Sunday, January 29, 2012

Head Not the Tail

Head Not the Tail
Jan 30, 2012
Deut 28:13 "The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom."

I have heard a phrase repeated over the years, often times coming out of our pulpits, and it goes something like this: "I am the head and not the tail." It is a feel-good saying that boosts morale and gives a feeling of victory over life and it's many difficult situations. I have heard it said in reference to overcoming the evil one and in reference to claiming a blessing from the Lord. It's a pep talk phrase that sounds really quite appealing, especially when we are in need of encouragement. The statement, though, however rooted in Scripture, is not exactly Scriptural. Nowhere in the Bible does it said that we can declare we are the head and not the tail of anything in this life. Let me explain.

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ made it clear that if we want to be the first in anything, we must endeavor to be the last. It is a teaching quite hard to swallow, but the Lord taught several times that the last will be first. He was trying to convince us to become like a servant on this earth; He promised a reward of honor in eternity. Jesus instructed us to take a self-imposed position of service to others, to take a humble approach to life, being void of all arrogance and the desire for the lime-light. It means considering others better than ourselves, it means giving and not receiving, and it means propelling everyone else ahead of our own wants and desires. This teaching from Jesus, though, seems in contradiction to the Scripture in the Old Testament that says, "The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom." How can we be the top and not the bottom while at the same time being a humble servant? This creates a dichotomy in the Bible.

To understand this dichotomy, we must comprehend our own standing in relation to the Lord's position. Our job is to obey the Lord's commands and follow His teachings however humbling they may seem. The Lord, then, has the position and authority to raise us up in good standing among men, as He sees fit and as it brings glory and honor to His name. We are not to TAKE the position of being the head, but allow the Lord to bestow it upon us. It is a blessing, not a right. We cannot declare it to be so, if the Lord has not allowed it. And the Lord has only suggested He would make us the head and not the tail if and only if we obey all of his commands. I might consider myself to be a pretty good person, but I would never be arrogant enough to declare that I have obeyed all His commands. If the Lord wants to scrutinize my life, He may decide it is to His honor to lift me up among men. If He does not, I must still be willing to follow all his teachings, being a servant to others.

In the world's eyes you may never appear to be the head and not the tail. But that is okay. As long as you are following the Lord and obeying all His commands, it does not matter what you look like to the world. You are not allowed to declare you are the head of anything; this is for the Lord to bestow upon you. The complete understanding of these two scriptures is found in 1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." Learn from the words of King David regarding this same topic. He declared the Lord's position in Ps 3:3, "But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high."

Don't make yourself the head of anything, you might be sorely disappointed in becoming the tail of something less than desirable.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Deut 28, Deut 31, Ps 3, Matt 18:4, Matt 20:16, 1 Peter 5:6

1 comment:

Mafile'o said...

Thanks for sharinq :)