Dr. Harold Hoehner wrote a magisterial work on Herod Antipas (he’s the Herod who cut John the Baptist’s head off and connived with Pilate in the trial of Jesus) and he worked for years and finally published one of the most insightful commentaries on the Book of Ephesians. Since his death on February 12, 2009, the influence of his writings continues. He taught me almost all I know about the Second Temple Period and was the head of the doctoral program at Dallas Seminary when I received my degree. He was especially a “bear” when it came to the exactness of my footnotes. Daily I use the skills he generated in my life through his teaching in the classroom, but I remember more his quiet yet stunning corrections when either as a student or colleague he corrected me as only Dr. Hoehner could.
For example if in conversation my insecurities pushed me to start running through a list of my accomplishments, or if I started bragging about what I thought was a brilliant personal insight into the Word, Dr. Hoehner would look at me and casually say, “Dave, don’t you think that someone else should be saying that?”
Harold had internalized the fatherly teaching from Proverbs chapter three about how unbecoming it is to toot your own horn.
“Don’t be wise in your own eyes! Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Follow these instructions and it will bring health to the core of your body and nourishment to your very bones.” - Proverbs 3:7-18
LORD, I live in a culture that counsels that self -promotion is an absolute necessity to getting ahead. Help me to keep trusting You and Your counter argument that if I want to be skillful in the way I live my life I need to be humble and listen first to You and then to others. It’s still true that others in the end will not respect the person who goes around tooting their own horn. Protect me from my pride and help me today to revere You enough to run away from evil.
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