Humility these days is in short supply.
I’m certainly no model of humility.
Zephaniah preached to, and admonished, a complacent people who had grown repulsively stagnant in their devotion to the very God who had, over and over again, blessed them materially and rescued them from their enemies.
Making things worse, Israel had lost their healthy fear and reverence of God, no longer worrying about him ever punishing them for their sin or, for that matter, interfering with their comfortable lives at all. Through Zephaniah, God mocks their blatant arrogance:
“They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad.”
God knew Israel needed a heavy dose of humility, which is why he instructed Zephaniah to say to them:
“Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly.”
I’m fairly certain Zephaniah was thinking to himself, “What part of ‘be humble’ do you people not understand?”
As I thought about the pervasive arrogance and entitlement so evident in our North American culture, I was quickly reminded of how much value God places on humility. Consider the following few examples from scripture:
2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people who are called by my name humble themselves,…
2 Samuel 22:28 – You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. (cf. Psalm 18:27)
James 4:6 – Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (cf. Proverbs 3:34)
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
It was C.S. Lewis who once quipped,
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”
Need a solid example of humility?
Look no further than Christ, who offered the ultimate form of humility…
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick