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The king wrote the law. He gave it to his sons. They were to take it throughout the land.
The first went to the people. In each village he proclaimed, “Hear ye, hear ye, I bring you the words of the king. His word is law. You must obey it. You will be held accountable. Long live the king!”
The second went to the people. He didn’t like all the king’s laws. In each village he proclaimed, “Hear ye, hear ye, I bring you some of the words of the king. His word is the law, but it needed amending. I have done so. You may do your own amending. Obey what you want. You will be held accountable to the laws you think wise. Long live our evolving king!”
How did the people of the land view the sons? In the eyes of many, the first was rigid and arrogant. After all, his proclamation was really no more than, “Thus saith the king.” He comes across as sure of himself because he proclaims from a script given him by his father. And in the eyes of many, the second son was flexible and humble. After all, his proclamation was really no more than “Not sure if the king’s law is best.” He comes across as less sure of himself because he deviates from a script given him by his father and welcomes others to do the same.
And so it is today. Often times it’s those who believe in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture that are labeled arrogant. Trying to be faithful to the text, not wanting to add or subtract, they simply proclaim God’s Word. This is arrogant? But is not bowing to God and submitting to His Word a display of humility?
While those who banter that God’s Word is culturally bound and in need of a good shake ridding it of its outdated mores are held up as progressive thinkers. And because they take their dogma less seriously it is assumed they take themselves less seriously; therefore it is they who are humble. In reality, however, it is they who are arrogant; having the audacity to ignore, pick and choose, and change God’s Word.
William Shakespeare was no theologian, but he got it right in As You Like It. “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
And because we know we are quite capable of playing the fool at any time, we humbly submit to the Scriptures. Those who think they are wise enough to amend them are the arrogant ones.
Pastor Rich Hamlin
October 3, 2013