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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Flattery, Fear, and Fall

Flattery

I have often heard the expression as a boy growing up, "Self-praise is no recommendation." It is a statement that would come in response to ones self-proclaimed declaration of possessing a superior quality, or having worthiness of acceptance or to receive respect. I don't hear it much these days though - although so many of us are certainly not short on egocentricity (an accepted norm). We certainly encourage our youth to write attractive resumes using powerful words that grab the attention and pique the prospective employer's interest in you.

I wonder, how similarly might the Psalmist have been inspired to utter these same words in observing how we do things these days, "For he flatters himself in his own eyes," (verse 2)? His son, Solomon would tell you, "There's nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9);" men are today what they ever were it seems - full of pride and arrogance.

It should be noted that it is not possible to possess these negative qualities without them being an affront to God. Jesus says in Matt 25: 40, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." The way we view and relate to others constitute our view and relationship with God.

Fear

Sometimes we try to kid ourselves that we can still be deemed servants of God while we abuse our fellowmen. Note however, overtness and extremism are not prerequisites of wickedness. Sometimes it lies under the cover of subtle deviations from God's will (we call it hypocrisy). About the wicked David says, "There is no fear of God before his eyes," (verse 1). Fear/respect for God means we do everything He says, period.

Fall

The chapter closes with the certain declaration, "There the workers of iniquity have fallen; they have been cast down and are not able to rise."  Solomon chimes in again with this thought, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Prov 16: 18

This reading is based on Psalm 36 in sequence with the Revived by His Word initiative.  To read and/or listen to Psalm 36, and to read other related blogs, please click here.