A few thoughts about verses 5-7…
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…
First, a few definitions.
Humility is an honest assessment of ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.
Pride is a conspiring to steal glory from the only One that is rightfully due glory. It is a pursuing of self-glorification and a refusal to acknowledge dependence upon God.
With these definitions in mind you can understand why God so vehemently opposes the proud.
Question #1: What does humility look like in a believer’s life? Numbers 12:3 tells us that “the man Moses was very humble – more than all the people who were on the face of the earth.” So perhaps we can learn a thing or two about humility from him.
In Psalm 90 we have recorded “A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.” He gives us some clues in verses 12-17 of how humility expresses itself.
Humility is characterized by:
A teachable spirit – In verse 12 Moses prays, “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Do we come to God each day with a willingness to learn from Him; with an understanding that we still need the Lord to instruct us how to navigate our way through this world?
A sense of dependent neediness – In verse 14, Moses prays, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Do we look to the Lord for our satisfaction and joy and happiness or do we try to find it through sources that the world provides?
A recognition of God’s glory and power – In verse 16, Moses prays, “Let YOUR work be shown to your servants, and YOUR glorious power to their children.” Are we first and foremost concerned that God gets the glory that is His due or are we more concerned about getting the recognition that we crave?
A longing for the favor of God – In verse 17 Moses prays, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us.” Do we long for God’s favor upon our life or do we seek primarily the favor of people.
A pursuit of God in prayer – This Psalm is an indication that Moses spent time in prayer with the Lord. Prayer in and of itself is an act of humility as we recognize our need for Him.
Question #2: Practically, how do we clothe ourselves with humility? In other words, how do we develop humility in our lives?
Philippians 2:5-8 is instructive here as we learn from Jesus.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
We can learn humility:
1) By serving others – By nature we tend towards selfishness and wanting others to serve us. By “taking the form of a servant” we take our eyes off ourselves and focus of meeting the needs of others. A great question to ask the Lord each day is this: Who can I serve today and how can I serve them?
2) By being obedient to the Lord – Jesus was not thrilled with the idea of being crucified on a cross (Matthew 26:39) but obeyed willingly. We don’t always like doing what God’s Word commands but we learn humility every time we obey willingly because God sees our desire to please Him rather than pleasing ourselves.
May this brick help you to “clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility.”