“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”
–James 4:10 (NLT)
If you remember, I spoke in previous blogs about the fear of God. We discovered that this type of fear is very different from the fear you would feel while standing at the edge of a cliff. Fearing God means respecting Him so much that you make Him the first priority in your life.
Today we’re going to talk about a man who was ruled by pride, and not by the fear of God. So let me give you a thumb-nail sketch of him, in my own words.
His name was Absalom, and he had grown up in the king’s palace. But familiarity with that lifestyle became his downfall once Absalom decided he wanted to be king. The Bible says he hired 50 men to run ahead of him and prepare the way before him.
The Bible goes on to say that Absalom got up early in the morning and went to the city gate, which would have been like our town hall. This is where the people would come to bring their problems before the king. When Absalom would call out and ask them what city they were from, he would say, “The king has no representative there, but your claims are fair.” Absalom would also say, “I wish someone would make me king.” And in that way, he stole the hearts of all the people.
But before we go on with his story, let’s try to imagine what growing up as Absalom did must have been like. We get the picture of a man who had a very self-centered lifestyle, and was filled with pride. He had grown used to having his own way, and servants were probably at his beck and call. You can be sure he got the latest model of chariot every year.
The Bible also says that he was very handsome, so in your mind’s eye, imagine Absalom getting out of his chariot. Filled with self-importance, he struts to the city gate. All around, there is the clicking of cameras, and reporters from the CNN and Fox News of the day shout questions as the man of the hour mingles among the people.
Afterwards, in an exclusive interview, he tells a reporter, “Israel would be so much better off if I were king instead of my father.”
Now stop here for a minute please, for thinking about his life seriously brings up some real questions that will make a difference in our lives. We don’t have servants, but can’t we all get too used to God’s blessings in our lives? Of course we can. But when we do this, the thief of pride sneaks in and tells us that we are more important than we really are.
In order for this not to happen, we need to choose who we are going to listen to. In contrast to the picture that Absalom presents, the Bible tells us that we need to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. This means that instead of making our own plans as he did, we need to let God be the initiator of our plans by giving our wants and desires over to God.
The Bible tells us how to do this as we fast-forward in our story. Absalom died in battle, and that presents us with another picture. We also face the choice of life or death. We can either die spiritually and be separated from God eternally as we war against him, or we can die to the selfishness which is in us all.
God longs to bless you, but in order to receive that blessing, all of us need to come to Him in the way He prescribes in His Word. He tells us that if we will humble ourselves and draw close to Him, He will draw close to us.
Let’s close in prayer, as He asks each of us what we will do with His offer.
Dear God, I ask you to work on our hearts as you convict, strengthen and bless each one of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.mynvm.com and click on the PayPal button. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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