“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”– Proverbs 16:18 (NIV).
One of life’s sad ironies, is to find a person who begins so well in life, but has a bitter end. From the Bible we can contrast the life of King Saul who starts out as a heroic figure, only to descent into devastating wars that ultimately lead him to suicide, along with his three sons (I Chronicles 10:4-6).
King David starts out heroically too as the killer of Goliath (1 Samuel 17); then his life is on the run, but ultimately ends well, triumphantly passing on his kingdom to his son, Solomon whom he instructs to build a temple of the Lord (1 Chronicles 22).
One might be interested to figure the difference between two kings. For Saul, his descent starts when he turns away from God, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions” (1 Samuel 15). Eventually Saul turns to spirit mediums seeking answers for his doom, though to no avail (1 Samuel 28).
David was not perfect either. He, too, had moments of lapse, such as when he fell into the sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11). Where David rises above the rest is his humility which we see in his acknowledging his sin and repentance (Psalm 51). Saul was consumed with pride that blinded him from being dependent on God and hence not following through with the Lord’s instructions.
In life there are many episodes of those who have started out so well and met a tragic end as Saul. Sometimes it is loss of power or fortune. At other times all that they accomplished is quickly torn apart and dismembered even before there are completely gone.
To safeguard against this pitfall, humility is the key. Let us walk humbly with the Lord. For when one starts to boast of his greatness and accomplishments, as Nebuchadnezzar did, such may only end up living with wild animals and eating grass like ox (Daniel 4:32).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a loss to start life’s journey so well and end tragically; today I pray that I walk humbly ever with you, to know of a glorious end in Christ Jesus!