Pride is a terrible sin; perhaps far more terrible than many of us realize. The Bible says that God will give His grace to the humble, but He Himself will resist the proud. (see James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
In Daniel 4 we read of the pride of a king named Nebuchadnezzar and how God broke this boastful man. “As the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, ‘Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?’ The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, ‘This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.’ Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle.” (Daniel 4:29-33)
Immediately Nebuchadnezzar was changed from being a monarch into a maniac. Hair grew out on his body like feathers and his nails curled under him like the claws of a bird. The people reacted by driving him out of the city, and we can be sure that many mocked him, who once ruled so mightily over them.
Yet God was not trying to destroy Nebuchadnezzar. Instead God was breaking him so that He might remake him. The Bible says – ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump…’
Nebuchadnezzar’s trial lasted seven seasons; seven being the number of completion and perfection. At the end of God’s appointed time, Nebuchadnezzar was restored, this time not to be filled with human pride, but with humble praise.
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:34-37)
The Bible says – “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)