In Daniel 4:37, the pagan king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, says of the Most High God, “Those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” God has a way of humbling those who refuse to humble themselves. That is what we see going on with Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 4. He’d reached his height, thought well of himself to the point of pride, and needed to be brought low. And God was not only able, but willing to do so, so that a pagan king might recognize where his greatness derived: from God (vv.34-35). 19th century pastor, Charles Spurgeon, rightly said, “When a man admires himself he never adores God.” Do you admire all that you have and all that you are, or do you see yourself as entirely at the grace of God?
C.S. Lewis called pride “The Great Sin” in his book, Mere Christianity. He says, “It was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” He further states that pride is competitive, wherein each person’s pride is in competition with one another’s. If all of us were the same, there would be no competition and therefore nothing to be proud about; but Lewis, nor I, advocate similitude, where everyone is the same. Rather, we should recognize who we should compare ourselves with—and that will always produce humility: God. Matthew 5:48 calls you to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Knowing that you cannot be perfect produces humility before, and dependence upon, God. I need God. I need His Son to make me right with Him (Rom 5:8). I am hopelessly lost without Him (Rom 3:10-12). If you do not tell yourself that, regularly, then you may grow proud and need God to humble you. And He will (Luke 1:51).
Spurgeon also said this, “The Lord loves to use tools which are not rusted with self-conceit.” If you and I are to sharpen one another (Prov 27:17), as iron sharpens iron and act in ways pleasing to God in our relationships with one another, then we must regularly clothe ourselves in humility (1 Pet 5:5). Don’t be a Nebuchadnezzar and have to learn this the hard way. Those who walk in pride he is able to humble.