The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Pride is the great polluter of truth. While men may possess the knowledge of the truth, pride makes of it a canker. The man who thinks highly of himself does not fear God.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
Pride leaves a man without a defense for the truth. It should be an embarrassment to the arrogant, but being blinded by self-absorption it is left to the onlooker to be embarrassed on his behalf. Eventually pride will bring one low but the prideful will not acknowledge it.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
Perhaps in mercy you would admonish the arrogant man? Without divine grace what will be his response other than to harden his neck and double-down in pride.
A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
Of all graces, humility is the greatest. Without it we cannot love, will not show mercy, nor turn the object of our faith away from ourselves and onto God. May God grant us grace to always be putting pride to death for we are nothing until we think nothing of ourselves.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” —John 15:5
For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: he doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Justice for the downtrodden means not despising the weak and not favoring the powerful nor bribes at the bar of justice (court of law).
Also note, God gives the foreigner food and clothing. That is not a reference to the “redistribution of wealth”. It is not something the state should do. It is what God does. The point is that since God loves the foreigner as is demonstrated by the fact that HE feeds and clothes him, we should love him as well.
To say this means the state should take by force from some to feed and cloth the downtrodden is to put the state in the place of God. On the other hand, since God is generous to the downtrodden, the Christian should be as well, but as an act of lovingkindness—not compulsion. Mercy is not justice.
Ideological “class struggle” is the antithesis of Biblical justice.
Psalm 126:5 in the glory of the inspired writ speaks from the context of God’s judgement in the captivity of the people. We do indeed “sow in tears” at times but this Psalm causes me to consider what sort of tears I sow when I weep?
Do I weep tears of bitterness and envy or do I weep over my sin? Do I weep tears of covetousness over that which I have lost in the world or do I weep tears of woe over the loss of the sensible presence of Christ in my life?
Not all tears are sown to produce joy in the end. There are many tears shed in this world that do not end in the joys of Christ. Judas was greatly grieved in the end, yet our Lord said, “it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24)
May we weep gospel tears, that we may reap gospel joy.
I think the vast majority of Bible believing Christians intuitively believe just as I do concerning the text of the Scripture. That is, we actually possess the infallible word of God, not in theory, but in fact. The rub doesn’t come until they turn a corner and run into lower criticism.
Once, when I was an advocate of contemporary textual criticism, I was explaining it to a man and he looked down dejectedly and said, “I guess the Bible is not quite what I thought it was.”
It makes me think of a similar instance in a lecture I heard by Michael Kruger where he was telling his students a story about how he went to a Presbyterian church to speak on the text of Scripture. He taught them that the long ending of Mark containing the resurrection account was not Scripture. The pastor’s wife approached him in tears afterwards about this and Kruger commented that she was influenced by tradition.
In reality, she had a view of the Bible as the infallible word of God and this renowned, trusted professor turned her understanding of the nature of the Biblical text up on its head. You’d cry too if it were you!
How can an infallible text contain a complete narrative, indeed a resurrection account!, for centuries and believers accepted it as authentic Scripture only now to be told it’s a fake? The implications of that are not well understood by believing proponents of lower criticism.
She thought she could approach the Bible with the same confidence as Jesus…
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
This is going to be jarring because it presents a different epistemology than that which the typical Bible believer holds to from upon their own reading of the Bible. “I can no longer just go to my Bible as the ultimate authority, I must always check it by the critics…for what my Bible says may or may not actually be the Bible. Furthermore, the critics are often not in agreement and what they affirm today they may deny tomorrow.”
Such is the mess you get when you disconnect the concept of Biblical canon from the text of the canon.