Do Art Critics Give Awards To The Canvas?
Photograph by Bruno Schlumberger; National Geographic
A Paris painter hides his face as he sees a photographer aiming his camera in the distance. The painting on the right is a self-portrait done by the man, one of many street artists who work on Place du Tertre in Paris, France.
SITUATION Although at one time he praised God, Nebuchadnezzar had an image of gold erected in the area of Babylon.
OBSERVATION Pride and arrogance led Nebuchadnezzar to command all officials to worship the image or face of death. Undoubtedly it was a way for the king to promote submission to his authority.
INSPIRATION Ever wonder why churches are powerful in one generation but empty the next? Perhaps the answer is found in Proverbs 15:25: "The Lord will tear down the proud person's house."
God hates arrogance. He hates arrogance because we haven't done anything to be arrogant about. Do art critics give awards to the canvas? Is there a Pulitzer for ink? Can you imagine a scalpel growing smug after a successful heart transplant? Of course not. They are only tools, so they get no credit for the accomplishments.
And the message of the Twenty-third Psalm is that we have nothing to be proud about either. We have rest, salvation, blessings, and a home in heaven-- and we did nothing to earn any of it. Who did? Who did the work? The answer threads through the psalm like a silk thread through pearls.
"He makes me . . . "
"He leads me . . ."
"He restores my soul . . ."
"You are with me . . ."
"You rod and Your staff comfort me . . ."
"You anoint my head . . ."
We may be the canvas, the paper, or the scalpel, but we are not the ones who deserve the applause. And just to make sure we get the point, right smack-dab in the middle of the poem David declares who does. The shepherd leads his sheep, not for our name' sake but "for His name's sake."
Why does God have anything to do with us? For his name's sake. No other name on the marquee. No other name on the front page. This is all done for God's glory. (From Traveling Light by Max Lucado)
APPLICATION In what areas of your life is there a temptation to become proud or arrogant? Is it a special ability or talent? Is it your possessions or car you drive? Or is it your educational background or your accomplishments? Make a list of those items and then confess to God your pride. Ask that God will help you remove that spirit of arrogance.
EXPLORATION Arrogance-- Proverbs 8:13; Isaiah 13:11; Jeremiah 48:29; Romans 1:30.
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus - Max Lucado General editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New Century version.
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Tuesday, August 31, 2010