16 May 2020
As we study the book of Daniel, we see clearly the absolute sovereignty of God; we also see the pride of man and how man constantly seeks to be worshipped as god. Behind the pride and arrogance of man, we know that Satan is continually working to establish his own kingdom and to usurp God from the throne – fuelled by his own desire and pride to be worshipped.
Contrast this with God’s condescension and the humility of the triune God. God first humbled Himself for our salvation in the Incarnation and on the cross and He humbles Himself for our knowledge of salvation by addressing us in and through the often humanly unimpressive words of the Bible.
The death of God’s Son on Calvary shows us how completely God, in love to mankind, was willing to hide His glory and become vulnerable to shame and dishonour.
As believers, we may be so familiar with the Incarnation, the cross and the Bible as the Word of God that we fail to appreciate clearly how it is possible for the almighty infinite Creator to become man and to live within the limitations of finite humanity; we also may not question how the infinite, transcendent and incomprehensible Creator could reveal Himself in the words of ordinary folk thousands of years ago. Many non-believers, including intellectuals and philosophers, in their pride, refer to what Christians claim to be true to be unbelievable and even absurd! But the truth is – God has actually done it! The Incarnation is a wise and glorious mystery! As to God’s communication with us in the Bible – God has actually done it and He still reveals Himself by so applying to us what He said to others in the past that we come to know with certainty what He says to us in the present. This is also a wise and glorious mystery, and from it flows saving knowledge.
The weak-looking disreputable event of the Cross as the means of our salvation – this is a challenge to sinful pride of both mind and heart of man! But like Apostle Paul, when we see the wondrous love, grace and humility of God in His taking our place in HIs Son on the cross, we can only but boast in the Cross of Jesus!
We see the same spirit of humility all through our Lord Jesus’ earthly ministry. From the cradle to the grave, He was ‘clothed with humility’ (1 Pet.5:5). He was born poor; He spent the first thirty years of HIs life in a carpenter’s house at Nazareth; He was followed by poor companions, many of them no better than fishermen; He was poor in His manner of living: ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests,but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head’ (Matt.8:20). When He went on the sea of Galilee, it was in a borrowed boat; when He rode into Jerusalem, it was on a borrowed ass; when He was buried, it was in a borrowed tomb. Yes, indeed, ‘Though He was rich, yet for our sakes, He became poor’ (2 Cor.8:9).
When we ponder on the condescension and humility of the triune God, we see the great contrast in man (and the evil one)! How common are pride, and ambition, and high-mindedness! How few ever refuse greatness when offered to them! Do not imagine that we are just describing the condition of unbelievers. Pride, arrogance, and ambition also plague God’s people, even among those who are called to lead and to take leadership in various positions. When we succumb to this, we are imitating the many kings seen in the book of Daniel; we need to focus on the man Daniel and appreciate his humility, his rejection of earthly greatness and his devotion to his God. Most of all, we need to turn our eyes unto the Lord Jesus, the supreme example of humility and servanthood!
We must remember that humility is the first step toward heaven and the true way to honour. ‘He that humbled himself shall be exalted’ (Luke 18:14). It has been said, “Tell me, how much humility a man has, and I will tell you how much religion he has”.
Hear the Words of the Lord God:-
“Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look; he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:1-2).