5 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Kings 20:1–21:29
Acts 12:24–13:15
Psalm 137:1-9
Proverbs 17:16

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

1 Kings 20:11 (NLT): “The king of Israel sent back this answer: ‘A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The verse I chose for today is classic. The weak, evil king Ahab and Aram’s King Ben-hadad were ‘talking smack’ as Ben-hadad threatened to plunder Ahab and destroy him. Yet, encouraged by a prophet, Ahab regained his confidence and provoked his enemy with these words…

1 Kings 20:11 (NLT): “… ‘A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won.’”

Essentially, king Ahab said that it’s easy to brag about being victorious when you strap on your sword and prepare for battle. It’s quite another to brag after the battle when you have actually won and are taking your sword off.

Even though evil King Ahab said this, there is much truth in it.

Just read the following verses:

Proverbs 27:1 (NLT): “Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.”

James 4:13-17 (NLT): “Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”

As Ahab said, we really have no right to brag about what hasn’t yet happened. 

Of course, we can and should prayerfully plan ahead. But, because of our limited knowledge, we have no clue what lies around the corner. So, we plan, but we also trust in God for what is ahead. 

And never, under any circumstances, do we brag about what we haven’t yet done. I think that God delights to periodically turn the tables in those instances to remind us of much we really need Him.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.