“And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” Acts 2:40
The Palmer Road church of Christ, Westland, Mi.
June 28, 2015
Jump Start # 1314
Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked flee when on one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion."
Once again, we find an amazing contrast in Proverbs. The wicked contrasted to the righteous, and fleeing contrasted to remaining bold like a lion. There are great lessons for us to consider here.
The wicked are watching over their shoulder. They lived scared. They have done wrong and they know it's wrong. They fear the long arm of the law catching them. They fear people finding out. So they are suspicious. They are nervous. They run when no one is after them. Their wicked ways will catch up with them sooner or later. What a terrible way to live. Not trusting others, always wondering who is watching them, or who may know what they have been up to. The sleep of the wicked isn't pleasant nor sound. This passage is showing a look into the life of the wicked that is not glamorous, exciting and worth imitating. There is nothing good about being afraid.
The righteous are just the opposite. They are not running. They are holding their ground. They are brave. They fear nothing. They are like a lion. This may be for a couple of reasons. First, the righteous haven't done anything wrong. They are innocent. There is nothing to fear. If a person is driving the speed limit and he see's a police car parked along side of the road with his radar gun pointing at him, there is nothing to fear. The speeders hit their brakes and they drive under the speed limit until they are out of sight and then they resume their fast driving. Second, the righteous have truth on their side. Behind truth, is God. They don't have to fear because they stand right with the Lord.
It seems as if the position of the wicked and the righteous are flip flopped. The wicked appear bold, unafraid and holding their position. They can be brazen in their defense of things that are wrong. They can be arrogant in their claims that God does not exist. Many evolutionary professors are this way. They appear bold as lions in their statements that natural evolution is proven and absolute. The crowd wanting same sex marriage can be very vocal, demanding and bold in their demands. Then it seems that the righteous cower in fear because of these loud, vocal and demanding wicked voices. This can happen even when dealing with folks who want to introduce ideas that are not true to the Scriptures. They want change. They can be bold, loud and vocal. The righteous often hide in fear. They may let them have their way because they don't want to make a scene or open the door to controversy. Those who are not right continue to march their ways further and further away from God.
The answer is clear. It's found in our passage. The righteous must be bold as a lion. When I think about lions, it's the large male lion that comes to my mind. He doesn't have to growl, his presence is enough. Those eyes. His size. The large mane around his head. Even behind bars at the zoo, he is still the king of the jungle. But when he does growl, he is heard. There is a pecking order in the jungle. The lion is at the top. You don't ever hear of a zebra challenging a lion. Won't happen. He'd be lunch for the lion in a very short time. The lion has a confidence about him.
This is what the Proverb writer is nailing down here. The righteous are bold as the lion. It doesn't mean that the righteous have to be loud or offensive. It's not the person, but the truth within the person that makes them bold.
Have you ever been asked, or even pondered within yourself, 'What if none of this stuff is right? What if God didn't write the Bible? What if there is no Heaven or Hell?' I've heard folks answer, 'even if it's not right, I've lived the best life.' Wrong answer. Give it some thought. It's impossible. There is no way that this isn't right. If God didn't write the Bible, then who did? How did they do it flawlessly? How did they know things before they were discovered? How could there be such perfect unity and theme over all those many years? Why, if man wrote this, isn't there any other book that even comes close to the Bible? No, can't be. Impossible.
And once you come to that place, your confidence level surges. You may not understand all the things an evolutionary scientists claims, but there is one thing you do know, the Bible is right. You may not know why more people do wrong than right, but that doesn't change what you know.
Bold as a lion with truth, not only drives fear out, it gives you an assurance that what you are doing is right. Being bold doesn't give you the excuse to be mean, rude, ugly or unkind. Jesus never was. But it also means, in a calm tone, you hold your ground. You keep coming back to the passages in the Bible. When those who want to introduce things that are not Bible based, you stand your ground. They'll complain. They'll cry. They'll plead. But what they don't have is truth on their side. Stand your ground. Be bold.
Bold as a lion with truth, is how parents must be. Quit trying to be your child's best friend, and simply parent. Point the way that is right. They will whine, plead, and cry for everything but what is right. You hold your ground because you are the one who is raising them God's way.
Bold as a lion with truth, when Satan rings the doorbell of your heart. He tempts. He tries to pull you away. He tries to confuse you, discourage you and entice you to do anything but the things God wants. You stand your ground. Like that lion in the jungle, be bold. You know what God wants. Satan will try to get you to leave your marriage. He'll give you an opportunity and an excuse, but you remain bold as a lion. Satan will try to get you to skip church services. He'll give you an opportunity and an excuse, but you remain bold as a lion. Satan will try to get you to turn down the dial on God. He'll give you an opportunity and an excuse, but you remain bold as a lion.
The wicked flee, but the righteous are bold as a lion. This will especially be true when we wrap up this life and must stand before the throne of God. The wicked will want to flee, but they won't be able. The righteous look forward to being with God, not because they are perfect, but forgiven. By the grace of God, they stand. Their faith and their love for the Lord allows them to come boldly before the throne of grace.
Are you running or standing? Are you afraid or are you bold? Get with God and get on the right side of things and it changes everything. Bold as a lion...that's where the righteous are.