January 12, 2024
The wicked strut about on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men. (Proverbs 12:8)
I once heard a wise country preacher describe a proud leader. “He’s so proud,” he said, “that he can strut sittin’ down!” I laughed … and I totally agreed.
We see strutters everywhere in our society now. Wickedness is abounding in the land and it strengthens the hand and voice of the proud among us. In their arrogance, they think they are winning, that they have the right to do and say whatever they want (even if it flies in the face of the One-Who-Made-Them).
Strutting is an unbiblical posture, indicating an unbroken, proud heart. Strutters are more confident when “vileness is exalted.” When there is a crowd, a group, or a nation that is filled with evil, a wicked man gloats in his opinions and his supposed authority. He lifts his chin thinking he’s the king of the hill and the one with the most viable opinion. His pride is reinforced by group consent. When people applaud you and wave banners that reinforce your position, it’s sadly incredible how bold you can become.
If you’re not a normal strutter, don’t be deceived. The potential for this posture is in all of us. Pride can overtake us in an instant and manifest itself in subtle or highly visible ways.
THE ANTIDOTE FOR STRUTTING
The writer of Psalm 12 was not a strutter. He could have been. He’d single-handedly defeated a giant of an enemy as a young boy. He had been exalted to the throne of Israel, and God’s hand was obviously upon Him. He was talented beyond measure, and it seemed everything he touched succeeded.
But David knew God. As opposed to a strutter’s pride, listen to a simple prayer that flowed from David’s heart at the end of his life when he was able to make an extraordinary gift for the building of the temple.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth. Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-14)
David knew (and we must realize) that every good and perfect gift comes from above. That we are sinful creatures, only made right by the grace of God and only blessed by the mercy of God. That our thoughts are only right as they are aligned with His; our work only really successful when it is God-initiated. This understanding should close our mouths and bend our knees.
Strutters have their seasons, but they will be short-lived. For there is coming a day when “every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). The pipsqueak strutter will bow before God as will the grateful, humble king, and we will all give God the glory He alone deserves.
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