Adult Sunday School Lesson 5/10/20

  1. Haughty Eyes  –  Proverbs  6:12-19

      Interesting Statement: “The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” Jerome

      Introduction: Proverbs six outlines a “six/seven” pattern of crooked actions – six actions the Lord hates, & the seventh  being an abomination. The purpose of this numerical pattern is to bring us to an understanding of what truly gets under the Lord’s skin. While these serve as a warning for us in our striving to honor the Lord, we must remember that whenever a warning is issued, a way to be restored follows as God alone has the ability to save us.  Remember what He told Job, “He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.” (Job 5:19). Let’s take a look at the first, the “haughty eyes” (also known as a “proud look”).

      6:12-15 Sometimes, an evil person is easy to identify. At other times, we must be careful. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 mentions a ‘mystery of iniquity’. The evil man in verses 12-15 is dangerous because his evil plan is secret. His signals are small, but these signals might help us to identify him. Matt 7:15-20 explains how to identify evil people. We must look for the results of these people’s actions. (Matt 7:18) If we see a poisonous tree, its fruit is poisonous. If we see a good tree (for example, an apple tree), its fruit is good.                                                            

      Consider the actions of the man in Proverbs 6:12-15. In verse 12, he speaks false words. Such behavior is not good. It warns us about the man’s true character. In verse 14, he starts arguments. This man’s behavior is evil. We should not trust him. We cannot see that the man is plotting an evil plan in his heart (vs 14). However, we can already hear his arguments. We can hear his false words. The results of his actions are wrong. He is like the bad tree in Matt 7:18. The man’s actions are evil, so his plan will also be evil.

     Prov 6:16-19 lists seven crooked actions that God opposes. Put them together & they make God sick! God is trying to show us what really gets under the Lord’s skin. These verses serve as a warning for us in our striving to honor the Lord. Let’s take a look at the first,  a “proud look”.

 

I: The Problem – “Haughty Eyes” (Pro 6:16a)

17 A proud look, means “haughty”. Literally “eyes of loftiness”. 

Pro 30:13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! & their eyelids are lifted up.  God hates this. Some other things we know about those with “a proud look” 

Three Things about Pride

      1) It was the first sin – Pride was the first sin committed by Satan & then again by Eve. Our flesh thinks we are greater than God & do not need His help.

2) It is an action – The prideful look down on others, categorizing them as unworthy, not my equal. “a proud look”  fails to see that another can receive the same grace offered by God through the death & resurrection of Christ. Because of these actions, God, “resists the proud”.     James 4:6

3) It can be seen – The pride of the heart is evident in the eyes or by the looks of a man through traits like rudeness, arrogance, discourtesy & self-importance.

  • Application: Psa 101:5; Pro 21:4
How do I tell if I struggle with pride?
 
 

Ask yourself these six questions:

 

4). Do I only see or find only the faults in others?

The prideful fail to see their own faults, looking to the faults of others to feel better about themselves.  “The humble Christian sees so much evil in his own that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts.” Jonathan Edwards    Matt 7:3 

 

5) Am I unkind in my Spirit?–The prideful internally speak of others with dislike, annoyance, aggravation & judgment. That internal talk multiplies pride.    2 Cor 10:5

6). Am I superficial? – Superficial means, “what exists on the surface”. The Pharisees were motivated by the praise of men.—not God. 

Jesus said three times in Matt 6:2, 5, 16 that “Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

 

7). Am I defensive? – The prideful are knocked off balance & defensive when challenged. Their desire for praise from people is greater than gaining godliness.

 

8) Do I crave attention?–The prideful seek the praise & attention that comes from men, not God.   Jn 12:43

 

9). Do I neglect others? – The prideful look to their own needs, words, & wants rather than others – ignoring the weak, inconvenient, & unattractive. (Phil 2:4) Ask yourself, “Is there any seed of truth in these questions?” Perhaps more of us struggle with pride than we thought! What do we do?                                         Psa 139:23-24          Jer 17:9-10

 

      It’s easy to take that quiz & fail. Instead of simply throwing in the towel, ask God to search you as He alone knows the heart & thoughts & can lead us to a way that is everlasting. If the Spirit is identifying these traits then move from diagnosis to remedy. Get the cure for overcoming pride.

 

II: The Remedy (Cure) – Humility

      The opposite of pride is humility. Paul listed humility as one of three virtues that enhance the Christian’s walk with God. Eph 4:2 In Greek culture, humility was thought of as a vice only practiced by slaves.

Four things we know about humility…

10) God hears the prayers of the humble – 2 Chron 7:14

 

11) Humility is for our own good & saves us – (of the Israelites in the wilderness.)  Deut 8:16 Psa18:27

 

12) Humility preserves life & gives wisdom – Psa 147:6   Prov 11:2

 

13) Humility welcomes the care of God & shows us how to care for others –     Isaiah 66:2    Phil 2:1–11

  • As servants to righteousness (Rom 6:18) it would do us well to embrace what the world has excluded…
  • Illustration: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” -Augustine
  • Application: How can I be humble? A few closing thoughts…

 

      14) Submit – The start of humility is submitting (1) to the Lord (Roms 10:9) & (2) His Word (Pro 30:5) . Refusing to submit to the Lord keeps ourselves on the throne, not God.

 

      15) Pray – Pray through the six questions revealing pride. Pray the prayer of repentance & ask for restoration & help.

 

      16) Outline & Enlist – Outline your shortcomings (not others) & develop a tangible plan (accountability, time in the Word & prayer, etc.) The prideful believe they can do it on their own but the humble have a plan!     1 Peter 5:5

 

      17) Watch – 1Cor 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Watch means we make sure that we aren’t falling back into our old routines or habits! Daily checking yourselves to see where you’re going in the right direction!

 

      18) Serve – Jesus is the definition of humility. Mark 10:45

 

      Conclusion: “Pride makes us artificial & humility makes us real.”

– Thomas Merton


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