I Kings 20:11 “One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.”
As I push through everything in my “noble” attempt to get to the truth, I need to remember the above verse. It’s easy to dismiss prior generations and say that we alone have a stranglehold on the biblical truth, the way of Jesus – that we alone know what the Kingdom really looks like. We need to remember in our search for the truth that there are people taking off the armor who have already spent a lifetime fighting the good fight, living in the Way.
Don’t get me wrong. I want the truth even if it means pushing aside the empty ceremonial water jars for the new wine. I don’t want, out of respect for my elders, to ever tolerate traditions and methods that are not of the truth. If all they have to offer me is a lifetime of no wine, then I will dismiss it.
But there are those before me who have lived out lives in the new wine. Maybe not necessarily in the jars that I would choose (music, church, methods) but they lifted high the Cross and they sought the Truth. They loved God with all of their heart and their neighbor as themselves.
These are the ones I better be careful not to dismiss too easily, because in many ways I am just putting on my armor. They were able to take it off and know that they had finished well. Only a fool would make a claim before the battle that they knew the better way.
The reason I write this is because I am studying John, and currently as I preach through chapter 2 I see Jesus eradicate the uselessness of the old ceremonial water jars by filling them with the new wine. As I read this, my first thoughts were: “This is what I’m going to do! I will push aside the old, useless ways and be filled with the new wine!” Then, as I prepared for another Bible study, I read I Kings 20 and God set me straight. So – I’m just letting you know that I’ve been humbled and will not look so condescendingly upon the saints of the past as I pursue the Way, the Truth and the Life.