Isaiah 14:12-14, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! [13] You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God; I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (ESV).

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5

This portion of scripture has sometimes referred to Lucifer, and yet many consider that it may well apply to various kings from the Old Testament, namely the king of Tyre and the king of Babylon. But as we know, Satan comes as an angel of light and his throne was cast down as he fell into the bowels of the earth, where he set up his dark kingdom.

And yet, each in their own hearts said that they alone would do these things to set up their kingdom. “I will advance myself above the state of weak and mortal men. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God — above all other kings and potentates; or, above the most eminent persons of God’s church. I will sit upon the mount of the congregation. “I alone can fix it.”

By putting words like these into the mouths of the kings of Babylon, the prophet means to show their excessive pride, and the confidence which they entertained, that they should perpetually reign over the Jews. And yet as we know, the sin of pride continues today. We see it all around us, and we are warned that “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. “ Proverbs 16:18

Jesus is often called “The bright and Morning Star,” and his presence shines brighter than any heavenly orb or constellation could ever shine. Lucifer as an archangel was considered to be beautiful at one time. Lucifer was established by God to be the angel of worship, one whose ministry surrounded the heart of heaven. Lucifer was created to dwell eternally in the throne room of heaven, in the very presence of God (Ezekiel 28:14).

The name, Lucifer, means 'day star,' or 'son of the morning.' Many recognize it as an alternate name of Satan, the fallen angel. But prior to his downfall, Lucifer was a magnificent being with a unique ministry. Unfortunately, pride overtook his heart, and sin cost him everything.

God sets up kings and takes down others, and we as people know of their deeds throughout history, as to whether or not they ruled with justice and mercy, and not in arrogance and pride.

We have many examples throughout history, and biblically, when leaders fell because of pride and arrogance.

21 And upon a set day Herod arrayed himself in royal apparel, and sat on the throne, and made an oration unto them. 22 And the people shouted, saying, The voice of a god, and not of a man. 23 And immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. Acts. 12

Nebuchadnezzar struggled with pride. At the zenith of his power, the great Babylonian king had a dream about a tree from which the whole world was fed and where every bird found a place to roost in its branches. Later he watches the tree being cut down, and the worried king seeks an interpretation. The prophet Daniel informs Nebuchadnezzar that the monarch is the tree who will be cut down. Daniel advises him to turn from his sinful ways, live righteously, and show mercy on the poor.

For a short period of time, the prophet Daniel speaks to King Nebuchadnezzar, and he manages to humble himself. The king continues to win battles, and on a certain day, he goes out to one of his luxurious balconies to admire his kingdom. He then proclaims,

“Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).

This sounds very much like the great star of the morning, Lucifer. For in his great pride and self-glory, he fell to the earth. And interestingly enough,

“While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee” (v. 31).

And afterwards, God took away the king’s wisdom, intelligence, and power. Nebuchadnezzar became like a wild animal crawling around on his hands and knees. None of his servants or advisors could help him, and didn’t know what to do with him. They refused to let others know about his condition, and sent him off into a pasture eating grass like an ox.

After seven years God restored Nebuchadnezzar’s mind as before. The lesson is clear that only God deserves our glory and praise.

If you exalt yourself, striving for position and honor, you will be humbled by God. If you humble yourself, God will find a way to exalt you, in this life or the one to come in eternity. This applies to us individually, to a king or a queen, or to any leader who attempts to rule the land by their hand alone.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

Stephen Hanson