Introduction: Some people really irritate me! How about you, do you
find that a certain type of person irritates you? When I was first
married my wife and I were invited out to lunch. Almost immediately
I was annoyed by our host. Why? Because he was a “Mr. Know-it-all.”
His pride of opinion rubbed me the wrong way until I realized the
reason I was so annoyed was that I too had strong opinions. Our
church devotes part of the worship service to prayer requests and
praises. I am often in charge of this and I find, to my great
irritation, that some members use this time to make spiritual
exhortations. It is not a prayer request or a praise, but a little
“Let me tell the rest of you how you should live.” Arghh! Then I
think, “I love to teach and preach and tell people how they should
live!” We notice our sins in other people. Our lesson this week is
about pride. Let’s jump into a very relevant study!

  1. Battle Cry!

    1. Read Isaiah 13:1-3. What is an oracle? (A word from God.)

      1. When you think of the term “Babylon” in the Bible,
        what comes to mind? (Babylon generally represents the
        power opposed to God. We often think of God’s city,
        Jerusalem, versus Satan’s city, Babylon. The idea of
        Babylon opposing God begins with the Genesis 11
        account of the tower of Babel and ends in Revelation

      2. How do verses 2 and 3 of Isaiah 13 have anything to
        do with the powers of evil? (God is summoning His
        warriors to rally for an attack on evil.)

      3. Why is the hilltop “bare?” (This tells us that God’s
        banner can be seen by all who want to see it. His
        call to arms is clear to all.)

        1. If you accept this commission to call the
          righteous to rally, what would a bare hilltop
          mean to you? (Don’t mix other issues with your

    2. Read Isaiah 13:4-5. Where does God find His army? (All
      nations! God has His servants in every country.)

    3. Read Isaiah 13:9-10. What is the goal of God’s army? (To
      destroy sinners.)

      1. How will we know that day is at hand? (Notice the
        signs in the heavens.)

        1. Have you seen this prediction before? (Read
          Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:12-14, Ezekiel 32:7-8, Amos 8:9 and Joel 2:10. These signs are well-supported by prophecy.)

      2. Why does God use signs in the heavens? (This is a
        “hint” that He is in charge of the universe!)
  1. The Battle Target

    1. Read Isaiah 13:11. The target of the amassed army is the
      sin of the wicked. Of all the sins in the world, what
      sins are mentioned? (Arrogance and pride.)

      1. Why do you think those sins are specifically
        mentioned? Why not mention murder? Why not child
        abuse? Why not stealing? Why not adultery? (Murder,
        stealing and adultery are specific acts. Arrogance
        and pride are attitudes that bring about all sorts of
        sinful acts.)

    2. Read Isaiah 13:12-13. How prevalent is pride and
      arrogance? (The idea that everyone will be saved is at
      odds with this text. This text suggests that those saved
      as scarce as pure gold.)

      1. Why would “pure gold” be a fit description? (The
        Church of Laodicea, the church of the end time, is
        counseled to stop being “luke-warm” and to trade
        pride in their earthly possessions for spiritual
        “gold refined in the fire.” See Revelation 3:14-18.)

    3. When does this battle take place? (As I mentioned last
      week, Isaiah has a “two-track” prophecy. Part of this
      describes Assyria/Babylon. However, we are looking at the
      modern application. This battle of “good v. evil” is at
      the end of the world. Our job today is to convert, not
      destroy evil people.)

  2. Pride’s Origin

    1. Let’s skip ahead to Isaiah 14:3-5. If you have a proud
      heart, what do you most dread? (People making fun of you.)

      1. What are God’s people doing? (They are “taunting” the
        “King of Babylon.”)

    2. Read Isaiah 14:9. What does this suggest about world
      leaders? (That their final resting place is “below.” Not
      a good sign for them.)

    3. Read Isaiah 14:10-11. I like the way the New Living
      Translation renders the last part of verse 11: “Now
      maggots are your sheet and worms your blanket.” Note the
      picture here. God’s people taunt “the King of Babylon” in
      his defeat. When the King of Babylon enters death those
      leaders who died before him taunt him with (v.10) “you
      have become weak, as we are.” Is this really happening?
      (No. Without making a detour into this hotly contested
      area, the two leading theories of “the afterlife” for the
      wicked are “soul sleep” (that you are unconscious in the
      grave until the Second Coming) and hell (where you are
      eternally frying). A conscious “maggot/worm bed” is not
      one of the leading theories.)

      1. Aside from being laughed at, what other thing do the
        proud fear? (Losing the basis for their pride. Here
        the proud “King of Babylon” has no more power. He
        loses the basis for his pride.)

      2. If this is an allegory, what is God’s point? (That
        pride comes to nothing (or maybe just worms) when you

    4. Read Isaiah 14:12. Who is the “morning star, son of the

      1. Read Revelation 22:16. Who is referred to here as
        “the bright Morning Star?” (Jesus.)

      2. Is Isaiah 14:12 referring to Jesus? (No. This could
        not be Jesus for He was never “cast down” to earth.
        He went voluntarily. John 10:17-18.)

        1. If this is not Jesus Christ, but the two use
          similar titles, who is this? (This must be
          Satan, the anti-Christ. This is Jesus’
          competitor. The one who wanted to be God.)

    5. Read Isaiah 14:13-14. Does this make our identity of the
      “morning star” clearer? (This is further evidence that
      this is Satan. Who else would want to be God? Remember
      this is a “two-track” prophecy which also refers to a king
      of Babylon. However, the Babylon kings had their own gods
      which they tried to avoid offending. The person described
      in these two texts wants to be the God of Gods.)

      1. What sins do you see in verses 13 and 14?
        (Covetousness, pride, arrogance.)

    6. Read Revelation 12:7-10. Who is “cast down” here?

      1. Put together Isaiah 14:13-14 and Revelation 12:7-10
        and tell me how it appears sin entered heaven and our
        earth? (Isaiah gives us the first record of sin.
        Satan wanted to be like God. He wanted to ascend
        God’s throne. He convinced angels in heaven to join
        with him in his efforts and the result was war in
        heaven. Satan and his angels lost and they were
        hurled down to earth. The next time we see Satan is
        in Genesis 3.)

        1. As a quick aside, what caused Eve to sin?
          ( Genesis 3:5-6. Eve wanted to be like God! The
          sin that caused Satan to fall was the temptation
          he successfully used with Eve.)

    7. What, then, is the “granddaddy” of all sins? Or, as Saddam
      Hussein would say, “the mother of all sins?” (Pride and

      1. Why don’t we address this more vigorously in our

      2. For example, in our church we have a “not very
        prominent” member who is involved in adultery. The
        “Board of Elders” is right on top of that situation.
        At the same time, the sin of pride is never
        addressed. Which of those sins is worse? (There is
        some justification for the common practice of
        churches treating adultery as a special sin. 1
        Corinthians 6:18 suggests that adultery is a unique
        sin. But the real reason we do not more actively
        address pride is that it is such a common sin. If
        pride were addressed as vigorously as adultery, the
        Board of Elders would be visiting me!)

    8. Friend, God is at war with the sins of arrogance, pride
      and covetousness. How are you in that department? It is
      the genesis of sin and it is the reason for the fall of
      humans into sin. Pray that God will cleanse your proud
      heart so that it is not the cause of your fall!

  3. Next Week: Defeat of the Assyrians.