Humble Yourself


Humble yourself before God. Now is your chance. Our problem is that we too powerful and fierce in our own eyes. Does this resonate with you? Don’t wait for God to humble you. Instead, follow the example of Jesus, who showed us how to humble ourselves…

1 Woe to the land of whirring wings
along the rivers of Cush,
2 which sends envoys by sea
in papyrus boats over the water.

Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers.

3 All you people of the world,
you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
you will hear it.
4 This is what the Lord says to me:
“I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
6 They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
the wild animals all winter.

7 At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty

from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers—

the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the Lord Almighty.
Isaiah 18:1-7

In the message to the Ethiopians, who were a great and feared people of that time, God tells them that he will prune them back (vs 5) and that their response will be to bring a gift of homage to God in Jerusalem. Even though they were powerful and fierce and oppressive as a nation, in humility they would bow to God. What can we learn from this story?

We know that God promises us that he will oppose the proud and give grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1Peter 5:5). This should make us reflect like the Ethiopians of old: are we too powerful and fierce in our own eyes? Are we proud and strong? Don’t wait for God to humble you.

James 4 teaches us to submit to the Lord – to draw near to him and purify our hearts. 1Peter 5 teaches us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that he lifts you up at the proper time: his time. Peter and James remind us that the devil prowls and seeks to draw us off course. We must resist him, otherwise we will self-inflate to the point in which we are strong and fierce in our own eyes… Is that you?

Again, humble yourself now. Don’t wait. God is more than able to humble you.

In fact, consider the example of Jesus, who, although he was God in the flesh, didn’t consider his stature to be as important as acting as a servant in his time on earth. As a servant, Jesus was humble to the point of death because he loved us. And we think we need to be strong and mighty…

It’s absurd, yet it also happens to be our ongoing battle. Humble yourself before God. Now is your chance.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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