To the arrogant I say, “Boast no more,” and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horns. Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak so defiantly.” Psalm 75:4-5
God hates arrogance and defiant speech. Arrogance comes from pride and is a refusal to acknowledge our dependence on God. Defiant speech is ignoring our limitation and speak, as if, we’re able to achieve anything we desire.
We deceive ourselves when we are arrogant. We act like we’re in control of our lives and can determine outcomes by our own choices. We’re blind to how little control we have over our lives—we can’t even take our next breath unless God allows it. We’re also blind to the gifting and talents God has given us and act like we achieve these blessings by our own efforts.
Isaiah writes about the arrogance of the Babylonian rulers: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:13-14).
These verses have also been attributed to Satan, and although this isn’t stated in the text, it’s easy to see the connection. And perhaps it was Satan who initiated these thoughts in the Babylonian rulers. Isaiah tells us the outcome of this thinking: “But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit” (Isaiah 14:16).
The surprising twist is that in God’s economy, trying to make ourselves God’s equal, makes us less like God. We imitate God when we’re humble. Jesus is our example.