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Bearing the Derision of the Proud

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.” (Psalm 119:51)

We are not to be conformed to the way of this world. The world’s course is according to Lucifier’s course. “He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34) There is no one more wrong who thinks himself more right than the devil. He is not about to be reproved or change his position on anything. “His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.” (Job 41:24) He is the father of all who are stiff-necked. “In his neck remaineth strength” (Job 41:22)

Because they are proud and haughty scorners, the god of this world and those who follow in his train hold those who disagree with them in contempt. Their tone is mocking and their words are inflammatory. “Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.” (Job 41:19-21) Do not expect civility from the scornful. In our day, comedians are in the vanguard of an army of mockers who deride those who won’t comply with the status quo.

A scorner is not open to correction. “… A scorner heareth not rebuke.” (Prov. 13:1) To try and correct a scorner is to make yourself a target of ridicule. “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame” (Prov. 9:7) In a scorner’s arsenal is not only anger, but smirking laughter. “If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.” (Proverbs 29:9)

The saints of God must be very careful in this day of provocation not to react to the verbal jabs of the scornful.

Real dialogue proceeds where there is a tone of respect even toward those we deeply disagree with. “…The sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.” (Prov. 16:21) But the scorner’s tone is neither sweet nor soft. “… Will he speak soft words unto thee?” (Job 41:3) The words of the scornful are not designed to facilitate discussion or learning, their aim is to shut down conversation by deriding their opponents as intellectually challenged.

The saints of God must be very careful in this day of provocation not to react to the verbal jabs of the scornful. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) The servant of the Lord must not strive. There is no need to compete with others so as to be declared the victor in a debate.

Jesus is the King over all the children of humility. We must learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart to bear the reproach of the scornful without retaliation. Yes, speak, contend for the faith, but then discern whether there are ears to hear. “Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.” (Prov. 23:9)

The time of contending with the Pharisees came to an end for Jesus. He told His disciples. “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.” (Matthew 15:14) Hanging on the cross, as the scorners wagged their heads, Jesus was content to go down as the loser. But He will yet have the last laugh.

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” (Psalm 2:4)

“Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” (Proverbs 3:34)


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.