1 Corinthians 7:1-24; 1 Kings 20; Amos 4:4-13
He was well known for bragging about what he would do to his opponents and taunting them before his fights, but Muhammed Ali, then Cassius Clay, did not invent trash talk. Our contemporary sports “heroes” are mere pikers compared to some of the trash talkers throughout history. Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, was trash talking the king of Israel, Ahab. He proclaimed the ancient equivalent of “All your base are belong to us” and told Ahab that his servants would waltz through Samaria taking whatever and whoever they wanted. That was too much for Ahab and he refused to let Ben-Hadad send those servants. Well, Ben, got a bit upset and told Ahab that Samaria would be destroyed. Ahab had the best response to a trash talker ever: “So the king of Israel answered and said, ‘Tell him, “Let not not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.”‘” (1 Kings 20:11) In other words, “Talk is cheap before the battle. Let’s see if you’re talking the same trash after the battle.” We all know people who boast proudly about what they are going to do – in truth, that description has probably applied to most of us at one time or another. When dealing with people like that, especially if their boasts relate to what they’re going to do to us, we need to remember this principle. Don’t get mad at the boasting, trust in God. If Ahab could show that kind of trust, and God recognized it as such, surely those of us who claim to walk with Him daily can show that trust. At the same time, when we are confident in the outcome of an event – perhaps we should learn to show more humility. Our job is not to crush those opposed to us; our job is to draw those opposed to us back to a relationship with God through Jesus.
Lord, so often I boast about my ability to do things. Remind me that all that I do and say should focus on serving You instead of glorifying myself. At the same time, when others boast about how they will best me, remind me to have a quiet faith and confidence in You and Your love and protection for me.