THE SATANIC SIN OF SELF-PROMOTION

July 15, 2017

It has happened to all of us. Sadly, we often don't realize its source until it is too late. Everything about the pride that leads to self-absorption and self-promotion is subtle … and deadly. 

Enter David. One of the purest, most humble leaders in human history. At the zenith of God's blessings, ""Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel,""  (1 Chronicles 21:1). It is important for us to recognize the source of this temptation, for he will surely come to us with the same proposition. And it may be right at the height of our best days. 

JUST A THOUGHT 

I'm sure David didn't recognize the evil one behind this. It came to him as a random ""idea."" And he voiced it to his right-hand leader, Joab. 

""Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number"" (vs. 2). 

There's nothing inherently wrong with numbering things or people. In fact, we have an entire book with that title in the Bible. It is there to glorify God by recounting His blessings. 

But notice the big ""I"" in David's request: ""that I may know their number."" Nothing of God's initiation in this desire. Satan had aimed a small dart of temptation right at the weak place in David's armor (and in ours). It’s the desire to be known. To be recognized as somebody. To be applauded. 

And this sin, the sin of self-glory, is a direct assault to the glory of God. It robs God of what rightfully belongs to Him alone. Without thinking, we are trying to ascend to his throne to say ""Look at me! I am the great one. Look what I have done."" There is hardly a greater sin. In fact, the first of the 10 commandments warns us to ""have no other gods"" before God Himself. 

SELF-PROMOTION BLINDS US TO REBUKE 

The self-train had left the station and was gathering steam. Joab, David's wise counselor, gently rebuked him and warned him that this was going to bring guilt to Israel. But David had so embraced his self-glory that he couldn't even hear it. 

The rest of the story is tragic. David numbered the people the people and God brought judgment that affected him and those he led. 

GUARD YOUR HEART 

Why would our enemy not use this tactic on lesser men like you and me? Realize it is never overt--just a ""thought"" you might have to check your stats and see how things are going and then make sure everyone else knows that the thing YOU led is doing well. Guard your heart against the subtle sin of selfish pride and self-glory. Listen to others who bring a quiet rebuke to try and help you. Heed their counsel and quickly repent before you head off the cliff of pride.





Also in Graceful Truth

15 WARNINGS ABOUT GREED
15 WARNINGS ABOUT GREED

April 10, 2024

The man who has embraced Christ’s understanding of greed and lives accordingly will open a treasure that will never be exhausted and live with a peace that cannot be bought.

Continue Reading

THE REASONABLENESS AND GENEROSITY OF GOD
THE REASONABLENESS AND GENEROSITY OF GOD

April 09, 2024

“God is easy to live with,” Tozer also said. He is not only perfect in holiness (He must deal with sin as it comes) but also flawless in kindness. If He were a man you related to, you would find Him always doing the right, gracious, benevolent thing. You would be stunned by His interest in you; awed by His acts of kindness. Overwhelmed by His unceasing generosity.

Continue Reading

MISSING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MISSING THE KINGDOM OF GOD

April 08, 2024

Has the kingdom of God come near you? You’ve heard of Christ, seen someone in whom Christ dwelled, passed by a church on the corner, or have a Bible that a grandmother gave you years ago. Perhaps you even sit in a church every Sunday, but you have never surrendered to Christ and entered His kingdom. You never acknowledged your need and turned to Christ in faith to save you. You merely let the kingdom merely “come near.”

Continue Reading