MAY 18 - Proverbs 18 and Luke 18:9-14

MAY 18 - Proverbs 18:12 and Luke 18:9-14
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility."
Proverbs 18:12
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
"And He spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood thus and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 18:9-14
Illustration with 18 - The #1 is enlarged and made into a large stick man (Pharisee) with arms lifted high; and the #8 is made half its size and develops perfectly into a man (publican) bowed down (head in top circle) with tears falling. In this way we remember the pride and arrogance of the praying Pharisee and the bowed posture of humility and shame displayed in the publican. God honors and elevates the man who has rightly dethroned himself.
The Pharisee entered into the temple because it was a public place where he would be observed by many; it was a visual notification to the general population of his religious pedigree and superiority.
It seems a natural course that his next activity would be a demonstrative prayer where his voice would be heard also. Praying aloud, he articulates his virtues, contrasting them with the impoverished spiritual man making a spectacle of himself a safe distance away.
The comparison is really quite extraordinary:
The Pharisee prays to hear himself talk;
the publican prays to be heard by God.
The Pharisee declares his virtues;
the publican declares his vileness.
The Pharisee exalts himself;
the publican condemns himself.
The Pharisee lifts his arrogant head;
the publican bows his shameful head.
And God has had enough ...
He lifts His holy head.

And nothing more needs to be said.
God has chosen His man ... and the man has chosen Him.
The ending is strong, deliberate, and captivating:
No wonder sinners are drawn to Him,
Outcasts are captivated by Him,
Losers love Him,
And the lost seek Him.
He's beautiful and holy;
Approachable and lowly ...
A lover to all who come to Him.
Let God be God;
The God ... of sinful men.
It is in Your power, Father, to love in inconceivable ways and display Your love in uninhibited ways. It is in Your power to pardon the sinful man and deal with the arrogant one. Let us not rehearse anything but the reality of our own sinful state and the assurance that once we've committed it to You ... we are safe within the confines of Your love.
In subjection to You, we humble ourselves, and offer ourselves to You.
1) Love somebody who's sinful; begin with yourself. Confess who you are before God.
2) Extol the virtues of God and the lovingkindnesses that He has bestowed on you.
3) Accept the favor that God has placed on you ... and help another to do the same.