Proverbs 1:28-30 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will earnestly seek me, but will not find me. For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD. They accepted none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof.”
It seems to me that very few people enjoy being rebuked. You’ve probably seen it before or experienced it yourself, someone takes a strong position without really considering their actions and then someone comes along that knows the truth and sets you straight.
It can be hard to admit that your wrong, it takes a certain measure of swallowing your pride and accepting the reality that you simply didn’t know.
I think many people struggle with admitting a mistake because they are afraid they might be discredited in the future. Sometimes the difficulty lies in the way we think people perceive us and if they see we were wrong this might remove us from having a say in anything worthwhile.
When it comes to being rebuked by God, the ramifications are much more significant. If we allow pride to get in the way of God’s correction, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.
What are we falling from you may ask?
Daniel 4:28-33 “All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
When the Lord rebukes us, He is rebuking our position of pride. When we walk in that position, we walk in a self-exalted place of honor. Pride attempts to place mankind in a position that only God can hold. Our pride becomes a personal affront to His honor and glory and His name is blasphemed by our actions.
Proverbs 29:23 "A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor."
It should be no surprise when the Lord brings rebuke, it is not because He feels like His throne is threatened, we bring absolutely no measure of concern there.
The Lord rebukes us because He loves us.
When we attempt to establish a throne that has us seated upon it, we place ourselves in a position we can’t sustain. We don’t have the power and authority to maintain such a position and ultimately it will lead to our destruction.
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
If we really want to experience true humility, we need only exalt ourselves into a position we don’t deserve. It doesn’t take long for the world to try and knock you down from that perch.
Jealousy comes into play when others see you in a place that they know you don’t deserve. When we exalt ourselves, we confront everyone else’s pride as well. We essentially make a statement that says, “I’m better than you”. Needless to say, this doesn’t go over well in a public setting.
Psalm 138:6 “Though the LORD is on high, He attends to the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.”
You see, when we place ourselves in a place of humility, it is the Lord who lifts us up. When the Lord does the lifting, then comes great honor.
It is because of God’s high position that His recognition of us brings such reward. We associate with God’s Son, and it is His work in us that brings reward in the life to come. It is by submitting to His authority when we see ourselves entering into His presence.
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
When the Lord lifts up, not only does honor come but so does healing. He restores us to a position that we were originally meant to be in, a position that He ordained and will once again perfect.
We do have a place, it’s just not up to us to decide what that place is.
Learning to embrace rebuke is a sign of true wisdom. You embrace it because it is correction and if the Lord didn’t correct, He wouldn’t love us. We can have hope that with each correction, He is leading us closer and closer to what He intended for us all along…Him!