY FIRST TO RECOGNIZE GOD’S WORK IN THEIR LIVES.
1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
2 Chronicles 25:19-22 Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to thine hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee? But Amaziah would not hear; for it came of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom. So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah. And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent.
B. JUDGMENT WILL COME UPON THOSE WHO LIFT THEMSELVES UP.
Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
–THIS WAS THE DEVIL’S SIN. HIS HEART WAS LIFTED UP.
People today are encouraged to rewrite hymns glorifying God, and substitute the name of mere men. They are taking out Jesus and putting in the names of prominent politicians, singing praises to them instead of to God Almighty.
Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:
Ezekiel 28:5 By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:
Ezekiel 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
C. WE CAN BE LIFTED UP WITHIN OURSELVES AND NOT EVEN RECOGNIZE IT.
The test is if we see that we can do something better than others, we don’t attribute it to our education or skill, natural or inherited behavior, but always attribute it to the grace of God. Nothing wrong in knowing that you are a good cook, or that you are smarter in math than someone else. But, always give glory to God.
Psalms 147:6 The LORD lifteth up the meek: He casteth the wicked down to the ground.
In trying to comfort Job, Eliphaz is sharing what he thinks Job is thinking. Eliphaz is almost mocking Job, but he does tell the truth about what Job believes.
Job 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and He shall save the humble person.