It is frustrating, annoying, and maddening when we see narcissists – those with insolent pride – skate by and seemingly get away with their self-absorbed abusive actions. We wonder when justice will prevail. God does not immediately lower the boom, but He has set them in slippery places and ultimately will (Psalm 73). And when He does, there is nothing can do to stop it. God explained this in His prophecy about the nation of Edom in the Old Testament book of Obadiah.
Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom—
We have heard a report from the Lord,
And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying,
“Arise and let us go against her for battle”—
2 “Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
You are greatly despised.
3 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’
4 “Though you build high like the eagle,
Though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
It is easy for a proud person to think that he can build a strong enough wall through his wealth or fame or ability to manipulate situations to prevent himself from being humbled by God. Of course, a proud person does not consciously think in terms of being humbled by God (as he rarely acknowledges God), but in terms of “bad things happening” to him. But as God demonstrated through Nebuchadnezzar, He is able to humble anyone. And as He declares here with Edom (the descendants of Esau, a case study in narcissism), it does not matter how much an N tries to guard against it, if God decides to humble an N, He will make it happen.
- Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here