Pride and Addiction
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23
This is a powerful Scripture. Let’s look at the circumstances that surround it, so that we can better understand it. Saul was the first king that God anointed over the Kingdom of Israel after the system of the Judges. Samuel was the prophet of the LORD during this period and passed the words of God onto Saul. Saul was told the following by Samuel:
Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” 1 Samuel 15:2-3
Saul did successfully attack the Amalekites but he spared Agag their king and kept all the best of their oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys. Saul did not do what God had commanded. He thought that he knew better. In fact, Saul thought so highly of himself that in verse 12 it reads, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor…” God was so displeased with Saul’s disobedience and arrogance that God’s tells Samuel in verse 11, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” Then God sent Samuel to Saul with a message. It begins in verse 17, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel”? And it ends in verse 23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
What was the root of Saul’s rebellion? PRIDE! Saul did what he wanted rather than what God had commanded. Saul thought more “highly” of himself than of God. Pride was the original sin. Let’s look at where it originated.
Isaiah 14:12-14 tells about the fall of Lucifer: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:
‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
Ezekiel 28:12-15 tells us a little more about him: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.
What an indictment! Lucifer was created so perfectly and beautifully and given a holy purpose, yet became prideful and wanted to rise above the stars of God and ascend above the heights of the
clouds and be like the Most High. Lucifer’s pride caused him to want to be “higher” than the station God had appointed him to in life; that’s rebellion – the sin of witchcraft.
Have you ever desired to ascend higher than your God appointed state of consciousness? Ever wanted to get high? I, for one, have certainly fallen prey to this sin of rebellion/pride (witchcraft). Not content in my state of being, I sought to get “higher” using many different substances – all in an attempt to escape reality – to feel what I am not. All these attempts have led to destruction. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
The next time you decide that you know better than God does concerning the state of consciousness that you should be in and you decide to make yourself higher than the stars of God, think twice about this “witchcraft thinking” and leave the substances that alter our senses of reality alone. The sin of pride associated with thinking you know what’s best; will only lead you to destruction. Both Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 state, There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Remember that pride caused both King Saul and Lucifer to fall from their God appointed heights!
Some say that addiction stems from low self-esteem. Perhaps there is some truth in that statement. Is it self-loathing that causes us to want to get higher and want to be more than we perceive that we are? Maybe the problem is our self-perception and that is what causes our low self-esteem? Let’s consider who we are according to “God’s Word” rather than who we perceive ourselves to be according to our own “stinkin’ thinkin’.” Focus not on being bold in self-pride but being bold in Christ. For in Him, all things are possible!
Editor Michael Minton