“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty.”
Charles Spurgeon wrote,” It is an old and common saying, that ‘coming events cast their shadows before them;’ the wise man teaches us that a haughty heart is the prophetic prelude of evil. Pride is as safely the sign of destruction as the change of mercury in the weather-glass is the sign of rain; and far more infallibly so than that. When men have ridden the high horse, destruction has always overtaken them.” King David, who was referred to as a man “after God’s heart”, could still fall before pride. When his heart was lifted up in pride, God “incited him” to number–take a census of–the population of his nation, in order to take pride in the number of fighting men. His pride caused the nation to suffer:
But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 2 Sam. 24:10-15.
See Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty builder of Babylon, the most powerful ruler on earth, creeping on the earth, devouring grass like oxen, until his nails had grown like bird’s claws, and his hair like eagle’s feathers. Nebuchadnezzar was warned by God in a dream to forsake his extreme pride, and the prophet Daniel beseeched him to heed the warning. But no. At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 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?” While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. – Daniel 4:29-33.
Spurgeon: “Pride made the boaster a beast, as once before it made an angel a devil. God hates high looks, and never fails to bring them down. All the arrows of God are aimed at proud hearts. O Christian, is thine heart haughty this evening? For pride can get into the Christian’s heart as well as into the sinner’s; it can delude him into dreaming that he is ‘rich and increased in goods, and hath need of nothing.’ Art thou glorying in thy graces or thy talents? Art thou proud of thyself, that thou hast had holy frames and sweet experiences? Mark thee, reader, there is a destruction coming to thee also. Thy flaunting poppies of self-conceit will be pulled up by the roots, thy mushroom graces will wither in the burning heat, and thy self-sufficiency shall become as straw for the dunghill. If we forget to live at the foot of the cross in deepest lowliness of spirit, God will not forget to make us smart under his rod. A destruction will come to thee, O unduly exalted believer, the destruction of thy joys and of thy comforts, though there can be no destruction of thy soul. Wherefore, ‘He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord’.”
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18. Before destruction a mans heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. If one gives an answer before he hears the matter it is his folly and shame. Proverbs 18:12-13. When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord. Proverbs 19:3. Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2.