If we understand Satan’s rebellion properly, we see that his great sin was pride. It was the motivating force for him to desire to take God’s place. We usually 17 shametake the words of Isaiah 14:14 to be those spoken by Satan. In that passage he says, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Thus, pride is often referred to as the source of all sin. Well, the wisest man in the world tells us that it always comes before a fall (see Proverbs 16:18). But, later on in Proverbs 11:2, he says something just a little different. The King James Version says, “When pride comes, then comes shame.”

Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was motivated out of pride as well. Satan’s temptation was that we’d be like God, knowing good and evil. One aspect of this temptation was to pride fully break away from God’s instructions regarding good and evil and take upon ourselves the right to decide what’s wrong and right. It’s choosing to take God’s place in our own lives. It led to the “Fall.” That’s what we call Genesis chapter three where Eve speaks to Adam and Adam chooses to eat of the offered fruit from the tree. The fall of all mankind! Pride, indeed, led to a great fall. I believe Lewis Carol’s children’s poem, “Humpty Dumpty” was written to teach this lesson. You know it! All the king’s horses, and all the kings’ men, couldn’t put humpty dumpty together again.

In Genesis 2:25 the man and woman were naked and they didn’t even notice it. The text says “they were not ashamed.” But as soon as they ate of the tree to become like God they were naked and afraid and hid themselves (Genesis 3:9-10). Both pride and shame can have a similar effect as far as our relationship with God is concerned. Max Lucado writes in “He Chose the Nails,” “Pride says, ‘You’re too good for him.’ Shame says, ‘You’re too bad for him.’ Pride drives you away. Shame keeps you away. If pride is what goes before a fall, then shame is what keeps you from getting up after one.” Peter teaches us about something more powerful than all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men. We can be good again. In 1 Peter 2:6 we read, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”