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Keep Me from
Presumptuous Sins

by Patricia Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Keep Me from Presumptuous Sins

by Patricia Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

Psalm 19:13
Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins — in other words, don't let me go forward into presumptuous sins. The reason Psalms 19 refers to presumptuous sins as plural is because there is more than one sin that would be considered as being a presumptuous sin.

Our prayer should be as David prayed in this psalm: that the Lord would keep us from presumptuous sins and that they would not have dominion over us.

Some think they can continue living in sin and get away with it. Well, it may appear that they are getting away with it now, but there is a great judgment day coming.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The dictionary defines presumptuous as: taking liberties; overstepping due bounds; going beyond what is right or proper.

Thus, to be presumptuous is the act of taking liberties, taking upon yourself something that is more than rightful or of good sense.

Keep Out!
Restricted Area!

There are those things which are established, and then there are those things which are restricted. Realize this: when something is restricted, you shouldn't try to intrude into that restricted area. Stay out of it!

There's a penalty if you go into a restricted area. For example, in a parking lot there are restrictions as to where you can park. The penalty for parking in a restricted area is that your car will be towed away at your own expense. You'll pay the price if your car is found parked in that restricted area.

Another example of a restricted area is where there are power generators. You'll see signs that state the area is dangerous, that it is restricted: Keep out!

Now, if God has set us into a certain place, into a certain position, then that is not restricted to us. But it is dangerous for us to step into a restricted area — or, we might say, an established place — if it hasn't been given us of God.

I believe there are restrictions from God on all of us. There are things we can do without getting into trouble; but just cross over into a restricted area and then we're on dangerous ground because of our disobedience.

People don't go into this presumptuous way without knowledge. They know what they're doing when they enter into an established or restricted area.

And we should know for our own sakes that we must never step into a restricted area. We must never try to change something that's been established by the Lord. If we try to go in there to do our own thing, it just won't work. It might look like we're getting away with it for a little season, but we're not.

We find examples in the Bible of those who were presumptuous — such as the accounts of Absalom and Adonijah (read II Samuel 15 and I Kings 1). Each of these men exalted himself to be king in David's place. They both tried to take their father's throne. And each of them looked successful for a season, but neither became king because God had not appointed either of them to become king. God had anointed their father David as king and chose Solomon to succeed his father on the throne.

If God doesn't appoint you to do something, you'd better back off and leave it alone. Don't intrude. Sometimes we like to make something our business when it really has nothing to do with us.

It may be we don't like the way things are set up — we don't like the restrictions — and, thus, we take it upon ourselves to go in and try to change things to suit our own fancy.

Listen, you're going to get in trouble with God if you mess around with His business.

King Uzziah

One day King Uzziah suffered the consequences of being presumptuous (see II Chronicles 26:16-23). Just because he was king didn't give him the right to go into a restricted area and act presumptuously.

Some think because they're in leadership they can jump into anyone else's restricted or established area. But we all have to stay within our God-appointed bounds or we'll find we've gotten into a dangerous position with the Lord. God Almighty, Himself, will have to deal with us, and we'll suffer the consequences of it.

II Chronicles 26:16
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

Uzziah was a young person when he began to reign; he was just sixteen years old. It seemed like God really blessed this young man (see II Chronicles 26:8-15).

II Chronicles 26:8
And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.

  • built towers in Jerusalem, and fortified them;
  • built towers in the desert;
  • dug many wells for his cattle and husbandry;
  • had an host of fighting men: 2,600 chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour; 307,500 under their hand, that made war with mighty power, to help him against the enemy.
  • made engines in Jerusalem to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks to shoot arrows and great stones.

Now, in verse 7 we read where God helped Uzziah against his enemies. He was really blessed . . . until . . .

We are told in verse 15 that his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. Everything was going along just fine. Uzziah was blessed on this side and on that side. But the time came when all of that success caused him to become lifted up.

Pride Brings Low

We have to be very careful when God begins to bless us that we don't get lifted up in our heart. God wants to use us. He is good to us, blessing our lives. But when He begins to use us, if we get lifted up with pride, we can rest assured that He will bring us low.

God knows how to set up the lowly and He knows how to humble the lofty. He'll lift the humble and put the high and mighty down.

If we exalt ourselves, it's a sure thing that we will be abased (see Matthew 23:12).

We've got to be careful what we do, even when we're in leadership. If God uses our life in any way, we can't take the credit for it. We cannot get lifted up in our heart over it. If we do, our heart will smite us with the dealings of God.

I don't believe we can do something like this without feeling the chastisement of God upon us, because He really loves us. He doesn't want us to get into a place where He has to resist us afar off.

Psalm 138:6
Though the LORD be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off.

God doesn't want us in a place where He's going to resist us. He wants us in the place of walking in humility at all times: where nothing we do phases us nor lifts us up.

God Should Get the Glory

Oh yes, we can be happy when souls get saved. The angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner that repents.

Remember one thing, though: One sows, one waters, but it is God who gives the increase. Just because someone prays the sinner's prayer when you witness to them, that doesn't mean you saved their soul! God gave the increase! God saved that soul!

And, therefore, God should have all the glory!

We cannot save a soul. We couldn't even save our own soul! Understand that. So we should never, never, never get lifted up because souls come to us and pray the sinner's prayer.

We can be happy and rejoice when sinners have come to Christ because we were obedient to preach the Gospel to them. Yes, we can be happy — not proud.

Pride should have no part in us whatsoever. Pride is an area where the devil has an inroad into many lives. They're proud of their accomplishments, proud of their ability, proud of their this and their that.

Just stop here for a moment and think: Who gave you that ability in the first place? Is there room for you to glory and be proud just because you were able to do something? Don't you know that you're robbing God of His rightful glory! If you have an ability to do anything, all the glory belongs to Him.

Realize that it just takes a split second for you to become like a vegetable, where you can do nothing for yourself.

Think things through here.

Some feel they have such great wisdom, such great knowledge, such great understanding. They're a know-it-all, when, actually, none of us knows it all!

So, when you consider the ability you have, know that it is God Who has given that ability to you and it is nothing of yourself.

I thank God that He gives me insight into many things. I know it is nothing of my own. It is God who has given the insight, and I give Him glory for it.

In ourselves we are nothing, we have nothing. We each have a brain, but Who made that brain? Did you put your brain into your head? No! Once again, it's God. It's God Who gave you that brain, and it is God Who gave you the ability to use it.

Stop and consider some of those ways you have. See if you have been robbing God of His glory by trying to receive the glory for yourself.

Examine yourself.

If this is speaking of you, then know that you are being presumptuous and proud, that you have a proud way about you. It's in your heart, and it's something that must be dealt with and put down.

Pride: the Root of Presumptuous Sins

Do you have a desire to be better than others? to be smarter than others? to have more wisdom than others? to be the greatest?

John 13:16
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than He that sent him.

There are many sins connected with being presumptuous, such as the sins of pride and rebellion — rising up to intrude into an office where you have no place to be, a place that is restricted or established.

Presumptuous sins are rooted in pride: taking undue liberty, intruding into something that is established.

A rebellious person will be presumptuous and rise up to see if they can change things to the way they like it, to the way they want it to be.

Watch out! Don't fool around when it comes to God's business.

You're in deep trouble when you start messing with God. You might be able to mess around with man and get away with it, but you're not going to mess with God and get away with it. No way! You will not get away with it! You've got to be careful what you do. When you do something wrong, God is the One you have to answer to.

This is why these are called presumptuous sins: presuming it's all right to intrude where you have no business intruding.

That's why David prayed:

Psalm 19:13
Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

We all should pray this way: Keep me back from presumptuous sins, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

We've got to watch what we're doing here. It's a great transgression to be presumptuous. As we have seen, pride and rebellion are both presumptuous sins.

Uzziah's Sin of Presumption

II Chronicles 26:16
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

Uzziah's sin of presumption was to intrude into the office of burning incense upon the altar of incense. This job was restricted to the Levites; all others were considered strangers and would be put to death if they attempted to intrude into this office (see Numbers 18).

It didn't matter that Uzziah was the king; he was not allowed to come near the altar to burn incense. There was a restriction given which God had established.

Uzziah came against the restrictions God had given for the priesthood and transgressed against God in doing this.

I Corinthians 10:11,12
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

In reading the Scriptures we can see and understand what God has said, and not just what some man or woman says God has said. In the Scriptures we have seen the dangers of being presumptuous in the lives of these three men: Absalom, Adonijah and King Uzziah. And, as we read further, we can also see the results of this sin.

Absalom's Presumption

The example of Absalom teaches us just how dangerous presumptuous sins can really be (see II Samuel 18). Absalom didn't gain anything by striving to take his father's throne. He would have lived if he had just been satisfied in the place where he was, instead of stealing the hearts of the people from David. But in his rebellion and pride he wanted nothing less than taking his father's throne.

Absalom's head got caught in a tree and the mule that was under him went away, leaving him hanging there. Then Joab came along and thrust three darts through his heart!

Back to Uzziah

We want to look again at Uzziah to get this lesson imprinted in our heart:

II Chronicles 26:16
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

Notice, he transgressed against God. He went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense — a place where he had no right to be.

II Chronicles 26:17
And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men

Think of that! Eighty one priests went in after Uzziah!

II Chronicles 26:18
And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.

Here we see why this was a presumptuous sin on the part of Uzziah: Only the priests the sons of Aaron were consecrated to burn incense unto the Lord.

II Chronicles 26:19
Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.

This was another sin. Can you see the danger of these presumptuous sins? They lead from one sin to another.

II Chronicles 26:21a
And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD

The Lord smote Uzziah with leprosy because of his presumptuous sins. This account should cause us to want to stay far away from any presumptuous sin. When the priests withstood Uzziah, he became wroth. In other words, he was very, very angry!

Uzziah was cut off from the house of the Lord, never able to enter the temple again. This was a serious matter. Wouldn't it be awful to be cut off from God's people, cut off from the house of God?

Being a leper meant one couldn't even live in the camp. They had to be put out from the midst of the camp and cry out, "Unclean, unclean" when anyone came near them.

You might say, "But this is just Old Testament!"

Romans 15:4
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

We can learn from these examples if we have a mind to learn. Yes, if we want to, we can learn something here. We can learn that it's a great transgression against our God to rise up into something that He hasn't put us into or to do something which He hasn't told us to do.

Adonijah's Presumption

Before going any further, we want to see what happened to Adonijah because of his presumption. He went to Bathsheba, his mother, with a request:

I Kings 2:15,16
And he said, Thou knowest that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: howbeit the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's: for it was his from the LORD. And now I ask one petition of thee, deny me not. And she said unto him, Say on.

Adonijah wasn't able to succeed in gaining his father's throne, so now he was about to ask his mother if she could arrange for him to have Abishag to be his wife.

Abishag was the virgin who had ministered to David in his old age. We are told in I Kings 1 that she cherished David and ministered to him, but he knew her not.

Solomon was now king, and he dealt with his brother's continued presumptuous sins:

I Kings 2:23,24
Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and Who hath made me an house, as He promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.

Have Confidence in God
Not Yourself

Another definition of being presumptuous is: to have excessive boldness; over confidence in oneself (in thought or in conduct).

It's nice to be confident in what God has done for us. We should have great confidence in God. On the other hand, if we have excessive confidence in ourselves, it could cause us to fall into presumptuous sins.

It would be better to be a little nobody than to get oneself into trouble with God. It would be better to be the little toenail on the smallest toe than to try and be the head.

In the Scriptures we find several words that describe a presumptuous person. One of these words is arrogancy, where a person is egotistical and proud about their ways. Their ego runs away with them, getting them into trouble.

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Resistance and pride can easily cause someone to fall into these presumptuous sins.

Don't Resist or Alter God's Word

Some resist the preaching of God's Word, hoping to break the preacher down to only preach what they want to hear.

But those in leadership have to be sure they don't allow people to sway them away from what God would have them speak. If they do, they will get in trouble with God and have to answer to Him.

When God has a standard or a certain way, then we have to remain faithful to that, even if others kick up their heels against us and resist us. We have to remain firm.

Have you ever resisted someone because they were preaching the Word? While they were preaching, was there a resistance in you towards them?

If there was, know this: The devil was using you, trying to get at the preacher while they ministered the Word. If you're guilty of this type of thing, you need to get it out of your life because you're headed down the wrong road.

People resist because of their pride. Be careful that you're not guilty of doing this. Never resist anyone because they stand up and preach the Word of God.

It's not one's private interpretation of the Word that counts (see II Peter 1:20). We are told in II Timothy 2:15 to rightly divide the Word of Truth. We can't treat the Word like a piece of fish where we eat the meat and throw the bones away.

We preachers have to stand on the Word of God. We can't change it just because people are wanting it to fit their situation.

You might find some preachers who will tell you it's all right: "God understands your problem. Just do what you want to do; God will understand." And they get you into a mess that may destroy your soul!

Many ministers are going to have to stand before God because of the things they did which led the people of God away from the truth.

Listen, if man's word is contrary to the Word of God, then the Word of God must be the final authority. If that contrary thing isn't in our heart, we will take the Word of God as it is written and not have to find someone to agree with us.

Don't pay mind to man's word if it disagrees with God's Word. Go right back to the Word of God and stand on "Thus saith the Lord"!

Psalm 19:13
Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

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