One human trait stands out in the Bible as the ‘master sin’, which leads to so many others and becomes more entrenched as time goes by, yet is widely promoted. But God’s immeasurable love has provided a way of escape and eternal life.
‘He hath put down the mighty from their seat and exalted them of low degree; he hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away.
The subject is ‘the most influential sin of all’ and it is of course human pride. Now this is part of Mary’s remarkable song of thanksgiving – it reflects from Old Testament times Hannah’s prayer (Hannah, the mother of Samuel) and includes in it allusions to many other Old Testament passages, also showing that Mary’s mind was richly furnished with scripture, and as she utters this prayer it reflects various passages to be found there in the Old Testament.
Our verses this evening are about the proud: ‘he hath put down the mighty from their seat and exalted them of low degree.’ We shall be thinking about one human trait: pride. Just one, but the most influential sin of them all. Look at the words which are used here, they’re amazing terms: ‘hath put down the mighty from their seats; exalted them of low degree; filled the hungry with good things; the rich he hath sent empty away; he hath showed strength with his arm; (listen to this) he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.’ What a fantastic definition of pride. That’s so full of meaning and so powerfully descriptive. Well, we see it in history: God’s punishment of mighty empires.