Boasting of your armour?

So the king of Israel answered and said, “Tell him, ‘Let not the one who puts on his armour boast like the one who takes it off.’ 1 Kings 20:11 (NKJV)

Harness or armour is a defensive weapon that is very crucial in any warfare. To modern mind, it is equivalent to what we call bullet proof. The soldier fully kitted with a bullet proof dress inside an armoured tank may have reasons to boast of invincibility than the one merely wearing his uniform on the street.

I was shocked seeing a pretty lady slapping a hefty man in Marina years ago. The fact that the man appeared helpless and could not retaliate was enough to draw my curiosity. On realising that the lady was an army officer and soldiers in uniform were not far from the scene, I understood where her gut came from. Whenever you see a young man challenging elders to battle, he must have something he’s leveraging on. He could be richer, more powerful, more endowed or better positioned in the society.

Benhadad, the king of Syria knew the advantage he had over Samaria. After besieging the city with thirty two kings, horses and chariots, he decided to intimidate King Ahab as recorded in 1 Kings 20. In verse 3 he sent to Ahab, the king of Israel. Hear him speak: ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your loveliest wives and children are mine.‘ (NKJV)

If you have a heart like mine, you would pity Ahab. What was his response in verse 4?

And the king of Israel answered and said, “My lord, O king, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours.”

Ahab did not know that intimidators don’t stop easily. When you remove your leg from where it can be stepped on, they will remove the cover to prove they are stronger! Ahab had to inform his subjects when Benhadad sent again to demand for more than his wives, children, silver and gold. How would a king be expected to open his palace and houses of his men for predating Syrians to take whatever was pleasant to them? Wickedness and oppression of the highest order! Terrible humiliation!

Benhadad, like the devil and all oppressors would not tolerate any challenge to their whims. So, in his fury, he boasted of total annihilation of Samaria. This is not a mere threat or an attempt to intimidate. Ahab, who is now pushed to the wall is not an admirable Bible character but his response should make any wise man think deep.

So the king of Israel answered and said, “Tell him, ‘Let not the one who puts on his armour boast like the one who takes it off.’ 1 Kings 20:11 (NKJV)

The Amplified Bible makes it easier to understand.

The king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘A man who puts on [his armour to go to battle] should not boast like the man who takes it off [after the battle has been won].’”

Dear reader, is there any intimidator harassing you? Who is the man that is boasting of dealing with you, child of God? What is the situation that the foe is using to make you hang your harp and support your chin, wiping tears with hands meant to clap unto your God? Has the battle been lost? Even if it seems so, I don’t think so. As long as you are alive, no failure needs be final unless it is not God that has the final say in the affairs of your life!

Benhadad got his multitude ready to attack Israel. God in his mercy sent a prophet to Ahab promising him victory. Against all odds, the young men of the princes of the provinces looked too small for Benhadad to deal with and he charged his men to capture them alive. Who won the battle? The people of God. God still uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise!

Would the Syrians easily accept the defeat? No. They did not see God fighting against them and so they came back the following year to fight. Even though they modified their strategy, so as to be able to wipe out the much smaller nation. Who won the battle? ISRAEL! Why?

Jam 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

When the sea is boisterous and the sound of Goliath makes the ground below you tremble, you should know God enough now that the louder the drum of the foes, the nearer it is to bursting. Their boast would make God resist them and grant you grace to overcome the challenges! That lecturer threatening / intimidating you is nobody when God fights for you. That boss can’t fire you unless God intends it for your lifting to higher ground o child of God. Termination of your contract can’t be done by any man unless God allows it for your progress.

Any child of God living in the will of God is born again to be a great winner in all situation. The devil cannot even stop us with his powers. We should however beware of his old tricks. When Balaam could not curse Israel, he advised their enemies to entice them by sexual immorality and idolatry! Rev 2:14. If the devil cannot stop us from lofty attainments, we should know we would be tempted to boast! Dictionaries describe boasting as talking with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities. Boasting is the verbal expression of pride. We therefore would need from time to time not think we are successful in exams because we are brilliant. Never think you are rich because you are brilliant and hardworking.

We are in the world where boasting is becoming a normal thing and the man that is not boasting is looked down on as someone who has not achieved much and / or as someone suffering from inferiority complex. It is not uncommon for preachers / teachers of the word to boast of how many souls are excited to listen to them. Prayer warriors can boast of number of hours they spend in fasting and prayers just as rich men would boast of their vast empires and highly expensive toys. Every Goliath can boast of his armour apart from his highly intimidating size.

Over two decades ago, while being inducted as a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), we were told by one of the council members to raise our shoulders high as great laureates who had just won tickets emancipating them from poverty forever! Even though I didn’t really understand what the pomposity was all about, we were encouraged to boast for being part of the less than 10% that passed the qualifying examinations. Thinking back, is it all that boasted that day that can claim to be more successful than some that never passed the exams today? Matriculating could be exciting and could even tempt new students in tertiary institutions to boast but they should wait till they successfully graduate with the best grades. The valedictorian may boast of his / her feat but that does not make him / her get the best job in town! The richest may not be the best in health!


Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise and skillful person glory and boast in his wisdom and skill; let not the mighty and powerful person glory and boast in his strength and power; let not the person who is rich [in physical gratification and earthly wealth] glory and boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord. Jer 9:23-24. Amplified Bible

Israel today, though a tiny nation cannot be intimidated by the Arab world that surround her. This isn’t just because of her high defence system but the fact that God has proven to be fortress to the surprise of “superpowers” of our world!

King Saul wanted support of multitudes as a defence. God had to debunk this theory when he asked Gideon to use only 300 men instead of 32,000! Jonathan his son understood better and thus with his armour bearer, was able to slaughter 20 Philistines and God backed them up to give Israel an overwhelming victory.

When an achiever does not boast, know that he knows something that most people do not know! They see no wisdom in asking all viruses in the world to come and attack them simply because of strong immunisation with powerful antivirus. If horses and chariots are worth boasting of, Pharaoh and his men would not have perished in the red sea! Until you finish well, you don’t join the saints triumphant. At our best, we are part of the church militant! As long as we are still at the battle front, it is no time to boast of anything other than that we know the Lord and understand His path and this comes only be faith wherewith we please Him to enjoy His grace.

In conclusion, I tell you: “.. Let not the one who puts on his armour boast like the one who takes it off.’ 1 Kings 20:11

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