Our lives would be much easier if we could learn from the mistakes of others without repeating them. Yet the sins of the past—in this case, pride—seem to rear their ugly realities in every generation. Some time after King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in Babylon ended, Belshazzar began to rule. Despite knowledge of his predecessor’s costly arrogance, this new king also refused to walk in humility (5:22-23). As a result, God stripped the kingdom from Belshazzar in dramatic fashion, proving that He will not be mocked. The same is true today. The Bible repeatedly warns that God will not share His glory with anyone (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). Wisdom beckons us to avoid much heartache by heeding the devastating examples of how pride destroys us. Are our modern idolatries any less significant than Belshazzar’s? Do we expect our blatant disregard for God’s commands to go unnoticed? As difficult as humbling ourselves before the Lord might be, facing His judgment for unbridled pride is much more painful.
How have you learned from the sins of others? In what ways have you failed to do so?