- Sermon Notes
The Undoing of Arrogance
2 Samuel 5:6-12
April 16, 2023
In our passage today we’re going to see some arrogant people. What I want to do is to use that as a platform to talk about our lives in the 21st century and how arrogance is dangerous and how we can insulate ourselves from it.
2 Samuel 5:6-12
If you remember when Joshua invaded the promise land, one of the few places he could not capture was Jerusalem, for the last 400 years, a hostile enclave inside of Israel. David sets out to capture Jerusalem and make it his capital.
- It’s located half way in-between the northern tribes and southern tribes so it’s a great neutral site that no one got upset about.
- Jerusalem had the Gihon Springs, a wonderful water supply, which ran full of water even when the rest of the country experienced drought.
- Jerusalem was perched high on a hill so it was a defensible position. David said I’m going to capture Jerusalem and that’s going to be my capital.
Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water supply, that’s how he got into the city and took control.
David took up residence and built a palace. The NIV makes reference to terraces throughout the area.
I. Walk In The Confidence of God
Archeological discoveries have done an amazing amount to confirm the details of this passage over the last 100 years.
- 55 of these supporting terraces mentioned in v9 have been found in digs dating back to the time of David. Exactly the way the Bible says. These terraces in Jerusalem were built on hills and they were built between the hills so you could build houses or other buildings on them.
- Then there’s the Water Shaft – In 1867, Sir Charles Warren, a British Archeologist, found this water shaft and it was named, Warren’s Shaft. What he found is it went through solid rock from the old city of Jerusalem to the Gihon Spring. It provided a way for people, when under siege, to sneak out and get water and bring it back into the city safely. This shaft through solid rock – was an amazing engineering feat. And we find it exactly the way the Bible said.
A. Be watchful for God’s protection
The real issue here is not archeology, the real issue here is arrogance, the arrogance of the Jebusites. They were sure they were invincible, but their arrogance became their undoing.
Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.
They got careless and they failed to guard the water shaft. It’s interesting the shaft is only big enough for one person to wiggle through at a time. All they had to do was put one soldier there and no way David gets in. But David snuck a team one by one through the shaft and into the city and took over.
The shaft wasn’t their problem. Their problem was their arrogance, they were lazy and over-confident about controlling the city. They got sloppy. As God says, their arrogance brought them “low”.
Isaiah 2:17, The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, <NIV>
B. Arrogance and pride are not from God
The arrogance these people had is the same kind of arrogance that exists in our world today. So be careful, when God gives us a story that illustrates arrogance in biblical times, He’s cautioning us about arrogance in our time.
Why arrogance is dangerous.
Proverbs 16:18; Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
- It’s dangerous because arrogance leads us to do self-destructive things.
Now if you read this verse another way, it goes like this – every time someone falls, you can be sure there was an arrogant spirit somewhere behind it and if every time someone self-destructs you can be sure there was cocky pride somewhere behind it.
II. God’s Favor Rests In Humility
Illustration – Book by Harvard Medical School Psychologist Steven Berglas – The Success Syndrome.
Berglas, Quote, “The number one core attribute of people who achieve stellar success but they do not have the psychological bedrock to prevent personal disaster is arrogance.”
God has been saying for how many years that pride goes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before a fall. The reason is arrogance, it makes us feel like we are invulnerable, invincible, stronger and safer than we are.
When you begin to think like that you begin to drop your guard and like a boxer, when you drop your guard, what happens…you get decked.
Ditches are full of hundreds of thousands of people who went into them, not because they wanted to, but because they got arrogant and cocky.
Illustration – The French and Indian War
When I read this story it reminds of people today. We have people in our world today who are an exact living copy of the city of Quebec. They leave a part of their life totally undefended in arrogance and you know what, the enemy scales the cliff and takes control of their lives.
Illustration – today’s battle for parents.
One of the reasons arrogance is so dangerous is because it leads to self-destruction.
Arrogance puts us on a collision course with God Himself. Why? Isaiah 42:8.
Arrogance is on a collision course with God because it’s all based on self; you want the glory, promote yourself, bragging about yourself…and God says, I’m sorry, but the glory does not belong to you, but to me and I take it personally when you infringe.
Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
If you try otherwise, God will teach you a lesson.
A. Get on the His paths of righteousness
Psalm 23:1-3, The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Why does He lead us in the paths of righteousness? For our comfort, for our pleasure, to meet our needs? No – He does so for His namesake, for His glory
All that He is, is aimed at bringing the spotlight and glory to God. Maybe that sounds egotistical to us. But when you are the sustainer of the universe, that is not egotistical.
Pharaoh tried this, you remember – He said, I’m Egypt, I’m in charge, I have all the power.
Exodus 5:4, But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!”
Goliath did this; David, listen, my armor weights 125 lbs, my spear 25 lbs and I’m the only god on this hill. Just keep right on coming and I will slice you up. What happened in that story?
We have to be careful as Christians not to have this same attitude that we are in control, I’ve got this, but even as Christians, God is forced to teach us a lesson. Yes, even a merciful train hurts.
B. Acknowledge God’s blessings in your life
How do I insulate my life against arrogance?
- Be in the word of God on a regular basis. When we compare ourselves to others, it’s easy to become arrogant. But when you compare yourself to a holy God, you’re not going to need a course in humility, you will look little all by yourself. Get to know Him more. Be in church, get involved, grow and you will insulate yourself from arrogance.
- Start off everyday reminding yourself that God has blessed you; that everything you are or have achieved or will achieve is all from Him.
Now many think; I made my company successful, I turned my company around, I completed the task, God didn’t do that.
Well, I’ve been at the table with highly successful people, I’ve sat beside professional athletes talking about all they’ve accomplished, I’ve owned and sold my own company. And many times over, what successful people say, is that success is usually defined by some very narrow threads that went their way. In life, success comes by the narrowest of margins, so many things had to come together to win the game just before time ran out. If a couple of things went the other way instead, some of those successes could have fallen short.
What if all those things that fell your way went the other way? Many say, well, I’m smart enough, talented enough, I would have compensated.
C. Our mortality rests in God’s hands
What if your heart had stopped? Are you smart enough to compensate for that? Who gave you the talents to be successful? Our brains are an amazing part of God’s creation and you didn’t give that to yourself.
- Get real about your mortality. Here’s a reality check for all of us. When we are gone, the world doesn’t even slow down. It doesn’t even hiccup. It just keeps going.
Romans 12:3, For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Throughout the Bible, God brings down the arrogant or the proud and He exults the humble. That’s the formula of God. And it’s your choice. At the end of the day, you choose which landing pad you are on. Which side of this equation do you want to be on?
2 Samuel 5:6-12 NASB
6 Now the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to [a]David, “You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame will turn you away”; [b]thinking, “David cannot enter here.” 7 Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. 8 David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him reach the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul, through the water tunnel.” Therefore they say, “The blind or the lame shall not come into the house.” 9 So David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built all around from the [c]Millo and inward. 10 David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.
11 Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David. 12 And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel.