Summary: In this message Yours Truly endeavours to give a boost as it were for not boasting unnecessarily by bringing out the Biblical mandate on what we need to need to boast about and what we need to be silently thankful to the Lord for!!!
A Boost for not Boasting!!!
Probably you have heard this story before but here it goes again...a tale involving a frog prone to self-boasting and his two crane friends who planned to “live happily together ever after” inhabiting as they were an pond overflowing with rich flora and fauna but that was sadly not to be (sic). In due course, on account of a severe drought the pond was on the verge of drying up leaving the three friends with no option other than of migrating to a different place. But there popped up a problem. While, it would be easy for the feathery duo to happily flyaway to “greener pastures”, so to speak, it would be improbable for their hopper friend to cover miles to reach the same “safer zone”. Now as the inseparable friends pooled their minds together on reaching yet another pool of water safely together, hey presto...the one of the webbed feet weaved together a brainy plan. While the cranes would carry a stick in their beaks whilst flying Mr. Brilliant would latch onto the stick with his “big” mouth.
So on the appointed day, the trio took off and all was going well till they flew past a nearby drought-hit village. The people on seeing this strange sight wondered aloud as to who was the “Mastermind” behind this Masterly “Great Escape” plan and no prizes for guessing...mindlessly the “high-flying” boastful hero opened his mouth to become... to put it mildly...a big zero thereafter.
Even as we smile at this story, doesn’t honesty compel us to admit that we too are prone to blowing our own trumpets at times? In this message Yours Truly endeavours to give a boost as it were for not boasting unnecessarily by bringing out the Biblical mandate on what we need to need to boast about (through some Biblical illustrations) and what we need to be silently thankful to the Lord for, as He alone is the source behind every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3). Now consider this Scripture...
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”- Jeremiah 9:23-24
Firstly, let’s see what we ought not to boast about...and then towards the end what we need to be trumpeting about. As ever, the best wine in the spiritual realm always is reserved for the last (John 2:10 TLB)!!!
Welcome to Mr.Judas of the OT times (Psalm 55:12-14). If Judas betrayed the Son of David in NT times, who then was his predecessor who betrayed the original David in the OT Dispensation. Meet Mr. Ahithophel who the infallible Scripture says was so wise that he not only to occupied the highly responsible post of being one of the Counsellor’s of King David (1 Chro 27:33) but would also always speak words brimming with the Lord’s wisdom (2 Sam 16:23).
If the good Lord can raise and depose Kings depending upon their humble submission to Him (Dan 5:17-28) then by the same token it follows that the good Lord can use a person’s wisdom to further his career’s ambitions or even frustrate them depending upon the concerned individual’s humble relationship with Him.
What happened to Ahithopel’s famed wisdom, when it was used wrongfully in trying to settle scores with the Anointed One-King David- peeved as he was with the latter’s lamentable affair with his granddaughter Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:3/ 2 Sam 23:34)? His wisdom became folly in the eyes of the very one (Absalom) he had joined hands with in rebellion against King David for he was now counselling in flagrant violation (2 Sam 17:14) of the Lord’s will. I reiterate going against the anointed ones’ even if they are in the wrong would invite the Lord’s wrath. We need to let Almighty handle the matter for He is able to punish them justly- 1 Sam 24:6/ 1 Sam 26:9-11/ Romans 12:19. The end result of Ahithophel’s betrayal of King David by switching sides??? Very much like Judas, frustration led to suicide-there too we see a distinct similarity- by hanging (2 Sam 17:23)!!!
Beware folks...wisdom minus the right relationship with the Giver of it can lead to one’s doom.
Of Samson, it has been said jocularly and truthfully that he is “the Biblical He-Man with the distinct She-weakness” (Judges 16:1). As long as the God-given might was used in line with the Lord’s will of delivering his people from the cruel Philistine subjugation (Judges 13:5), everything went on well, what with the Biblical Mr. Universe coming up with some heroic feats which would make a Hollywood stuntman like Schwarzenegger proud (Judges 14:6/ Judges 15:15). However, once he started courting the unbelieving Delilah in transgression of the Lord’s will (do not yoke yourselves with the unbelievers-2 Cor 6:14/ Judges 16:1-22), he ended up courting trouble-a big one at that. Consequently with the presence of the Lord departing from him his enemies would ruthlessly bind and blind him. It is another matter that he eventually triumphed in death finally realizing at the end that he was a zero by himself but could be a hero only by the Lord’s empowerment. Still his life carries a ring of “if only...” normally associated with tragedies.