C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
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108. Self-deceived.

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee. - Obadiah 1:3

This is true of all proud persons, for pride is self-deceit.

There may be proud persons in this congregation. Those who are sure that they have no pride are probably the proudest of all. Those who are proud of their humility are proud indeed.

The confidence that we are not deceived may only prove the completeness of the deception under which we labor.

In considering the case of the Edomites, and the pride of their hearts, let us look to ourselves that we may profit withal.

I. THEY WERE DECEIVED.

The prophet mentions certain matters in which they were deceived.

1. As to the estimate formed of them by others. They thought themselves to be had in honor, but the prophet says, "Thou art greatly despised" (see verse 2).

You might not be pleased if you knew how little others think of you; but if you think little of others you need not wonder if you are yourself greatly despised, for "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matt. 7:2).

2. As to their personal security. They felt safe, but were near their doom. "Who shall bring me down? .... I will bring thee down, saith the Lord" (verses 3 and 4). Dwelling in their rock-city of Petra was no real security to them: neither may any one of us think himself proof against misfortune, sickness, or sudden death.

3. As to their personal wisdom. They talked of "The wise man out of Edom" (verse 8); but the Lord said, "There is none understanding in him" (verse 7).

Those who know better than the Word of God know nothing.

4. As to the value of their confidences. Edom relied on alliances, but these utterly failed. "The men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee" (verse 7). Rich relatives, influential friends, tried allies all will fail those who trust in them.

II. THEIR OWN PRIDE DECEIVED THEM.

1. In each of the points mentioned above, pride lay at the bottom of their error.

2. In every way pride lays a man open to being deceived.

His judgment is perverted by it: he cannot hold the scales.

His standard is rendered inaccurate: his weights are false.

His desires invite flattery, and his folly accepts it.

3. In every case a proud man is a deceived man: he is not what he thinks himself to be; and he is blind to that part of his character which should cause him to be humble.

4. In spiritual cases it is emphatically so.

The self-righteous, self-sufficient, perfectionists, etc., are all deceived by the pride of their hearts.

III. THIS PRIDE LED THEM INTO EVIL WAYS.

1. They were full of defiance. "Who shall bring me down to the ground?" This self-asserting spirit provokes hostility and leads to wars and fighting and all manner of emulations and contentions.

2. They were destitute of compassion. "Thou stoodest on the other side" (see verses 9-12). Those of kindred race were being slain, and they had no pity. Pride is stony-hearted.

3. They even shared in oppression (see verses 13 and 14). This is not unusual among purse-proud religionists. They are not slow to profit by the nurseries of God's poor people.

4. They showed contempt of holy things. "Ye have drunk upon my holy mountain" (verse 16). God will not have his church made into a tavern, or a playhouse: yet something like this may be done even now by proud hypocrites and formalists.

IV. THESE EVIL WAYS SECURED THEIR RUIN.

l. Their defiance brought enemies upon them.

2. Their unkindness was returned into their own bosom. Verse 15 shows the lex talionis in action.

3. Their contempt of God made him say, "there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau" (verse 18).

How different the lot of despised Zion! (see verses 17 and 21) Let us seek him who in Zion is above all others "the Savior." Hating all pride, let us humbly rest in him. Then we shall not be deceived, for Jesus is "the Truth."


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