What does it mean to be truly humble? Does it mean to be ashamed? Does it mean to put ourselves down? Does it have to do with guilt, or self-hatred, or worthlessness? Most of us do not understand humility, and even fewer of us learn how to practice it. In this article, Moses will be one of the people we look at to better understand what it means to be humble.
There are some great examples of humble people in the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures. Who do you think was considered the most humble man on earth in his time? We will talk about him later in this article, but first let’s talk about Noah.
Noah is a good example of a humble man. Imagine being given an overwhelming project by God. A project that no human has ever attempted before. A project that would take years to accomplish. That would cost a fortune. And all the while you are working on this project people are criticizing you and laughing at you. As humans we like the praise of people. We like to be recognized and accepted. Noah wasn’t getting positive feedback. So, why did he keep building this huge boat when it made no human sense, and seemed impossible?
ABRAHAM and SARAH
Abraham and Sarah are another example of humble people. God asks them to leave their home, their family, their country, and travel a great distance to live in tents and sleep on the ground. They would be in constant danger. They would be surrounded by strangers who spoke a foreign language. But they denied themselves and sacrificed everything for God so they could be part of His plan, whatever it was. Abraham and Sarah could not have children because Sarah was barren. However, God had told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. It didn’t make any human sense. But Abraham trusted God. He continued to believe God’s promise even when they were too old to have children.
Let’s move forward in history to David, who is described as a man after God’s own heart. When he was young he was a shepherd, which is not a high or important position in the eyes of the world. But he had a close relationship with God. Was he proud when he went out alone to face Goliath, the giant? No, probably not. He knew that in himself he could not defeat the giant. His strength and weapons were weak and inferior compared to Goliath’s. But David’s confidence was not in himself. His confidence was in God. The giant was probably a proud man. Proud of his strength. Proud of his weapons. Proud of his country, and his mighty army. However, David knew that God opposes the proud, but He gives grace and help to the humble. Years later, David is the king of Israel, and his attitude has changed. He sees a married woman and commits adultery. And then to try and hide his sin, he has her husband killed. Nathan the prophet, comes and tells him about a man who has acted selfishly and sinfully. King David passes judgment, and says the man who did this deserves to die. Nathan looks at him and says, “You are the man.” And in an instant, David goes from being proud, to humble.
John the Baptist was a great prophet, and was anointed with God’s Spirit. He had great knowledge and influence, so much so that people flocked to him to confess their sins and repent, and to be baptized. Some people thought he must be the promised Messiah. Was he proud of his knowledge, and his power, and his large following of people and disciples? No, because he knew his position in God’s plan. He showed his humility when he said, “Someone greater than me is coming, and I am not worthy to undo His sandals.”
Saul of Tarsus was an influential man, well-educated, and had the authority to arrest, condemn and punish the Christians. He believed he was serving and pleasing God, and he had an intense devotion and zeal to obey the Hebrew law and the Jewish religious system. He was probably a proud man.
One day when he was traveling with his soldiers to Damascus to arrest the Christians there, a blinding light shone down on him from heaven. Jesus asked him from heaven, “Why are you persecuting Me?” At that moment, Saul’s whole life began to change when he realized that Jesus of Nazareth was alive, and Jesus was feeling the pain and suffering that Saul was inflicting on all the Christians. Saul responded to Jesus by asking, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Saul had lost his sight, and had to be led by the hand to Damascus. He went from being a proud man to a humble man. When Saul, now called Paul, later wrote to the Christians in Philippi, he explained that all of his life up to meeting Jesus had been worthless, and he considered it all rubbish.
Let’s go back in history again, and look at a man who spoke with God ‘face to face.’ He was born in Egypt, was raised as an Egyptian in Pharaoh’s palace, but he was a Hebrew. He was well-educated. He was strong. He had power, wealth and influence because he was considered the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses probably took some pride in his position and wealth. One day in protecting a Hebrew, he killed an Egyptian. Instead of being accepted by the Jews, who were slaves to the Egyptians, he was rejected. Moses was afraid and runs away, and takes the lowly position of a shepherd in a distant country. Many years later, as an old man of about 80 years of age, God speaks to him, and gives him an unbelievable mission. He wants this old man to rescue over one million Israelites that have been slaves in Egypt for 430 years! Moses doesn’t have an army. He doesn’t have any soldiers. He doesn’t have any weapons, and he is a frightened old man. To go back to Egypt could mean his death. God was asking him to do the impossible. What could he do against the mighty power of Egypt? Nothing. Like Noah being asked to build a huge boat. Like Abraham being asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. It didn’t make any human sense.
But, Moses went back to Egypt. And he was successful! Why? Because he realized that by himself he couldn’t do a thing. This man, who had been a frightened, old shepherd, successfully rescues all the people out of Egypt. What an accomplishment! Once they are all in the desert, Moses’ relationship with God became even more intense. He spoke with God personally, and in a human language! After his meetings with God his face shone like the sun. His face was so bright that people couldn’t look at him, and he had to put a cover over his face. He eventually commands over 600,000 soldiers! He was the leader of all the Hebrew people. And God personally gave him the Holy Scripture teachings and commands to be written down on parchment scrolls for future generations! Moses could have been very proud of all the things he had accomplished. However, he was considered the most humble man on earth! Why? Because he realized that all he had accomplished was not from his own strength and abilities! It was God working in him, and working through him. It was God’s power. It was God’s wisdom. And it was God’s plan that made it all possible. Moses was a humble servant, but he also realized it is a great honor to partner with God! Remember, Moses was one of two men chosen to meet Jesus about 1,400 years later on the mountain in the Promised Land!
True humility first means agreeing with God’s evaluation of us. It is also agreeing with God’s plan and will for us, and realizing we can’t do anything good on our own. Humility involves obedience and submission, and not trusting in ourselves, but putting our trust and confidence in God’s plan.
As the scriptures say, “The life and breath of every living thing is in God’s hand. And in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” When we realize that we can’t take a breath without God, or lift a finger, or take a step, then we have the right perspective. And then we can partner with God, and be His humble co-worker in His plan of reconciliation.
The above article was written by Philip Legge, who is the founder of Legge School Of Natural Health Care and Legge Fitness Superstores located in Listowel and Fergus Ontario. For more information, please call 1-800-695-7338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website www.leggefitness.com to view their full line of health and fitness products and services.