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Proverbs 28:1

Proverbs 28:1
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Proverbs 28:1, “…the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

What is true, lion-like boldness? Certainly the culture around us has many answers….boldness is being loud and confident, boldness is not letting anyone take advantage of you, boldness is not bowing down, boldness is standing your ground, etc. etc…But can we just import that idea of boldness onto biblical boldness? I would suggest the answer is “no.”

Ultimately “boldness”—like everything else in reality—must be defined at the cross. Indeed, it is on Calvary that we know the True Righteous One and upon the cross that we see True Boldness. And how is boldness defined there?

On the cross we see that True Boldness is a confidence in and love for God that strengthens the Righteous One to lay down His life in love for His enemies. True Boldness, we might say, is that which creates the context in which we are able to give ourselves up—in the name of Christ and out of love—for those who hate us.

We see this same truth when we consider how the language of Proverbs 28 is interpreted through the cross. What is the boldness of a lion? We get the answer in Revelation 5:5-9. There we see that the Lion of Judah is, in fact, the slaughtered and living Lamb. The Lionlike boldness of the Righteous One is in the service of and finds expression in His laying Himself down as the Lamb to be slain.

So, let us guard against importing our idea of “boldness”—with all of its culturally tinted associations—onto the boldness of the Christian life. Our lion-like boldness is defined by the Lion of Judah who shows Himself to be the bold and conquering Lion precisely in His becoming the meek and slaughtered Lamb. True Boldness serves self-giving love…True Boldness is a God-confidence (not self-confidence) that empowers us to give ourselves up—again and again, unto death—for our enemies. In this way the canvas of human history will be brought to completion as the blood of the martyrs (both metaphorical and literal) paints upon it the portrait of the slain and risen Lord. May God give us grace to grow in these things.