Big Cheeses

December 27, 2013

“I’m the big cheese!” This is an expression I used to hear when I was young. Now I laugh because cheese sounds so cheesy, cheap, and silly; therefore, who would want to be “the big cheese” anyway? But big cheeses they are –those who scramble to appear important and powerful, shoving others out of their way through trickery and abuse, and revealing themselves to be the opposite of who and what they wish to be regarded as. Craving social applause they merely heap up disgust toward themselves, as well as, of course, God’s wrath.

What does a big cheese wannabe do? Well, certainly one thing he does, and this in order to rationalize his evil, is that he says to himself, “The Lord does not see or pay attention.” (See Ps. 94:7 and Ezek. 8:12) “God pays no heed to my sins, idolatries, and methods of crushing others. Besides, because I am cunning and skilled, because I have influence, wisdom, and wealth, I am like a god to many people and therefore am entitled to behave as I please.” (See Ps. 10:2-11 & 94:4-7 and Isa. 14:13,14 and Ezek. 28:1-5)

Such people are a stench in God’s nostrils (Isa. 65:2-7) and because they have rejected His ways of justice, righteousness, truth, and all goodness, these arrogant oppressors He will bring down with great tumult (Amos 2:2), destruction, and fire. (ch. 1 & 2) Yet oblivious to the Lord’s hand of judgement above them (Isa. 26:11) –oblivious because “they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin” (see Ps. 36:2), these big cheeses gleefully go on in their corrupt ways.

It reminds me of the story of “The Emperor and His New Clothes”. For big cheeses try so hard to look knowledgable, important, and powerful as they accept and incorporate into their lives worldly philosophies. But while strutting with pride, they only reveal their nakedness. Instead of their conduct bringing them honor, it really becomes their disgrace. Indeed, swaggering with their buttocks half bared, or standing at a podium lying and deceiving with eloquent oration, or using extortion to defraud those they pretended to befriend, big cheeses plunge deeper into the lake of foolishness.

Another picture of them that comes to mind is the “King of the Mountain” game we used to play at recess at the mission school at Nasuli. There were large volcanic rocks dotted all over one section of our school grounds; so we would play tag by running and jumping from rock to rock, while stepping on the ground would be cause for violation. The boys, however, thought it a test of their power to sometimes try to wrestle each other off a rock. Once successful, the conqueror would usually beat his chest or flex his (little) muscles, shouting out the declaration, “I’m the king of the mountain!” I just laugh remembering…! How childish and silly. Yet it’s a sad laugh I finish with as, shaking my head in disbelief, I do wonder how grown men I’ve encountered since can think themselves admirable as they resort to similar behavior in their pursuit of making themselves appear stronger than the others around them. But, such is the mindset and conduct of “the big cheeses”.

Is there ever an appropriate time to mock self-exalting idolators? There is. (1 Kings 18:27 // Jer. 19:8 // 1 Cor. 4:10) The Lord Himself mocks proud mockers (Pr. 3:34) and makes them a spectacle of His contempt. (Nahum 3:5-7) “The One sitting enthroned in Heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath” (Ps. 2:4,5), announcing to them who the true King and Ruler is (v. 6-9) and what they’d best do about it! (v. 10-12)

Silly corrupt oppressors. Flexing their finite muscles atop their conquered volcanic rock and singing about the speck they are king of, they display with pride what they think is their importance, which is, actually, a display of only their nakedness and shame. For even after constant and prayerful exhortations from those who have cared, these big cheeses remain bent on bringing upon themselves derision and eventually, their own complete demise.

If only all the big cheeses would grow up. If only they could comprehend what is truly important in life.

with love,

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