Bible Truth Podcast

Pride Comes Before A Fall

The biblical lesson of “Pride Comes Before A Fall”

Welcome to another episode of educational podcast, the podcast that explores the meaning and relevance of ancient biblical texts for modern listeners. I’m your host, Elder Dan.

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Today we’re diving into a classic proverb that you’ve probably heard before, even if you’re not a Bible reader: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

The above warning against overconfidence and arrogance, often summarized as “pride comes before a fall,” appears in different versions and contexts throughout the Bible, from Proverbs to Psalms, from Isaiah to Ezekiel.

In this episode, we’ll unpack the meaning and origins of this intriguing proverb, and try to apply its insights to our own lives, whether we’re religious or not. So, get ready to hear the Word of Yahweh, the Bible.

But first, before we analyze the proverb itself, let’s clarify some terms. What is pride, anyway, and why is it considered a bad thing?

According to most dictionaries, pride can mean “a feeling of deep satisfaction or pleasure derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired” or “an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.”

In the Bible, however, pride is not just an emotion, but a moral attitude that opposes Yahweh’s will and undermines human relationships. The root word for pride in Hebrew, ga’avah, means “arrogance, haughtiness, loftiness,” and often refers to a defiant attitude of self-sufficiency, independence, and rebellion against divine authority.

The above kind of pride is seen as the main cause of human sin and suffering, from Adam and Eve’s disobedience to Satan’s rebellion.

So, how does this relate to the proverb “pride comes before a fall?” The fall here refers to the sudden and painful downfall of a person who has become too proud and self-assured. It’s not just a physical trip or accident, but a moral and spiritual collapse that exposes the flaws and limitations of one’s character and worldview.

The fall is a consequence of the pride that has led the person to ignore warnings, reject advice, and deny reality. It’s a humbling experience that can either teach the person a valuable lesson and inspire repentance, or harden the person in a cycle of bitterness and resentment.

But where does this proverb come from, and what are some examples of it in the Bible? The phrase “pride goes before destruction” is found in Proverbs 16:18, which reads: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” This verse is part of a larger section of wise sayings about interpersonal relationships, integrity, and justice.

The next verse, verse 19, contrasts the humble and lowly with the proud and arrogant: “Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” This theme of social justice and divine judgment is also present in other parts of the Bible, such as Hosea 5:5, which says: “Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to Yahweh his Elohim or search for him.”

Now that we have some background on the proverb “pride comes before a fall,” let’s reflect on its implications for our own lives. What can we learn from this ancient wisdom, and how can we apply it in our modern context?

Here are some possible insights:

First, pride is not inherent, but acquired. We are not born with a tendency to be proud or humble, but we develop these attitudes based on our experiences, culture, and values.

Therefore, we can choose to cultivate humility and reject arrogance, by recognizing our limitations, weaknesses, and interdependence with others. This doesn’t mean we have to be self-deprecating or passive, but that we have to balance our confidence with humbleness and respect for others.

Second, pride is not always obvious, but subtle. Some forms of pride are more overt and visible, such as bragging, boasting, or narcissism.

However, other forms of pride are more subtle and insidious, such as perfectionism, self-righteousness, or intellectual superiority. These forms of pride can be harder to detect and correct, because they often disguise themselves as virtues or values.

Therefore, we need to examine our motives and behaviors regularly, and seek feedback from others who can help us identify blind spots and biases.

Third, pride is not always punished, but often corrected. Although the proverb “pride comes before a fall” sounds like a warning of universal condemnation, the Bible also offers examples of proud people who were corrected and transformed through adversity.

One of the most famous biblical characters who exemplifies this is King Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon who was humbled by Yahweh after boasting about his achievements and ignoring the divine warnings.

In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar describes how he was reduced to a beast-like condition and lived in the wilderness for seven years, until he acknowledged Yahweh’s sovereignty and repented of his pride.

The story above shows that even the most powerful and arrogant human beings can be touched by grace and transformed by humility, if only they recognize their need for it.

So, what’s the bottom line of “pride comes before a fall”? It’s not just a cynical or fatalistic prediction of doom, but a sober reminder of the consequences of arrogance and the benefits of humility.

By recognizing our own prideful tendencies and practicing humility in our relationships and worldview, we can avoid unnecessary pain and conflict, and grow in wisdom and compassion.

And who knows, maybe we’ll find that the fall we feared can become the climb we needed to become better, wiser, and happier persons.

Before I go, let me say this prayer with you: May Yahweh bless you and keep you; may Yahweh make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may Yahweh lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. I pray all these to Yahweh in Yahshua’s name. Halleluyah, amen!

I hope you enjoyed this exploration of “pride comes before a fall,” and found it enlightening and practical. Kindly leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. And don’t forget to subscribe and share this podcast with your friends and family, especially those who may benefit from its insights and inspiration.

‘Til next time, be humble and hopeful. This is Elder Dan; I sign off.