Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

“Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.” (Psalm 22:12-13 NKJV)
My Experience
When I was in elementary school, I used to run home frequently to avoid some bullies that always wanted to “fight” for some reason.  Since I was small and they were big, they picked on me until some other big guys in the school found out that they were shirt-tail relatives.  After that they defended our family and me and we didn’t have to worry too much about being bullied.
I experienced a boss in a corporate setting that bullied me into making journal entries that should never have been made.  However, I never experienced really good bullying until I became a Christian and was subject to the bullying of some who claimed to be Christians.  Some of the bullying was confrontational, others bullied by being deceptive.  But they all wanted me to understand who was “in control.”  In reading the Scriptures, I have found out that the Lord experienced bullying as well and was subject to it by those who should have been worshiping Him. 
Who Are the Strong Bulls of Bashan?
In Psalm 22 we read about the strong bulls of Bashan.  They seem to represent the Lord’s countrymen, Israelites.  They had become his strong opposition.  They were mockers.  We read,  “Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,  He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.  He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God (Matthew 27:41-43 NKJV).'”  If He had come down from the cross, they would have had nothing to believe and there would have been no salvation for sinners. 
Notice, the chief priests, the scribes (those who could read and write) and the elders (those who should have had wisdom) all were involved.  They used peer pressure to convince the crowd to crucify the Lord.  We read, “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus (Matthew 27:20 NKJV).”   Likely many in this crowd had been among those who were laying their clothes and palm branches in the path of the Lord as He made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem earlier in that week.  How easily bullies are able to persuade people.
What Crowd are We In?
We know that the many (or the crowd) is usually wrong in Scripture.  Most of us follow leaders that are proud, self-serving liars out of peer pressure and because we fear them.  We don’t want to be bullied by them like we see them do to others.  But there are always a few that are able to stand for truth and are able to resist the power of the strong bulls of Bashan who are likened to raging and roaring lions.  There are many like Stephen in Acts 7 who are willing to stand up to rebellious and stiff-necked people.  But where do we fit into this constant tension?  Peter tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV).”  We are to resist him steadfast in the faith (that is by depending on and by reminding Satan of the promises of God). 
Humility is hard to find in political circles and in many social circles. It should not be hard to find in Christian circles; but unfortunately, even there, some want to “have the preeminence” like Diotrophes in 3rd John verse 9.  Do we have the ability to recognize false brethren and deceitful workers in the church today?  They are there and we must be careful to follow those who are good and not those who are evil who are not even saved (3 John 1:11).
Bullies are everywhere.  We need to make sure that we are not doing the bullying and that we are not following bullies.  We need to be following the Lord and we can’t do that until we trust HIm.  If we really trust HIm, we should want to be like Him and not like religious bullies.
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the weeks of February 13 and 20, 2022

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