1 Peter 5:5-7
“You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
Clothed in Humility
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”- From C.S. Lewis in his book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Is God safe? No, He isn’t safe! Of course He isn’t safe! He is the Creator of every element that has and ever will exist. He spoke all things into being with words. He sustains all things by the word of His power. His strength, knowledge and power have no end. He turns water into wine, commands storms to cease and can feed 5,000 with five loafs of bread. Did we mention that He raises people from the dead? He creates light and darkness, He creates prosperity and calamity and, He is good!
Isaiah 40:15, “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” A speck of dust is basically invisible. Our houses are full of dust and we can see dust when it accumulates but to see one speck of dust with the naked eye is impossible. This is how Gods greatness compares to all the nations of the world. Imagine how He sees each individual person!
Human pride puts us in the place of God. Isn’t this absurd given the first three paragraphs? Proverbs 16:5 reads, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly, he will not be unpunished.”
Charles Bridges writes, “On no point is the mind of God more fully declared than against pride – the spirit of scorning. It displaces man, and would, if possible, displace God himself. Jealous therefore of His own glory, He sets Himself in battle array, as against the usurper of His prerogative, the rebel against His dominion. Witness the Babel-builders (Ge 11:1-9); Pharaoh (Ex 14:13); Sennacherib (Isa 37.33-38); the proud who are against his Gospel (Ps 2:1-4)–all the objects of His scorn. But most hateful to him is the sinner that will not submit to His righteousness, that scorns the Corner-stone of salvation. How fearfully does it then become “a rock of offence,” of eternal ruin! (Ro. 10:3, with Ro 9:32, 33. Mt 21:41-44.) Surely without doubt, without way of escape from His frown, He scorns the scorners.”
Matthew 5:3 reads, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Psalm 51:17 also says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” What is the best way to approach God? Job 40:4 says, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth.”
Philippians 2:3-9 reads, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
God the Son clothed Himself in humility when He came to our level by taking on human flesh and subjecting Himself to the mighty hand of God the Father. He subjected Himself to the authority of human parents and learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8). Jesus also subjected Himself to Holy Scripture. One could say His favorite book was Deuteronomy. The One who isn’t safe is the One who is good and He displays His goodness by taken our rightful place in order to save us.
We are commanded to clothe ourselves with humility under the mighty hand of God as Peter says in our verse today. How do we clothe ourselves in humility? Be subject to His authority. Be subject to the authority of Scripture, the Church, local Government and Family. Be subject to each other by considering others more important than ourselves. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let the love of Christ have its ultimate authority over your life.
The best place to be is a broken sinner who allows all that God is to fill them. Humility is the fertile soil in which God does His best work. Sanctification can be seen as the process of striping us from our pride in order to make us lowly at heart. He loves the lowly and He loves you too much to keep you from being lowly. He is loving you when trials and tribulations come strip you from the selfish pride that exist within you! Praise Him for trials as they are designed to bring you closer to Him, our only treasure!
Paul says to the Philippians, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” What Paul says is a great example of humility. In order for Paul to live for Jesus he must die to that all he thinks of himself to be. Paul must become a blank page and allow Jesus through His Word to fill his mind and transform the way he thinks about God and man. This is a miracle that can only be done by the Spirit of God. This is what it means to be a new creation. Being humble is recognizing that the way Jesus thinks, says and does things are infinitely more valuable than our own sinful ways and we begin to follow Him. To live is Christ and to die is gain because we gain Christ! Humility are the clothes you wear, be clothed in Christ!
But He is good! Our joy is worshipping our great God through Jesus Christ! Following His example is a sign of humility. God promises to exalt the humble as Peter writes in verse 6 and as He did for Jesus in exalting Him to the place of Lord over all. Putting Him first is the right thing to do. Let’s put Him in His right place in our thoughts, words and actions because He is good! He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. We are His and He is ours. He is not safe but He is gentle, kind, loving and generous. Praise Him and let’s rejoice in how great of a God we have!