December 26

December 26                     A Stately Stride

“Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride: the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any; the strutting rooster, the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him.” (Proverbs 30:29-31)

Christmas has ended for many of us while some have chosen to spend the day shopping. Now we’re thinking about the year’s end, perhaps looking back over events and milestones in our lives. Babies were born, relatives and friends died, new friends came into our world, medical needs arose, political races were won or lost, some folks moved, started new jobs, or graduated from school, and God’s grace continued uninterrupted. We might consider how we handled all the happenings in our lives to be better informed about how we might manage similar occasions in 2019. I look back and remember having determination, patience, and faith, but too often was I impatient, fretful, or discouraged. However, I think I was never particularly stately or elegant in my approach to anything. 

The writer of Proverbs 30 names four creatures that have refinement in their ways: a lion, a rooster (sometimes interpreted as a horse or a greyhound), a male goat, and a king. “It is intended that we should learn courage and fortitude in all virtuous actions from the lion and not to turn away for any difficulty we meet with from the greyhound we may learn quickness and dispatch, from the  he-goat the care of our family and those under our charge, and from a king to have our children in subjection with all gravity, and from them all to go well, and to order the steps of our conversation so as that we may not only be safe, but comely, in going.” * These animals represent strength, speed, care, and leadership. 

We might think that we should be stronger, faster, more careful, and better leaders, taking our cue from these animals. However, let us consider that God’s majesty as seen in his omnipotence, infinite, timeless providence, personal attention, and perfect leadership. It is impossible for us to be glorious or stately unless we are reflecting God’s magnificence at work in us. Given that the Holy Spirit takes up habitation in us, doesn’t it make sense that we would be refined and even regal? 

Do we deny our spiritual strength with a casual approach to life? What reason could we possibly have for not wanting to God’s glory to shine through in us? Will you think about it?

*Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible, Proverbs 30:29-31, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-30.html

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