Hubris and Humility; March 31, 2019

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!

Paul has just been writing about God’s plans for the Jews and the Gentiles and how they are intertwined, and it hits him that man could never have come up with such a plan on his own. I really believe that up through verse 32 this chapter is a prophetic revelation, and Paul was fully as amazed by it as we should be. Even he can’t grasp all the implications of what he has just written! Paul wasn’t the first Biblical writer to experience that, as he demonstrates by quoting Isaiah and Job in the following two verses, and he wasn’t the last, because God continues to blow our minds by revealing things to us that are too big for us to have dreamed up or figured out. Mankind prides itself on being able to figure things out, on being “higher than the animals,” but as God finally got through to me several years ago, the truth is that He’s smart and we’re not. The more we really grasp the truth of this little four-verse benediction, the better off we are. It’s not at all that God doesn’t want us to use the minds He has given us, it’s that we need to keep it all in perspective, maintaining a confident humility that we can learn, but only God knows it all, and that is a very good thing indeed.

This is extremely applicable to me, because I wallowed in conceit for many years. Now, it amuses me to think of how stupid I was to think I was so smart! Having been there myself, it’s easy to recognize lots of people who fall for that trick of the devil. One way of saying it is that they believe their own press releases. Celebrities of all sorts are quite liable to this, in sports, politics, the entertainment industry and what have you, but it isn’t limited to them. After all, I fell for it big time. I need to follow Peter’s advice: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6) Like Paul, I often find that I write things that I didn’t really know before I wrote them, and I recognize God’s revelation. I am never to take credit for that, even in my own thoughts – or especially in my own thoughts – but rather walk in gratitude and amazement that God would be so gracious as to speak through me. Today I will be giving a report to the church of our recent trip to the US. I need to stay fully sensitive to what He wants me to say and take no credit for anything myself, so that those who hear may be drawn to Him and understand that He wants to and can use and bless them too, for His glory.

Father, thank You for Your amazing grace. Thank You for being God, for knowing the end from the beginning and both knowing and desiring the very best for us Your children. May we be fully, humbly, submitted to You, to be and do what You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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