The proud and the patient

girls-438152_640Ecclesiastes 7:8: Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (ESV)

It takes patience to see things to a good end. The bible says that we should follow those who with faith and patience obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:12).

Saul did not have enough patience and he was disqualified from continuing as king. By contrast, David was patient in the face of provocation and his throne was established.

You cannot be patient and be proud at the same time, while the patient waits for God’s time, the proud tries to force the time, force through an agenda.

Samuel told Saul to wait seven days for him to come and make a sacrifice, but at a time he felt he could not wait, and lost what he was trying to keep by his hastiness, the kingdom (1Samuel 13:7-14).

Esau also lacked patience (Genesis 25:29-34). He said that he could wait no longer, but had to eat what Jacob was preparing. Selling his birth right for the meal, he ate away his destiny. He fell short of his potentials, because he could not curtail his appetite, he could not wait.

Waiting is an art that some have lost. In the age of the microwave, instant information, and the pursuit of success, we have forgotten that God still hold the time in his hands (Psalm 31:15).

Patience is so important that it forms one of the components of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). That we need patience to come into us through supernatural means shows how much sin has damaged the soul of man, and how important it is for us to walk with God.

Moses was not patient for God’s time as he first embarked on the task of saving Israel from slavery in the land of Egypt (Exodus 2). That cost him forty years in the wilderness, when in his haughtiness and pride he struck down a man. It took forty years in the wilderness, herding the sheep of his father-in-law, to grind the pride out of him.

The proud thinks that the world owes him something, so he tramples on other people’s feeling anyhow, on his way to getting what he wants.

But the kingdom of God is for the child-like. Jesus said that except we be converted and be like a child we will not enter the kingdom of God (Luke 18:17). There is also the narrow road that we should take which Jesus said leads to the kingdom, which you cannot pass through if you are puffed up (Matthew 7:13-14).

James wrote that trials wrought patience (James 1:1-4). That quality is so important that it is not just the fruit of the Holy Spirit but also the fruit of trials.

Paul said that the strong should bear with the failings of the weak and not to please themselves (Romans 15:1). But the proud does not do that, they always want to please themselves, they are self-involved.

The patience of Jesus was tried after forty days of fasting in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). The devil decided to strike Jesus where it hurts, asking him to turn stone to bread after he had not eaten for many days. He passed the test of patience, standing in the will of God.

The disciples of David asked him to kill Saul or remain perpetually on the run. He did not, waiting for his time to be king, he did not break the law of his conscience (1Samuel 24:1-5; 1Samuel 26).

Pride or patience is differentiated by their presentation and actions. The proud knows nothing about trusting in God, resting in him, waiting upon him.

But the bible says those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

The proud has nothing to do with praying, because prayer shows dependence on God, on his power and his grace and light.

The proud will not listen to the words of God, since he is already full of himself. He thinks he knows the way and so will not ask God to show you the way.

Someone prayed: show me your way oh lord and I will walk in your truth (Psalm 86:11). It takes the humble to walk in the ways of God, to follow even when we do not know fully know the destination.

God said Abraham should follow him to the land he will show him, a proud man will not take such instruction and will miss on the big plan of God (Genesis 12:1-3). Later on Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, and he took steps to do that, with blessed consequences (Genesis 22).

To be patient is the way to go. It is a healthy appreciation of your abilities or lack of it. Paul said we need to condescend to men of low estate (Romans 12:16). He also said we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but think soberly has God has given us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

The patient allows himself to be limited by the word of God. Jesus, though walked in great power, was focused on the instruction he had from the father and limited his ministry circuit to the towns of Israel.

He was not going to take on the world yet. He allowed the word of God to limit him, but the proud bites more than he can shew.

The devil was made but he wanted to dethrone the creator. That was above his pay grade, and he only harmed himself in the long run.

He thought he had what it takes to take over, he wanted to create an alternative world, and he had ideas contrary to God that he wanted to express (Isaiah 14:13).

He was certified proud. But the Son of God is the epitome of patience. God has told him: seat on my right hand until I will make your enemies your footstool (Psalm 110:1). Even now, Jesus through faith and patience will have the promise of being king on the earth.

The proud do not take change well, they have control issues. Since the proud sometimes thinks he is god, he seeks to be in control and not controlled, determine things and not determined.

Joseph had to be patient to get to his dream place. Things were really out of his control. With his brothers selling him into slavery when he was seventeen and his altercation with the wife of his master, and the subsequent imprisonment, he will be the first to tell you that patience pays and God’s time is the best. God rewarded his patience by giving him the position of prime minister in Egypt.

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