Posted in theology

The First Sin

By Elizabeth Prata

slander

We know the first sin was pride. It happened in heaven and it was horrific. Satan, Lucifer as his given name is said to be, was made beautiful and blameless in all his ways (Ezekiel 28:15). Then he sinned because he was proud of his beauty. (Ezekiel 28:16-17a). His wisdom was corrupted. Satan lost his place in heaven. (Ezekiel 28:17b).

Satan, still called Lucifer, was angered because of this, and he made five vows. Foremost, he said in his heart that he will be like the Most High. (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Then satan set out to enact his evil plan. His sin was pride, but he enacted his sin through another sin: GOSSIP and SLANDER. Lucifer became Satan the accuser and tale bearer.

Satan is a title that means “one who resists”. The name, or the title, depending on which interpretation and book of the Bible is using it, also means accuser. (Revelation 12:9–10). Satan accuses God and he accuses God’s people. In the famous scene at the beginning of Job, satan is seen accusing Job of only being righteous because God has blessed him. In Genesis 3, satan is subtly accusing God of being dishonest in His dealings with Eve. (Genesis 3:1-5).

This verse tells us more about satan’s accusing and slandering activities.

milkweed

In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; (Ezekiel 28:16).

What trade? There is no merchandise in heaven. The trade referred to here is from a word meaning merchant, likely a spice merchant, going hither and yon, out and about, selling. But the word is from a root word meaning gossip monger, trading on gossip, going hither and yon, here and there, tale- bearing. Proverbs 20:19 uses the same Hebrew word, rakal, as in the Ezekiel verse,

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

So satan the accuser was proud. He thought he deserved to be higher than God, and went about here and there slandering God and tale-bearing to the other holy angels in order to accomplish this.

What were the other angels’ reaction?

“Pish”, they all said! “Look at God, just LOOK at Him, on His throne with the train of His robe filling the temple! We were there when He created everything and it was very good and we shouted for joy! Get behind me satan!”

No.

A third of the angels believed satan’s lies and slander. They, who were holy and blameless, and who saw the face of God, and observed His works from a first row position, believed satan’s slander.

If they did, how about us in our sinful flesh, under heaven and not in it, and only too willing to hear slander about someone else? What are the chances for us? We’re sitting ducks for believing lies, gossip, and slander – all of satan’s abundant trade.

Satan’s first sin was pride. He said and believed these things in his heart. But how did his sin come out? How did he act upon it? Slander/gossip/tale-bearing. If you (or I) go about up and down, hither and yon tale-bearing, we are acting satanic. Think of pride sitting upon a magic floating carpet that’s going here and there. Or the wind that is carrying the milkweed seed.

This activity is the action upon which pride is carried out. When we slander or gossip, we are putting ourselves in the same position as satan did when he did it. Do we want to mimic satan?

Think about it.

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Further reading:

It Takes Two

How Should Christians Respond to Attacks and Insults?

What does the Bible say about slander?

Satan- What Is He Like?

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

The pride of cities

In our Bible Reading Plan we’d read Isaiah 23. In it, was Isaiah’s prophecy against Tyre. Tyre was a major city on the coast, to which many ships from afar brought their goods to trade and sell. Tyre was held in high esteem by all around. (Isaiah 23:8). It had prestige and renown.

Is this your exultant city whose origin is from days of old, whose feet carried her to settle far away? 8Who has purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth? 9The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory,c to dishonor all the honored of the earth
. (Isaiah 23:7-9)

When a city becomes so vaunted, the leaders of the city become proud. Hence the reason for Isaiah’s oracle against Tyre. (Isaiah 23:9). They attributed their success and fame to themselves, and not to God.

This situation reminded me of the scene in Daniel 4. King Nebuchadnezzar displayed the same problem.

and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).

He attributed the city of Babylon’s success and fame to himself, and not to God. For his selfish boastfulness and pride, God determined to remove the kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar for 7 years, wherein he would live among beasts as a mad person and eat the grass of the field. When 7 years was over, God restored reason to the king and also the kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar praised God for all His glory.

When we see the glittering towers of the city, its cathedrals, towers, strongholds, and castles, we tend to become proud of our accomplishment in building them. We admire the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Sears Tower, the Windsor Castle, the Taj Mahal… We enlarge our sea ports and construct airports and enjoy the trade and commerce merchants willingly bring to the city.

We applaud man’s ingenuity in building these majestic buildings, we love the fame and renown these landmarks bring to the city and we become boastful inhabitants. But we forget that we have no strength of our own, and no intellect, or ability unless God grants it.

Tyre was razed in 332 BC when Alexander the Great conquered it. And Babylon, we know was felled in one night as described in Jeremiah 51:8 and Daniel 5:30.

If a prophet were to prophesy today, what oracle might be spoken about New York City? Los Angeles? Paris? London? Ezekiel 38:20 prophesies a future day when all walls will crumble to the ground. This page shows how many times God said He will destroy a city for its pride and rebellion. We know He destroyed four Cities of the Plain in one night, Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim.

The end result of pride, is destruction. This is reiterated in the New Testament, in today’s reading of Matthew 11. There is a section between verses 20-24 called “Woe to Unrepentant Cities” such as Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre, Sidon, and Capernaum.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18). The verse applies to cities as well. The Isaiah verse we’d read yesterday is warning about this.

milan duomo
EPrata photo