Malachi 3:15 So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’”
It seems some things haven’t changed a lot since Malachi’s day. Many people still worship man above God.
Our society glorifies sports figures, cage fighters, movie stars and the like. Most of all, men and women worship themselves. They worship their looks, their careers, who they have as friends, and the cars they drive. Above all, they worship their ability to be self-regulating, self-sufficient, and self-determining.
Basically the attitude is, I will do what I want, when I want to. I will live like I want, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I am the most important person in my life, and accountable only to my-self.
Is that true?
Read what the scriptures say in Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall”.
Another very important scripture in this regard is:
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
We think we’re getting away with things because there aren’t immediate consequences.
I just came back from a whirl-wind from trip to Chicago with my wife. There were several reasons for the visit which partially included visiting my wife’s aunt who was down from California for a couple of weeks. She was staying with her brother, where my wife and I stayed as well. They were all very nice, kind and happy Christian people who you just felt good being around. In all our discussions so much of the talk was about praying for people, and helping others.
Unfortunately, the other part of the visit was not so pleasent. You see, my wife’s estranged father is in a nursing home dying; and he is totally opposite of the kind of people we were staying with.
He was a fairly large and proud man at one time. He was a carpenter by trade for many years and owned a fairly successful fiberglass business. He’s had many expensive toys over time which includes muscle cars, refurbished antique cars, and race cars.
He’s a man, who as far as I can tell, has cheated on most every woman he was ever with. He was abusive to my wife’s mother and her older brother; and never had anything to do with my wife. It seems he only had enough love for himself, and the only things important to him were his fiberglass business, his possessions, and his status around people he thought important “which wasn’t his family”.
He’s been married three times, and I couldn’t say if he’s been faithful with his 3rd wife or not. His second wife was one of the women that he was cheating on my wife’s mother with. His current wife is one of the women that he was cheating on his second wife with. It kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it?
As I understand it, he has never had much use for God, and seemed quite content with that decision.
My wife would sometimes call and try to communicate with him after our daughter was born, and he never once asked about his grandchild.
There were a couple times we saw him at funerals, and once at a race. He never once hugged her, but would shaker her hand. When my wife’s brother confronted him about some of the terrible things he’d done, he just looked him strait in the eye and denied it.
There have been a few more times in the past where my wife would make an attempt to develop some sort of relationship with him, but to no avail. Our daughter, his granddaughter, even sent him a letter and picture of her when she was 18 trying to communicate with him. No response at all.
This once big and proud man now lays in a nursing home bed frail, helpless, confused and dying. Melanoma, throat cancer, and diabetes are consuming him. He has a huge tumor on the side of his neck and face and has lost about 80 pounds. He has very few friends and has pushed almost all his family away.
We think he recognized my wife during our visit, and we’re glad we went; because it may be the last time she sees him alive. At this point all we can do is pray for him, and feel sorry for all the missed opportunities that he can never get back.
All his pride, self-reliance, money, business and possessions cannot comfort or help him now. He is going to learn the lesson we all do, you come into this world naked and without possessions, and that is how we’re all going to leave it.
Unfortunately, he will be remembered by most people for the things I described above; and that is sad.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of a child, an accomplishment, or of a job well done. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in the way you live your life, but being proud, and being prideful or two different things. One appreciates doing what’s right and good, the other appreciates self.
What is it about man that makes him want to worship him-self and his stuff? Instead of holding up people who do great things for others, most people idolize musicians, movie stars, sports figures, and other people’s stuff.
My wife’s father, like many others, felt invincible and untouchable. He, like so many others, feel like they can treat people however they wish, and look out only for them-self. They think they can live any way they wish, and because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, they can do whatever pleases them.
There’s not much pride left when you’re lying in a nursing home or hospital bed feeling weak, frail, and mostly alone; knowing your time is short.
So, let me repeat the original question, do the prideful really go free?