A good friend asked me a question about this series on prostrate worship. He wanted to know what all that pride looks like today. How do we exhibit that pride? Here's my answer. (I have actually written about this before in this blog but rather than hunt for it, I'll write it anew in this latter context.)
God says in I John 2:16, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The short answer to the question is in this verse "the pride of life." What is that?
Thayer's Lexicon defines pride here as "...an insolent and empty assurance, which trusts in its own power and resources and shamefully despises and violates divine laws and human rights; or, an impious and empty presumption which trusts in the stability of earthly things."
The Greek word for life here is "bios" (remember biology = the study of life). This life is further amplified by Thayer as "the period or course of life; or that by which life is sustained, resources, wealth.
There is nothing new under the sun here and this is the sin we all deal with as it was from the beginning. Look at Genesis 3:6 for the parallel, "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
She saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and desired to make one wise (pride of life). If Eve had a mirror, she would have seen her golden calf in front of her. She would have seen her parallel Amon-Re and Yahweh/Jehovah God.
Looking in our own mirrors, that is what we see when we see ourselves. God says in Genesis 3:22, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:" Having eaten the fruit in Adam, we have now become like God ("the man is become as one of us"). We are now the visible godlike manifestation of our God. We are, if you will, the Amon-Re. Before the curse, this was not the case, even though God said in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...." Because Adam and Eve did not have their eyes opened and their spirits put to death, they did not know they were naked; they did not know all the power that was stored in the knowledge of good and evil; they did not know about life and death, life-giving, the power of desire.
Wtih our sexual prowess, man believes he has the power of life. This is celebrated around the world in every culture in various ways from the perversions of pornography to the foolishness of fertility rites in many religions. The symbology is everywhere.
This is why I have written before that every sin goes back to this one in Eden. Pride. Pride in oneself as god who needs no other God/god in order to live. And that is why I think God gave His commandments in the order that He did:
(Exodus 20:2-6) "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
First commandment - I AM the LORD thy God
Second commandment - Thou shalt have no other gods before me...
The idolaters on the hillsides, beneath the trees, and in the temples were simply performing sexual acts in worship of themselves, celebrating their pride of life. God said destroy all the idols to take away the visible pictures of this wickedness.
Yet one idol still stands - ourselves. What are we to do therefore?
Colossians 3:5 - Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Romans 8:13 - For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
I have written many times recently on what we must do from here henceforth. Only Jesus saves us from our sins.