Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

23 August 2021

Proverbs 21:24

The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
    behaves with insolent fury.

The arrogance of the scoffer goes beyond believing that he is better than others. Even the prideful man can respect the accomplishments and ability of others. Indeed, his pride grows greater with the more credit he gives to those who come in second to him. The scoffer disdains others. He is not merely better than his neighbors; he is above them. He sees what they cannot see. He regards his neighbors as fools. He mocks them.

Christians fall easily into scoffing. We are incredulous that our neighbors cannot see what we see, somehow crediting ourselves for seeing what in truth we would be blind to without the Spirit. The Christians at Corinth fell into this sin. Paul had to write: “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:6-7).

Scoffing is sinful. Its ugliness is magnified in the Christian faith. Examine yourself today regarding this insidious sin. Are there Christian brothers and sisters you scoff at because they just can’t “get it”? Do you believe you have insight because you are smarter or more spiritually advanced? Are you unable to see yourself in them?

It is actually good to be discerning spiritually and see into the folly of others. But grief rather than scoffing should be our response. We should grieve over the folly of our brothers and sisters. We should all the more examine our hearts for our own guilt. Folly is not unique to a certain group of people; it afflicts us all and we are most blind to what lies within us.

 

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.