Foolish Pride

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Napoleon and his French armies seemed invincible. They had dominated Europe, winning battle after battle. Filled with arrogant confidence on this day in 1812, Napoleon and his armies embarked on a new adventure: the conquest of Russia.

Napoleon entered this endeavor fully confident in himself and his men. But he did not realize the devastating impact of the Russian weather. They also would face the challenge of disease and food shortages.

Why had Napoleon embarked on such a daring campaign? One historian comments that “His personal history in these years is a tale of hubris and nemesis.” In the grip of massive pride, Napoleon simply felt he could do anything and that he could force the Russians to fight on his terms. Instead, as one historian has summarized, the Russian army adapted a plan “to wear down Napoleon by a defensive campaign.” This forced him to fight a “kind of war he was least equipped to wage.”

Napoleon would pay a high price for his arrogance, as his army, for all practical purposes, was destroyed. After just six months, only 100,000 of his 600,000 soldiers had survived. Those who survived were forced to retreat, leaving Russia behind. The attempt to conquer Russia had been a catastrophe.

History is filled with stories of men and women whose actions have been based on this kind of self-aggrandizement. They are “fools,” because they trust in themselves and don’t seek God. The Bible tells us that God “detests the proud” (Proverbs 16:3). If you want His blessings, you must “commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and he will help you” (Psalm 37:3).

In your life, ask God to free you of pride and any inflated opinion of yourself. Humble yourself and commit all your ways to Him, seeking Him for every decision. And seek to be led by His Spirit in everything you do.