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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: June 23, 2023

“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise,” Solomon tells us near the end of our reading from Proverbs 27 this morning. In other words, “when men praise you, when they lavish you with words proclaiming your power and righteousness, this is a test from God. If you do not give God the glory in all things, if you believe the good you have is from your own power, you will be devoured by pride. And then pride will quickly devour every blessing of your life. Pride will turn your power into weakness. It will melt your money into poverty. It will transform your joy into misery. If you fail the test of praise, God will allow pride to rob you of everything until you see that everything you have is from His merciful hand.”

And so, in these words about testing of praise, we come to understand more deeply what Solomon tells us at the beginning of our reading, “do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

So when things are going well, when you are surrounded by blessings and clothed in temporal honor, don’t boast of these things. Recognize that these blessings could be torn down in a moment and suffering could overwhelm you in a moment like a tidal wave swallowing a coastal city. Do not boast that all the earthly glory surrounding you today is going to last until tomorrow. Kings have been turned to slaves in a day.

Do not boast of yourself, your strength and your righteousness. Rather, boast of your God and the strength and righteousness He has poured out upon you. Boast of Christ, the King whose kingdom will never be torn down because He has already vanquished Satan, his great enemy. Boast that, once you were an enemy combatant striving with all your might against your God, but Christ ripped the weapons from your hands, washed you in His blood, took that enemy of the Gospel and transformed you into a child of the kingdom. Don’t boast of the temporal tomorrow you’ve earned for yourself. Boast of the endless tomorrow Jesus Christ your King has given you in His death and resurrection.

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