By Kent Parks
The first and great king of Isreal was a man named Saul. We are told in I Samuel 9:8 and again in 10:23, that he was “ higher than all the people from his shoulders upward”. That is to say, he was quite tall. One might say he “stood out in a crowd” or perhaps that he “stood tall”.
When we study the life of Saul, we find that he was not unlike many other good men; he had a wonderful beginning but a tragic end. Although he “stood tall” physically, he allowed pride, envy and self-conceit, to make him very small spiritually.
Are you and I any different? Do we “stand tall” spiritually?
Do you recall the account of Zacchaeus in Matthew 19? We remember him as a short man who climbed a tree to get a better view (over the crowd) of Jesus as he was passing by. Although we see him putting forth an effort by running and climbing the tree, possibly the most important lesson can be learned by what happened when he descended from the tree. You see, Zacchaeus was a hated man because of his profession as a tax collector. The people of his day despised tax collectors because many in this profession were unfair, and unjust; demanding more taxes than the government required and “pocketing” the extra.
When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, he commanded him to hurry down from the tree and informed him that the
son of God would be a guest in his home that very day. Even though I am sure Jesus already knew it all, Zacchaeus explained to him of how fair he had been in his profession. In actuality, he had gone to great lengths to ensure he was not cheating anyone.
Please note this important fact: Zacchaeus was a rich man according to verse 2 in the text. What does that tell you? I believe God had blessed this short man for “standing tall.” This day would prove to be the best day in Zacchaeus’ life when Jesus explained that “salvation had come to his house”. Bystanders were offended that Jesus would go to the house of a hated tax collector, but Jesus explained that Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham just like the rest of them and thus was capable of receiving salvation.
Folks, today this capability is ours as well! God demands that we stand tall!!
I would like for you to consider the following questions:
Do you see things wrong in your life and try to hide them instead of facing and defeating them?
James 4:17:“Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Does the worship assembly you attend deviate from scripture and you over look it or ignore it?
Galatians 2:5a:(speaking of false brethren causing harm to the cause of Christ)
“To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour. That the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”
Do you speak out against homosexuality, abortion, fornication and all sin in general?
Acts 17:16Paul’s“spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.” What did he do? He spoke against it and preached the true God to them!!
As I consider this article, I can’t help but think of this fact: if we aren’t “standing tall” spiritually, then certainly we are “spiritual cowards” and if we are such we should be ashamed!
By God’s grace, if we are righteous Christians, we have no need to be ashamed. I Peter 4:16:“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed: but let him glorify God on this Behalf.”
As a congregation of the Lord’s church at Merrill Ridge, we are currently studying the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians 6:10-17, the apostle Paul writes that we are to be strong. In order to be strong we have to STAND, fully equipped with the “whole armor of God.” Please read this passage for yourself, or better yet, come and study it with us on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm.
Paul was a man who stood tall and knew how important it was to do so. Even in the face of death, he still preached Christ. Why? How could he have such faith? I believe it was because he had hope. (read Philippians 1:20-21)
Please read Romans 5, paying particular attention to verse five. Paul says “hope maketh not ashamed.” When there is no hope, we are defeated! There is nothing to look forward to, so we coward away in some corner. Hope is victory over cowardice.
Jesus himself said it best, I believe, in Mark 8:38: “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation: of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
If we ever hope to attain Heaven when this life is over, it is clear that we must first, stand tall. So, how about you? Do you stand out in the crowd? Do you stand tall? Are you someone God would choose for his cause?
You are cordially invited to enquire with us regarding any Biblical matter. We would be overjoyed to study with you.