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Who knows better?

The curse of arrogance

Jonathan Martin

17 October 2017

Sometimes Judah, my 4 year old son, will correct me. It’s both funny and annoying.

We’re in the process of teaching him that sometimes a thing has two or more names. For example, I’ll say something like, “no Judah, daddy can’t breathe under water like a fish because Daddy is a person!”

At this point Judah gives me a stern look, unsure if I’m serious or being silly, and precedes to tell me, “No, Daddy! You aren’t a person, you are a HUMAN!”

Two names — same concept. English is tricky buddy.

We’re doing better these days, but for a while, Judah would get seriously upset when I tried to explain all this. It went from being cute and funny to a serious meltdown before my smile had time to fully form. He already KNEW how things were! — and Daddy was wrong. With heels locked in the dirt and tears in his eyes — Judah resisted my instruction.

He is a little boy and this is what children do sometimes. I typically hug him and calmly try to explain that Judah needs to be willing to learn new things — Daddy has simply been around longer and knows a bit more.

But my 30 year-old self isn’t much different from my 4 year-old.

God made everything and knows everything. Why then do we reject and wander from His commands? He’s more right than we are! Judah is fortunate because his misunderstanding is a bit cute. However, by the time you’re 30 — it’s not cute anymore — it’s just downright foolish. We are cursing ourselves when we refuse to come under the commands of God. And God rebukes the one’s He loves — so you better believe He’s going to rebuke us. He doesn’t want us to be cursed — and arrogance is a curse. Arrogance causes the most harm to the person wielding it.

You rebuke the arrogant,

The ones under a curse who wander from your commands

Psalm 119:21

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As we’ve journeyed through this elaborate Psalm, I’ve been driven by the question — why does David delight in God’s Word so much? Little by little we’re uncovering that answer. But today’s verse shows me this: when I don’t delight in God’s Word, it’s because of pride.

Those who do not delight in God’s Word are proud. David’s delight in God’s Word is evidence of true humility.

This is where things get hard.

You see, we might be curious enough to try the things of God. We might be willing to try God’s way — to try His Word. We may even taste and see good things — but eventually we have to decide and declare whether or not God’s ways are better than our own. Most of us are just too proud to truly admit that God knows better than we do.

That intentional decision is needed because we will never wander into the ways of God. Our tendency is to wander away from the commands of God. Sin is like gravity. It’s like a current pulling us into dangerous and deadly places. We have to make a decision to grab hold of the the buoy of God’s Word. To grab hold of the map, the compass, and the help of the Word. One of the many purposes of the Word is to pull us towards our God. We’re useless at fighting against the current without it. And the current is pulling us farther and farther away.

Have you decided? Does God know more than you? There is a joyful freedom in admitting this — in letting go of our stubborn ways. It’s a bit odd, but when Judah is stubbornly pushing against me, he cries and wails in frustration. But when I can talk him into learning something new — a slight giggle escapes as he submits to my leadership in his life.

It just takes so much pointless energy to maintain pride. Don’t place yourself under that curse. As we’ve already seen,

Happy are those…who walk according to the Lord’s instruction!

Psalm 119:1

Let His instruction, His command, and His rule in your life be a blessing to you.



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