Psa. 68:21 ¶ But God will shatter the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crown of those who walk in their guilty ways.
The Psalmist David was praising God for victory over numerous enemies. Some of those enemies were referred to as ones with hairy crowns. This meant that the very scalp of their head was hairy. Who were these enemies? It could have been David's son Absalom who was obsessed with his own hair and eventually died as a result of having so much long hair that it got caught up in a tree. Or, it could have referred to some of the more barbaric enemies in the region. In an effort to make themselves look scary to the people they would grow their hair out long, not caring for it until it was simply a wild and unruly mess on the top of their heads. It didn't matter -- either those who were prideful of their hair, or those who chose to use their hair as a crazy costume -- God was going to be victorious, and he used the very center of their pride to bring them down.
Human pride and arrogance are enemies to God. The hairy crowns were symbolic of those who had chosen to follow their own vices, and not submit to God. We run into these types of people on a regular basis. There are those who are obsessed with looking perfect, and then there are those who take pride in being as wild as possible. In many ways they are both extremes.
David's son, Absalom was known for having incredibly beautiful hair. It was heavy, thick, long and wavy. Because his hair was so beautiful and he got so many comments about its beauty he became almost obsessed with caring for his hair. It needed to be washed and dried regularly, and brushed out just so! It was the very source of his pride that created his downfall. His hair was caught up in the branches of a tree as he was riding by and he was caught, hanging in the tree.
There are enemies of God today who are hung up on their personal perfection. Their goal is to look just right; act just right; and do everything just perfect. Their lives become stunted by their desire for perfection. If they can't do something perfectly, then why do it at all? This is a type of pride, a pride in which God is not allowed to do his work in and through you. Instead, you take all control and try to tell God how he can work. Sadly, it will be one of those "perfect" qualities that may bring you down.
Of course these days we also confront those on the other extreme. There is a sense of utter lawlessness that continues to rise in popularity; an idea that we deserve everything and therefore we must be accountable for nothing. It is this idea of looking wild and crazy and acting in barbaric ways. It's a self-centeredness that screams "It's all about me!" The world is supposed to stop and take notice of the fact that these people can live without rules or boundaries and simply do anything that they feel like doing. We are not supposed to be intolerant of them because they are allowed to "simply be themselves." But we all know that this kind of behavior is ultimately destructive, both to themselves and to those with whom they come in contact.
Could it be that we all have a little bit of a hairy crown? Maybe there is some source of pride which gets in the way of our personal relationship with God. The hairy crown was symbolic of the enemies of God. We cannot have these types of barriers for they will lead us into guilty ways. Guilt will keep us from the relationship we are created to have with him. Let's look at whether we have allowed hairy crowns to develop in our lives and if so, let's cut them off and never allow them to be the cause of our personal destruction.
Search me O God, and know my heart! Amen.