“Three things are stately in their tread; four are stately in their stride: the lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any; the strutting rooster, the he-goat, and a king whose army is with him, (Proverbs 30:29,30, ESV).
There was a bully at school named Larry who put his index finger on my chest before math class once and declared: “As soon as school’s over,” he dug harder into my chest, “I’ll meet you by the bridge and beat you to a pulp.”
Well, I did the prudent thing; I went home another way.
But apparently bullies have memories, because he caught me on the way to school the next day. He was twice my size, and he had four or five buddies grinning in anticipation.
I thought to myself, “Well, I may as well get the first swing in.” So I hit him under the chin (I am not recommending this course of action, just recalling what happened that day!)
He fell over, assumed the fetal position, and started to cry!
The wise man says something similar. Notice that these “stately” creatures are given in diminishing order of regalness; the lion is indeed regal, the rooster less so, the goat even less than that.
Finally there is the picture of a king — big and brave and powerful — as long as his army is around him for protection. Even a rooster or a billy goat is more impressive than a king who is not willing to lead his people from the front.
Churches, countries and communities need leadership. Real leaders lead from the point position, not from the grandstand or the critic’s corner.