Overrating Oneself
1 Kings 20:11
And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girds on his harness boast himself as he that puts it off.

All up and down history we see such too early boasting. Soult, thy Marshal of France, was so certain that he would conquer that he had a proclamation printed, announcing himself King of Portugal, and had a grand feast prepared for four o'clock that afternoon, but before that hour he fled in ignominious defeat, and Wellington, of the conquering host, sat down at four o'clock at the very banquet the Marshal of France had ordered for himself. Charles V. invaded France, and was so sure of the conquest that he requested Paul Jovius, the historian, to gather together a large amount of paper on which to write the story of his many victories, but disease and famine seized upon his troops, and he retreated in dismay. Dr. Pendleton and Mr. Saunders were talking in the time of persecution under Queen Mary. Saunders was trembling and afraid, but Pendleton said: "What! Man, there is much more cause for me to fear than you. You are small, and I have a large bodily frame, but you will see the last piece of this flesh consumed to ashes before I ever forsake Jesus Christ and His truth, which I have professed." Not long after, Saunders, the faint-hearted, gave up his life for Christ's sake, while Pendleton, who had talked so big, played coward and gave up religion when the test came. Wilberforce did not tell what he was going to do with the slave trade; but how much he accomplished is suggested by Lord Brougham's remark concerning him after his decease: "He went to heaven with eight hundred thousand broken fetters in his hands." Some one, trying to dissuade Napoleon from his invasion of Russia, said, "Man proposes, but God disposes." Napoleon replied, "I propose and I dispose." But you remember Moscow and ninety-five thousand corpses in the snow-banks. The only kind of boasting that prospers was that of Paul, who cried out, "I glory in the cross of Christ"; and that of John Newton, who declared, "I am not what I ought to be; I am not what I wish to be; I am not what I hope to be, but by the grace of God I am not what I was."

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.

WEB: The king of Israel answered, "Tell him, 'Don't let him who puts on his armor brag like he who takes it off.'"

Girding on the Harness
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