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I have always liked the name of the Christian singing group – Jars of Clay. It is an apt expression of the humility and privilege of serving the majestic King of the Universe – “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:7).

The band describes the derivation of their name:

“The four of them decided they’d like to write additional songs to add to their live repertoire and satisfy the requirements of their recording studio class, but thought it would be appropriate to give a name to these collaborations. Charlie recalled a Bible verse he had read which discussed the frailty of man, and the irony that this amazing life has been breathed into our frail, physical bodies by our Lord. This passage, which related the struggles of man and the testing of our wills and bodies, which ultimately provides us the strength to endure the hardships of life, included the phrase “Jars of Clay”. The phrase was penned by the Apostle Paul, and was from 2 Corinthians, chapter four verse seven: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”. The band thought that was a good way to keep themselves humble – to have a band name that would force them to continually realize that all of their blessings had come from God, including this talent to write songs that their classmates enjoyed. So in January of 1994, Jars of Clay was born.”

But in order to arrive spiritually at the place where one can truly radiate the glory of God and the light of the knowledge of the Son of God, our Pride must first be shattered. Notice I did not say Wounded . . . or Confessed . . . but Shattered.




Moab offers a perfect picture of the shattering of human pride: “I have broken Moab like an undesirable vessel” (:38)

A. The Source of the Sin Problem

“he has become arrogant toward the Lord” (:26)

“We have heard of the pride of Moab – he is very proud – of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.” (:29)

“Because he has become arrogant toward the Lord” (:42)

  • Too High a View of Self

“for because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures” (:7)

“Moab has been at ease since his youth” (:11)

“his idle boasts have accomplished nothing” (:30)

  • Too Low a View of God

He is “the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel” (:1)

He is “the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts” (:15)

  • Evidenced by Idolatry:

    “the one who offers sacrifice on the high place and the one who burns incense to his gods.” (:35)

B. The Shattering of Every Stronghold – graphic words and images of destruction and judgment

  • “destroyed” (:1)

  • “captured” (:1) – thought she was impregnable

  • “shattered” (:1)

  • “devised calamity against her” (:2)

  • “Come and let us cut her off” (:2)

  • “silenced” (:2) – had arrogantly mouthed off incessantly

  • “The sword will follow after you” (:2) – had boasted in carving up others

  • “Devastation and great destruction” (:3)

  • “Moab is broken” (:4)

  • “anguished cry of destruction” (:5)

  • “captured” (:7)

  • “go off into exile” (:7)

  • “a destroyer will come to every city . . . the valley also will be ruined, and the plateau will be destroyed” (:8)

  • “her cities will become a desolation” (:9)

  • “Moab has been destroyed . . . his choicest young men have also gone down to the slaughter” (:15)

  • “The disaster of Moab will soon come, and his calamity has swiftly hastened.” (:16)

  • “For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you, he has ruined your strongholds.” (:18)

  • “Moab has been destroyed” (:20)

  • “The horn of Moab has been cut off, and his arm broken” (:25)

  • “even the waters of Nimrim will become desolate.” (:34)

  • “Kerioth has been captured and the strongholds have been seized.” (:41)

C. The Severity of the Shattering: “How shattered it is!” (:39)

  • Described as the Lord’s Work of Judgment – Slackers not tolerated: “Cursed be the one who does the Lord’s work negligently, and cursed be the one who restrains his sword from blood.” (:10)

  • Described as the Lord’s judgment (:21)

  • Unexpected in Light of Relative Security: “Therefore behold, the days are coming when I shall send to him those who tip vessels, and they will tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars.” (:12)

  • Certain and Swift: “’Behold, one will fly swiftly like an eagle, and spread out his wings against Moab. . . For I shall bring upon her, even upon Moab, the year of their punishment,’ declares the Lord.” (:44)

  • Complete and Final

“And I shall make an end of Moab” (:35)

“Moab will be destroyed from being a people” (:42)

D. The Shame of the Shattering

“Kiriathaim has been put to shame” (:1)

“the lofty stronghold has been put to shame” (:1)

“There is praise for Moab no longer” (:2)

“cry of distress” (:4)

“with continual weeping” (:5)

“And Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh [chief Moabite deity], as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence. How can you say, ‘We are mighty warriors, and men valiant for battle?’” (:13-14)

“Mourn for him . . . even all of you who know his name [reputation]; Say, ‘How has the mighty scepter been broken, a staff of splendor! Come down from your glory and sit on the parched ground . . .” (:17-18)

“Moab has been put to shame, for it has been shattered.” (:20)

“Moab will wallow in his vomit, and he also will become a laughingstock.” (:26)

“For every head is bald and every beard cut short; there are gashes on all the hands and sackcloth on the loins.” (:37)

“There is lamentation everywhere” (:38)

“How they have wailed! How Moab has turned his back – he is ashamed! So Moab will become a laughingstock and an object of terror to all around him.” (:39)

E. The Sadness of Abundant Loss

“So gladness and joy are taken away. From the fruitful field, even from the land of Moab. And I have made the wine to cease from the wine presses; No one will tread them with shouting, the shouting will not be shouts of joy.” (:33)

“They have lost the abundance it produced.” (:36)

F. The Hope of Future Restoration

“’Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days,’ declares the Lord.” (:47)

“Thus far the judgment on Moab.” (:47)


“But at the end of that period” (:34) – Nebuchadnezzar had experienced the shattering of his pride

A. Aspects of a New Creation

  • Right Orientation – Looking Heavenward: “I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven” (:34)

Proper View of Self

A king-turned-cow can’t be too proud

Proper View of God

“the Most High”

“Him who lives forever”

  • Right Thinking: “my reason returned to me” (:34, 36)

B. Attitudes of Worship and Praise: “I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever” (:34)

C. Acceptance of God’s Sovereignty

  • Supreme Kingdom: “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing.” (:34)

  • Supreme Power: “But He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’” (:35)

D. Appropriation of Renewed Blessing (:36)

  • Right Thinking: “At that time my reason returned to me”

  • Restored Delegated Kingdom Glory: “And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom”

  • Restored Reputation: “and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out”

  • Reestablishing and Surpassing

    • Reestablishing — Got Back What He Had Lost: “so I was reestablished in my sovereignty”

    • Surpassing — Gained What He Had Never Had: “and surpassing greatness was added to me”

E. Summary / Conclusion (:37)

  • Key Heart Attitude: “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven”

  • Key Perspective on Providence: “for all His works are true and His ways just”

  • Key Overall Theme: ” and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”