The Humility of God
An imparted attribute of God
by Davin Dahlgren

Few, if any, have ever considered the humility of God. Yet it is just as much an attribute of God as is His sovereignty. It is easy to overlook God's humility when studying Scripture, but it is an important attribute to note when seeking to know Him. The Jews missed the coming of Messiah because they were not looking for a humble servant. Sadly, many Christians miss out on the blessings of His Life today for the same reason.
1 Proverbs 16:18,
Proverbs 18:12

2 Romans 12:3
Humility as a character trait is often misunderstood. We associate it with the hurt that occurs when our pride is wounded. Yet being embarrassed or humiliated is not the same as being humble. We tend to forget that humiliation points out our pride, not our humility.1 If we had been humble, we could not have been humiliated. Our humiliation is the direct result of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.2 God cannot be humiliated in this way because God has no pride. Every high and lofty thought that God thinks about Himself is completely accurate as to His true state, coming as it does out of His perfect self-knowledge.
3 Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 44:24-25,
Isaiah 45:7, Isaiah 46:8-10
Often, we equate humility with self-deprecation. We think we are being humble when we put ourselves down. We know we ought to be humble, so we claim a lower status than we think we deserve. That behaviour does not make us humble, however. It makes us liars. We do not really believe those self-deprecating words, or we would not be so hurt when someone else agrees with them! God does not speak in a self-deprecating manner, because He cannot lie. He cannot portray Himself as less than He is. When He speaks of His majesty and sovereignty and power He is not bragging; He is simply telling the truth.3
4 I Chronicles 16:23-29,
Psalm 66:1-4,16-20
This is, in fact, the essence of humility. Humility is a lack of arrogance. When God tells us who He is and what He is like, He does so without any conceit whatsoever. He is the only being who can humbly proclaim how great He is. If only we would join Him in proclaiming His greatness, we would find ourselves becoming more truly humble as well.4
5 Matthew 11:29
6 Matthew 20:28
7 John 13:1-17
8 Philippians 2:5-8
9 John 5:18-19, 30
10 Colossians 1:19-20
Humility is also the practice of expressing oneself in a spirit of deference or submission. This was the attitude of our blessed Saviour, Jesus Christ, as He walked among men.5 He did not come to be served but to serve.6 He was the annointed King, yet He washed His disciples' feet.7 He was equal with God, yet He gave His life for us.8 Humility borne of love was the defining characteristic of His whole life. Yet He did nothing by Himself; He only did what He saw His Father doing.9 Jesus perfectly portrayed God's character to us.10
11 I Kings 19:12,
Isaiah 30:21,
Psalm 32:8

12 Zechariah 4:6
13 Deuteronomy 30:19-20
God does not force anyone to acknowledge Him. He speaks in a gentle whisper, offering to lead us in the paths of righteousness.11 The glory of His majesty is expressed, not by power nor by might, but by His Spirit.12 God speaks softly, and humbly allows men to disregard His voice. If God were to force men to acknowledge Him, their worship would not glorify Him. God loves us and wants us to love Him in return. Unless our love is freely given, it is not truly love. So God grants us the freedom to choose not to love Him. God's sovereignty is not diminished by this freedom He has humbly allowed. The consequences remain. If you reject Him, you reject Life. Death is the only alternative.13
14 Psalm 10:4, Psalm 18:27,
Psalm 149:4, Proverbs 3:34

15 Ephesians 4:2, 5:21,
Galatians 5:13,
Philippians 2:3-4,
James 4:10, I Peter 5:6

16 I John 4:7-8, 16-17
17 I Corinthians 13:4-5
18 Psalm 25:9, I John 2:5-6,
Ephesians 3:16-19

19 Matthew 23:11-12, Luke 9:48
God does not force anyone to come to Him; and no one can take His love by force. Those who seek Him must come to Him in humility themselves.14 And once they have humbly accepted the free gift of God through Christ Jesus, they must walk in humility as God leads them to maturity.15 This is the blessing of humility in God's Kingdom. Humility descends from love. Love is of God, and that which comes from God is a part of His nature.16 That is why, in describing real love, Paul said that love is not haughty or proud. Love is not self-seeking because God is not self-seeking.17 The character that God desires to work into each of us is His character. He would not ask us to be humble if He were not humble. He could not impart humility to us if He were not the most humble.18 Indeed, how could He maintain that the most humble will be the greatest in His Kingdom if anyone were capable of more humility than God Himself?19 Surely we realize that God is the greatest in His own Kingdom!
20 Matthew 19:30, 20:16, 25-28,
Mark 9:33-37, 10:31,
Luke 13:30, 14:11, 18:10-14

21 I Corinthians 1:27-29
22 Ephesians 2:4-5,
Romans 8:35-39,
I Corinthians 13:8

23 Proverbs 11:2, James 3:13-17
24 I Corinthians 1:24-25, 30
Our backwards concept of greatness blinds us to the real power of God's Kingdom. How many times and in how many ways did Christ try to tell His disciples that the least shall be the greatest?20 And yet we still look for places of high esteem among men. We have it backwards. God uses the foolish, the weak, and the lowly to bring shame on our value system.21 We think power is the ability to force our will on others, on our environment, and even on God. But this is not the way of God's power. God's power is seen through love.22 Love is unstoppable; it never fails. Yet it never forces it's own acceptance. It waits humbly for an opening, and then floods through. God's power is humble. His wisdom is submissive and produces humility.23 The evidence is Christ, the wisdom and power of God. Christ: the gentle and humble.24
Failing to understand this, the Jews missed the coming of their long-awaited Messiah. They didn't know God as humble, so they expected a political or military leader to come to free them from the bondage of foreign oppression. The wanted a conquering hero who would make Israel a dominant world power, scattering their enemies by force. Instead, God sent a meek and gentle Saviour whose power was in conquering death; whose love was unstoppable.
25 Jeremiah 24:7, 31:34,
Isaiah 45:22-25,
Philippians 2:9-11
Like the Jews, many Christians seem to be looking for Christ's second coming to rescue them out of an oppressive culture and exact revenge on those who have "persecuted" them. They are looking for an end to temptation, an end to suffering, an end to feeling inconvenienced. They are looking for a Messiah that will take away everything that doesn't go their way. But the Messianic Kingdom isn't about us or our comfort. It's about Christ. It's about God. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father,25 but not because they are compelled to do so. It will be voluntary, not compulsory. We will do it out of love for Him.
We're citizens of that Kingdom right now. Our real joy comes from the Life of Christ experienced today. Far from asserting destructive power over our enemies, that Life expresses itself in humility. Oh Lord, live that Life of humility in me!

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