Bible Reading: Proverbs 25.1-7
These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.
As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out a vessel for the smith;
Take away the wicked before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.
Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of great men;
For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,”
Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.
In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus was dining at the house of a religious leader. He noticed that guests were jockeying for a place of honor. It’s something we can all relate to – we want to be significant, to be affirmed by those in a position of power.
At the dinner, Jesus told a parable of a wedding feast – the principle being that you should put others before yourself in humility. Faced with guests seeking honor and recognition from the religious leaders, Jesus must have been thinking of today’s proverb.
I need this reminder not simply because God says I should put others before myself in the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). It is a reminder that it is not men who decide my identity, but God. Because the first part of the greatest commandment is that we should love God with everything we have. And when we do so, He will take care of our needs, including our need for significance. The order of the commandment matters – only in recognizing the grace we have received can we truly show grace to others.
When my perspective is horizontal I put me first and others a distant second. When I look up to the Father I remember that all I have is a gift of grace and my significance is the result of God’s grace, not of my works or the praise of men. I see myself as I truly am without God – wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17).
Although He was the Son of God, Jesus humbled himself at the cross, choosing to die a criminal’s death, humiliated by men, seeking God’s glory rather than man’s praise (Philippians 2:5-11). Today, decide to fully trust in God’s providence for your significance.
Memory Verse: Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25.25