Posted on Oct 6, 2017 | 0 comments

This is from my friend Skip Moen, “Today’s Word” sent out daily. With all the division amongst the body today, the ‘need’ for recognition and titles and what have you – this word for the day simply reminded me of my son, Jason. Jason was never one to ask for recognition, never one that grandstanded, never one that needed the spotlight. He was one of those souls that only spoke when the time was right, helped without being asked and never needed a thank you. Well, almost … he wasn’t perfect, but he tried really hard.

Mistakes Will Be Made
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

He has given freely to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his hornwill be exalted in honor. Psalm 112:9 NASB

Horn – In Hebrew, the word qeren means both the literal horn like the horn of an animal and the figurative expression of power. The mistranslation of this word as literal horns resulted in Michelangelo’s representation of Moses with horns. The translation should have described Moses with radiant streams like horns coming from his face after his encounter with God on Sinai. It is this figurative meaning that the psalmist uses in this verse. The author does not have cornucopia in mind. He is writing about power, not plenty. “Schmidt further notes that whereas teeth, mouth and claws are images of violent exercise of force, the horn denotes physical might and power. It is for God to exalt or trample down the horn; when men exalt their horn, it denotes arrogance (Ps 75:4–5). Consequently, ‘horn’ becomes a symbol for men endowed with such power (Dan 8:20–21).”[1]

What kind of power does the man of God possess? Actually, none! The man of God is a channel for the power of God. He does not possess the power at all. In fact, in Hebrew there is no word for possession as if a man permanently held ownership. All is loaned. God is the only owner. So what kind of power does the man of God exhibit? Anything God wants to do through him and, at the same time, nothing at all. God is on display, not the man of God. The key to this “horn” is its transparency. When it is exhibited, the man disappears behind the hand of the Lord. We might want to rethink our penchant for titles and positions in the religious world. The reason that the man of God will be exalted is simply because we can see God’s handiwork through him. And not much else.

It’s difficult for us to be used without credit, isn’t it? We want just that little bit of recognition for all our hard work. In fact, we even have laws that demand we be credited. Proper citation. Infringement. Copyright. Plaques. Street signs. You name it; we want it. The eternal quest for validation. But the man of God seeks a different kind of recognition—the recognition of anonymity. God knows. That’s enough.

Is it enough for you?

Topical Index: horn, qeren, power, recognition, Psalm 112:9

[1] Coppes, L. J. (1999). 2072 קָרַן. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 816). Chicago: Moody Press.

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