Every Knee, Every Tongue

The day will come when every Goliath must present himself before the throne of David.

In my previous post, I looked at the phrase, “You might even be found opposing God”, and the way that it can be used to either temper the actions of those in authority, or how those same words can be used to consolidate authority over others.

The final words were given to Jesus as he describes his ideal for how his followers would lead.

‘But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”’ [Matthew 20:25-28]

This time, I am pondering over what we are actually acquiring for ourselves if we seek to rule rather than serve.

David and Goliath, illustration from 'Bible Stories', 1968 (colour litho)

The story of David and Goliath creeps into my mind whenever I hear the commonly used phrase, “the bigger they are the harder they fall”. The phrase apparently has its origins elsewhere, but that is where my mind wanders when I hear it. It is probably implanted in my brain from some cartoon years ago, like all of my knowledge of classical music.

… but I digress…

Despite the negative connotation that goes along with the picture and person of Goliath, it hardly hinders the ambition of man to become Goliath himself.

The problem with the aspiration to become Goliath is not only that one day a little David will come along and bring you to the ground. It is that the ultimate David, who was the power behind that little sling and stone, will one day come and topple every Goliath who has ever existed.

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Philippians 2:9-11]

When we accumulate power in order to wield it against others, we have set ourselves up as rivals of the one in whom all authority rests. To put a fine enough point on it that we have to be worried about stabbing ourselves with it, if we seek to rule rather than to serve, we have set ourselves up against or “anti” Christ.

If there is ever an impulse to have others kneel before our own lordship, then we have erected within ourselves a Goliath. The larger this Goliath stands, the harder he will fall to his knees on that day, when he must confess, with despair, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

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8 thoughts on “Every Knee, Every Tongue

  1. I think with God-given “rulers” like parenting for example, I think of the verse that says whoever wants be greatest should be the least…or something like that. Basically a person who is a leader, even if it’s just parenting, should be willing to be the least–serving in places that no one else would. Parenting for me has shown my tendencies to control and try to manufacture a care free life for my kids. It’s been a struggle to learn humility. But I feel like at this stage, I’m letting go of a lot of those things and doing what God has called me to do…and doing it with a servants heart not a ruling fist.

    • I think that parenting is a good example. Even in the short time that I have been a parent it has become very evident that the type of leading that I am doing is the polar opposite of self serving.

      I’ve said it many times now, being a parent has taught me that I am the most selfish person in the whole world. That may not be literally true but it’s enough that it feels like it.

    • I was reading something this morning about “giving a foothold for the devil” and of course the focus was on anger, but I think that the way that most churches are set up from a leadership perspective invite this type of temptation.

      The foothold is the temptation to build our own little kingdoms that we can lord over. The temptation is to accumulate power so that we can get our own way.

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