Daily Devotionals

Forgotten War: Week 1 - Wednesday

For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.' Isaiah 14:13

Buried back in the pages of the Old Testament, Isaiah sees a vision of what is a taunt for the King of Babylon. At the surface, this looks to be a pronouncement against the nation of Babylon for harassing the Jewish people. However, midway through this judgment for the people who made the lives of the Israelites horrible, the vision turns and seems to have a deeper meaning. In Isaiah 14:12, it says, "How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world." Many scholars look at this verse as a description of Satan's fall from heaven.

Satan, at one time, was in a prominent position of power in the counsel of God. He was an angel with power and authority, but his pride got the best of him. Ezekiel 28 talks about his wisdom and exquisite beauty as a created being. But, in his own heart, he wanted to be greater than God, and wanted to have the power to rule over all. With his cunning ability, somehow, he convinced one-third of the angels to turn away from God and to follow him in his rebellion. (Revelation 12:4,9) Satan had forgotten that God had created him with all of his gifts, talents, and abilities. Instead of giving the credit to God, he takes the honor for himself. For this reason, God kicks Satan out of heaven to the earth.

Satan knows the ins and outs of pride. He knew that it was his downfall, and he uses this same weakness within humanity to drive us away from God. Pride causes people to think they can do life on their own without God's help. Those who are lost see those of us as followers of Jesus as needy and pathetic in that we have to depend upon God, church, and community, while they are self-sufficient. Their pride in their own knowledge, understanding, or education holds them back from believing in what is unseen. Pride also affects those who follow Jesus Christ when they gain an attitude that looks down on others. We can assume that God loves us more than the lost because we live in obedience to Him. In some people, this causes them not to welcome the lost with open arms but to be a culture that is judgmental and cold. Their obedience becomes disobedient.

We have to remember that our enemy was once in God's inner circle of favor and trust, but his own pride got the best of him, costing him dearly. We have to eliminate the deep roots of pride from every aspect of our own lives, or it will cost us dearly as well.

Moving Toward Action

As you reflect on the fall of Satan and how pride got the best of him, think about your own life. Begin to work through where your own pride is getting the best of you. It may be that you have forgotten that there is a lost world that desperately needs Jesus, and in your own pride, you have become judgmental. It could be that you have slowly moved from depending on God's strength to doing life under your own power. It might even be that you are seeking the approval of other people instead of working to please God. Work through some areas of pride that you are struggling with and ask God to give you a humble heart.

Going Deeper

Read Isaiah 14:12-23 (NLT)

“How you are fallen from heaven,
    O shining star, son of the morning!
You have been thrown down to the earth,
    you who destroyed the nations of the world.
For you said to yourself,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars.
I will preside on the mountain of the gods
    far away in the north.
I will climb to the highest heavens
    and be like the Most High.’
Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead,
    down to its lowest depths.
Everyone there will stare at you and ask,
‘Can this be the one who shook the earth
    and made the kingdoms of the world tremble?
Is this the one who destroyed the world
    and made it into a wasteland?
Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities
    and had no mercy on his prisoners?’

“The kings of the nations lie in stately glory,
    each in his own tomb,
but you will be thrown out of your grave
    like a worthless branch.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,
    you will be dumped into a mass grave
    with those killed in battle.
You will descend to the pit.
    You will not be given a proper burial,
for you have destroyed your nation
    and slaughtered your people.
The descendants of such an evil person
    will never again receive honor.
Kill this man’s children!
    Let them die because of their father’s sins!
They must not rise and conquer the earth,
    filling the world with their cities.”

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
    “I, myself, have risen against Babylon!
I will destroy its children and its children’s children,”
    says the Lord.
“I will make Babylon a desolate place of owls,
    filled with swamps and marshes.
I will sweep the land with the broom of destruction.
    I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”