This morning I began reading the proverb of the day, Proverbs 27 and I couldn’t get past verse one:

    “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)

I can’t tell you how many dozens of times I’ve blown past that verse with a cursory nod of agreement to get through my ritual reading of the proverb of the day, but today it was as though that was Proverbs 27, except there was one word added to the verse, followed by a comma:

    “Dave, do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

Today I finally got it. I’ve lived it. I repeat it all to often. I promise you on September 19, 2007 I didn’t know what the day would bring, and if I was boasting of tomorrow, I can assure you it didn’t include receiving a phone call later that day at 2pm to be told my only son had been killed in Iraq. That I can say with great certainty.

When we boast about tomorrow, a number of synonyms come to mind to describe such presumption, that being one of them: gamble, speculate, risk, guess, chance. None of those words are wrapped in certainty and yet we live our lives as though we are guaranteed tomorrow. And how does such boasting manifest itself? You already know, don’t you?

    “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” (James 3:5)

Some of the most truthful and wisest words we’ve ever uttered are: “Me and my big mouth.” Right? Right? Okay then, some of the most truthful and wisest words I’ve ever uttered.

What would be one word that describes boasting? Pride? Well, that’s the root of the problem yes, but I’m thinking more on the lines of vanity. The Random House Dictionary defines vanity as “excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit.” So basically, it’s pride to the enth power!

King Solomon was a wise man who did many an unwise thing, among them having hundreds of wives (wink), but he said this about boasting:

    “For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3)

Man, this is getting personal, isn’t it?! It needs to because such boasting is evil. Yes, evil!

    “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:16)

Why do we boast about tomorrow when the Bible clearly tells us not to? So Bro Dave are you saying we shouldn’t plan for the future? Well, are those synonymous, boasting and planning? Let our old friend Matthew Henry explain it:

We know not what a day may bring forth. This does not forbid preparing for tomorrow, but presuming upon tomorrow. We must not put off the great work of conversion, that one thing needful.

Making political predictions, prognosticating on sporting events, predicting the economic outlook if this or that is done is all well and good. But beloved, too many of us, you and me, me especially, are susceptible to inflicting disappointment upon ourselves by counting on a future we have no control over and no guarantees of. We need to incorporate a way of thinking advised by James:

    “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” (James 4:15)

And we need to say like we mean it and not just some way of trying to stay out of trouble with God or turn it into a useless refrigerator magnet or desk rock. Speaking of that, I’ve never heard this verse on a magnet or rock or given as a power verse:

    “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)

Good reason; I doubt that would sell very well or be considered the positive choice of verses for the day. In fact, I doubt it’s even in the NTFV Bible (New Touchy-Feely Version).

Nevertheless, I pray the Holy Spirit rivets it to my heart…

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers


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