A minister found a shoe box in a closet with five eggs and a stack of money. Puzzled, he asked his wife if she could explain it. “Yes, dear,” she said. “After we married, I decided to put an egg into the box for every bad sermon you preached.” The minister, full of pride thought, Well, after all these years only 5 eggs is not bad. “But,” he asked, “How do you explain the $10,000?” “Oh, every time I got a dozen eggs, I sold them!” God had to teach ancient Israel and King David a lesson about pride. We learn from 2 Samuel chapter 24 that David directed his general Joab to count David’s fighting men, contrary to God’s will. Once it was done, David realized he had sinned and confessed his pride. Yet despite his confession, God said he would punish David and the people for their sin. Of the three penalty choices God gave him, David chose the plague, and 70,000 people died. More would have died except for God’s mercy. Contrary to the modern view that self is supreme, God’s harsh penalty here shows how serious pride and self-centeredness are. Pride has brought down untold numbers of leaders and laity. It is Satan’s best weapon for destroying us. It is why Spurgeon once warned against being proud of race, face, place, or grace.
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