Sunday, November 4, 2012

1 Peter 5:5-7

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Some people view God as aloof and uninvolved in the affairs of men. They see the earth as a spinning top that God set in motion thousands of years ago, and then walked away from. They view God as impotent (powerless) and as incapable of intervening with the world we live in. But this view is not the view that Scripture gives. As a matter of fact, in today’s text, Peter typifies a very active God. God knows that those who are prideful do so to their own detriment and to the detriment of others; and according to verse 5, He intervenes. So then , God, Who is not aloof, but rather intimately involved in the afairs of all men, lovingly and powerfully resists the prideful. With force, with strength, with His Divine might He resists the proud. It isn’t good enough to acknowledge the prideful and condescendingly say “Pride is wrong.” No, God Who works in the lives of men, sees and acts in all things earthly. Here He resists the proud, but Peter continues with “but He giveth grace to the humble.” So if God is acting on and interacting with mankind, would you prefer that He be actively resisting you or pouring out His grace on you? This is why Peter goes on to give the advice, “Humble yourselves.” That is the wise thing to do. The mighty hand of God is not weak, so humble yourself under it, or have it humble you. If we stop there though, our theology paints God almost as a Cosmic kill-joy, and He is not. So as we read on, He is the one Who exalts. He doesn’t want you to not be proud because you should live in a monastic life of obscurity, no, He desires that you rely on Him and humble yourself under His hand so that with that same hand He can exalt you. Exaltation from God is far greater than self-exaltation, but too often we lose sight of this and seek our own praise. Don’t. He will lift you up in due time. You don’t have to lift up yourself.
Food For Thought: In what ways does God lift us up? Give at least one temporal example and one eternal example.