“I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
Most of us can easily recognize the natural tendency to want to exalt ourselves. God warns against the tendency to lift oneself up. To the wicked, He says, “Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high.” The horn is an emblem of power or authority. To lift up your horn would be the equivalent of exalting yourself. We are not to promote ourselves. The verse then goes on to say, “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” It is God who has the final say about who is promoted and who is not.
Many men have been disappointed because they did not get a promotion or advancement to which they felt they were entitled. This can be true in the church as well as in the community. This Scripture teaches us that we are to trust in the Lord for His will to be done. We are not to rely on our ability to manipulate or win favor, but rather should rely entirely on God to direct our lives and to guide those who have influence over us. Remember, the Lord is over those who are over us. He can humble, or bring low, those that are proud or haughty. He is able to raise up those who are humble. He sets up kings and puts down others.
It is not our natural ability or human strength that secures our position. Neither is it a simple turn of fate that determines our place. The unseen hand of God ultimately decides where we will serve and what our responsibilities will be. Our place, and our success in that place, depends on God. He may raise up those that we would not choose, and He may put down those that we would promote.
The wisest thing is for us to walk humbly with God and always seek to be submissive to His will. Not only does God have the power to promote or demote those He chooses, He also has the wisdom to know what is best for us and what will bring Him the most glory. He knows that a premature promotion might result in problems. He knows that the experience that humbles us might produce needed character in our spiritual walk.