Wednesday, November 23

Pride is before a crash.Prov. 16:18.

What power our sinful tendencies exert on us! Take, for example, pride. This trait can interfere with our listening to the voice of Jehovah and can lead us to take a disastrous course. A proud person has an exaggerated opinion of himself. He may feel that he has the right to do whatever he wants and that no one can tell him what to do. So he may feel that he is above the direction and counsel of fellow Christians, the elders, or even God’s organization. For such a person, the sound of Jehovah’s voice becomes very faint. During Israel’s wilderness trek, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against the authority of Moses and Aaron. Because of pride, the rebels made independent arrangements to worship Jehovah. How did Jehovah respond? He executed them. What a crucial lesson this historical account teaches us! Rebellion against Jehovah leads to disaster.

COMMENTARY

Pride might well be the original sin, since it was the perfect, covering cherub in Eden who allowed himself to think he was Jehovah’s equal, which induced him to hatch a scheme to slander God and deceive Eve.

That inordinate pride was the motivation for the angel-turned-devil is indicated by what Paul wrote to Timothy concerning not appointing a newly converted man to the office of overseer for fear he might become puffed up with pride “and fall into the judgment passed upon the Devil.”

Surely, we, as individuals can be overreached by pride too. Sadly, the very person who long ago penned the proverb became haughty himself and disregarded God’s counsel not to multiply wives for himself. And it is not like Solomon had a few wives, or even a few dozen. No, that proud king had 700 wives, many being foreign women, which was a violation of God’s law. In time they inclined Solomon’s heart away from Jehovah, so that he built temples for the demon gods his many wives worshipped.

Solomon’s pride brought disaster upon the nation. How true young Solomon’s words: “Better is a poor but wise child than an old but stupid king, who no longer has enough sense to heed a warning.” —Ecclesiastes 4:13

But pride does not merely afflict individuals. Nations and peoples can exhibit pride too. Hence, Jehovah spoke of the pride of Babylon, Tyre and Moab. For example, Isaiah 14:11 refers to Babylon, saying: “Down to the Grave your pride has been brought, the sound of your stringed instruments. Maggots are spread beneath you as a bed, and worms are your covering.” Isaiah also wrote concerning Moab: “We have heard of the pride of Moab, that he is very proud; his haughtiness and his pride and his fury—his empty talk will not be so.”

The Jews also became proud and haughty in God’s sight, of whom God said: “In the same way I will destroy the pride of Judah and the immense pride of Jerusalem.” —Jeremiah 13:9

The prophet Amos wrote similarly concerning God’s judgment of Israel: “I detest the pride of Jacob, I hate his fortified towers, and I will hand over the city and what fills it.” —Amos 6:8

No doubt there are some lowly and humble brothers among the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But like Israel and Jerusalem, the Watchtower organization exhibits great pride. One of the characteristics of a proud person is that they rarely admit to a mistake and they rarely, if ever, say they are sorry. The same is true of the Watchtower.

Take for example an incident that occurred back during Judge Rutherford’s term as president of the Society. Back in 1929 he declared that the “superior authorities” that stand placed in their relative positions by God were actually Christ and God himself. Apparently a good number of Bible Students couldn’t stomach such an obviously stupid error and so they left the Society. Rutherford chided them as going off into darkness. But during the turbulent 1960’s the WT flip-flopped back to the correct teaching prior to Rutherford’s bizarre interpretation. Did the Watchtower take responsibility for having stumbled people who looked to it for truth? Of course not.

There are dozens of similar things that could be expounded upon, but the point is, the Watchtower has never, ever, taken responsibility for having stumbled what must now amount to millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and interested persons.

Most egregious, Bethel’s pedophile policy has contributed to the lasting harm of thousands of innocents. Instead of humbly listening to the voice of complaint of the many victims, the Watchtower’s lawyers claim that elders have no duty to protect children from the crimes of sexual predators. Although the Legal Department claims in court and legal briefs that it has no such responsibility, recently the organization has been quietly instructing congregational elders with known pedophiles to contact all parents with young children to warn them of the potential danger that is posed by the presence of a known child predator.

This means that after years of denial, of disfellowshipping and persecuting anyone who dared to voice any complaint, now Bethel is quietly implementing a policy that “opposers” have long-advocated – finally taking responsibility to actually protect children. But where is the apology? Where is the acknowledgment of their previous failure to protect God’s children? There is none. What sheer haughtiness!

“The pride of Israel has testified against him…”

So, too, the Watchtower’s pride testifies against it. Like the old and stupid king, the princes of Bethel no longer have enough sense to heed God’s warning. 

The fifth chapter of Hosea goes on: “With their flock and their herd they went to look for Jehovah, but they could not find him. He had drawn away from them.”

The Watchtower’s pride will soon end in a great crash. Jehovah is certain to abandon them in disgust.

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