“The Guns of Will Sonnett” ran two seasons in 1967-69, but I still remember its repeated line. Walter Brennan played the patriarch of a family of fast guns. Will Sonnett was an ex-cavalry scout and gunfighter who roamed the west with his grandson, seeking his wandering son. In numerous adventures, the two displayed their prowess with pistols, stating that their legendary speed was “no brag, just fact.”
Boasting reveals unseemly pride. We have so many phrases to describe this tendency: “tooting his own horn,” “no one likes a braggart,” “Pride goes before a fall.” Or as one author put it, “He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.” Charles Martin, Chasing Fireflies.
This past week our Bible study group looked at Isaiah 2:6-22. Our study book noted that the words “majesty” (2:10, 19, 21) and “pride” (2:11, 12, 17) in the New International Version, which are translated “loftiness’ in the New American Standard Bible and King James Versions, are actually the same word in the Hebrew original. In this passage the same word is used both for an attribute of God and a sin of humans. This question followed:
“Why is loftiness (exaltation, highness) acceptable for God but wrong and foolish for man (2:21-22)?”
At times I have felt uncomfortable when God speaks of His own glory, majesty, wisdom, power, and holiness. So the question in the study guide echoed my thoughts.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that the word “boast often suggests ostentation and exaggeration, but may imply a claiming with proper and justifiable pride.”
God really IS glorious, majestic, holy, perfect and wise. He is the all-Powerful and Perfect Creator of the Universe.
We are NOT exalted and high. We are limited, imperfect, sinful, weak, often petty, and selfish.
What would be arrogant bragging by us is just a statement of truth by God.
No brag, just fact.
A NavPress Bible Study on the Book of Isaiah. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1987, page 37.