This lesson is another in a series from Proverbs that our entire church is doing. The lesson was prepared for a small group of students ranging from age 5-10. This lesson focuses on how the path of pride leads to destruction and the path of humility leads to wisdom.
Bible Passage: Proverbs 11:2, 16:18, 29:23, Daniel 4
Bible Story Title: Proverbs-Two Paths: Pride & Humility
Target Age Group: Ages 5-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Supply List: Bibles, pens, pencils, activity pages, visuals for Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 4),
Learning Goal: Students will discover that the path of pride leads to destruction and the path of humility leads to wisdom.
Learning Activity #1: Activity Pages
Learning Activity #2: Bible Sword Drill-choose verses dealing with pride and humility. Here are a few examples (Psalm 147:6; Isaiah 2:17; Daniel 5:17-23; Matthew 23:12; Philippians 2:8; James 4:6,10; 1 Peter 5:5-6)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Bible Lesson: Proverbs-Two Paths: Pride & Humility
(Begin with prayer.)
1. Two Paths: Pride and Humility
We are continuing our study in the Book of Proverbs. We have been learning that wisdom is putting into practice the truth that we know from God’s Word.
Let’s read our memory verse for today. Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
What does pride mean? Can you give an example of pride?
Pride: An overly high sense of one’s own value; conceit; arrogance. (Wordsmyth.net)
- The path of pride leads to disgrace. Disgrace is a loss of respect, honor or esteem; shame (dictionary.com)
What does humble mean? (Humble-To lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase. To destroy the independence, power, or will of. To make meek)
- The path of humility leads to wisdom that honors God.
Let’s look up a couple more verses from Proverbs that teach us the dangers of pride. Read Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” and Proverbs 29:23 “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” Both of these verses tell us that pride leads us on path of destruction.
2. Why Pride destroys
Pride is sin and sin always destroys (Rom. 6:16). Pride causes us to think and act like we know better than God. We can never know more than God because He knows all things (1 John 3:20). God sees everything (Heb. 4:13; Prov. 15:3). God created everything and everything belongs to Him. The very breath in our lungs is from God. We need God for everything.
We need to trust (believe) God is who He says He is and will do all that He says He will do from what is written in His Word. When we begin to think we are smart enough to do things without His help, we are saying, ‘I am god’ which is very prideful and very dangerous and places us on the path of disgrace/destruction.
The Bible tells us that Satan was kicked out of heaven because of pride. He was an angel created by God who said in his heart, “I will make myself like the Most High God.” (Isaiah 14:12-16). God cast Satan out of heaven and one day he will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15). The ultimate destruction for Satan’s pride against the One True God is being cast into the lake of fire for the rest of eternity.
3. Nebuchadnezzar’s Example
God’s Word gives us an example of how pride brings disgrace but with the humble is wisdom in a passage of Scripture that may be very familiar to you. It is found in Daniel 4.
Nebuchadnezzar was a very powerful king in Babylon. One night he had a dream that made him very afraid. Daniel a Jewish man was living in Babylon as a result of God’s punishment for the sins of His people. Daniel was a wise man because he knew God’s Word and put into practice what God’s word taught. When none of Nebuchadnezzar’s ‘wise men’ could interpret his frightening dream he asked Daniel for help.
Nebuchadnezzar told Daniel what he saw in his dream. “I saw a tree in the middle of the earth and it was very tall. The tree grew and became very strong. The leaves were beautiful and there was so much fruit on the tree that it had enough food for everyone. The animals could rest in the shade of this tree and the birds lived in the branches. As I looked at this tree, an angel came down from heaven. He said in a loud voice, “Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals run and the birds fly away. Leave the stump of the tree in the ground and put a bronze band around it. Let him live with the beasts that eat from the grass of the earth. Change his mind from the mind of a man to the mind of a beast for seven years. This is going to happen so that the living will know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will and sets over it the lowliest of men.”
Daniel explained the dream and told Nebuchadnezzar that the tree represented him. He had become a very powerful king and his greatness was widely known. God had given Nebuchadnezzar this dream because he would be driven from living among people and will live among animals in the field. He will eat grass like an ox and live in the fields for seven years until he knows that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will. The stump will remain because once he acknowledges that God rules over all he will be given his kingdom back.
After telling Nebuchadnezzar the dream, Daniel urged him to turn away from his sins. Un-fortunately Nebuchadnezzar didn’t listen. One year later Nebuchadnezzar was walking about on the roof of his palace and he said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power for the glory of my majesty?” While the words were still in his mouth a voice from heaven said, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you.” Immediately all that he had seen in his dream that Daniel interpreted happened. Nebuchadnezzar was no longer living among people but was roaming around the fields like the animals. At the exact time that God said it would happen, seven years, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his eyes to heaven, he was given back the mind of a man and he praised and honored the Most High God. When Nebuchadnezzar gave praise and honor where it rightly belonged to God, his kingdom was returned to him and he began to rule as the king of Babylon again.
Nebuchadnezzar’s pride brought him disgrace. He lost his kingdom and roamed around like an animal in a field for a time. He showed wisdom when he humbled himself and gave God praise and honor. After he praised God he was restored back to his throne. Let’s read what he says in Daniel 4:37: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are right and His ways are just; and those who walk in pride He is able to humble.”
We guard our hearts by trusting God instead of ourselves. We read His Word so we can know what God says about Himself and what He is going to do and how we should live to please Him.
A truth from God’s word that will help you guard your heart by putting into practice what God says to you is from Colossians 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”. Each day we can pray and trust that God will help us put on humility to live out through the day.
Pride is sin. Pride causes people to reject Jesus as the only way to have sins forgiven and made righteous before God. This pride will cause a person to spend the rest of eternity in the lake of fire leading to a destruction that can never be reversed. Today is the day of salvation. If you have not put your faith in Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for your sins, you still have an opportunity to put your faith in Jesus to save you from your sins. If you have parents who are followers of Christ and have questions about how to be saved please talk to them about that today. If you do not have believers in your home please talk to me after we pray.
As a believer are you guarding your heart from pride by trusting God for everything and giving Him all the praise? If God has shown you where you are prideful you can repent, ask forgiveness for your sin and power to overcome through the Holy Spirit living inside you.
(Close in prayer)
- What is pride? (Pride is sin because it makes us act and think we know better than God)
- What path does pride lead to? (Disgrace, destruction)
- What path does humility lead to? (Wisdom)
- What did Nebuchadnezzar dream about? (Allow responses, big tree, tree getting cut down, etc.)
- Who explained what the dream meant? (Daniel)
- What did the dream mean? (Allow responses)
- Why did Nebuchadnezzar have his kingdom taken away? (He was prideful)
- How did Nebuchadnezzar live after his kingdom was taken away? (Like an animal living in the fields)
- True or False-King Nebuchadnezzar praised and honored God as ruler of all and he was given his kingdom back.
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