‘(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth [Numbers 12:3]).’
Humility is a characteristic that God loves to see in His people. He has pleasure in those who are humble: ‘For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation (Psalm 149:4).’
God is not pleased with those who are haughty, arrogant, disdainful and proud (Ezekiel 25:6, 7). He loves the meek (Matthew 5:5), the humble (Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 11:4), and those who are submissive (Hebrews 13:17) and loving (Luke 6:35).
The Humility of Jesus
Moses was indeed, ‘very humble’ (Numbers 12:3), but his humility was nothing by comparison to that of Jesus. To put things into perspective, Jesus created the world (John 1:3) and the people in it, and yet He humbled Himself by becoming a servant (Matthew 20:28) to those whom He created.
Paul the Apostle wrote of Him and His followers:
‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself to be of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).’
At His birth Jesus was laid in an animal’s feeding trough (Luke 2:7), the lowest of all places. His whole life was a testimony to His humility. He never once considered Himself before others, and He was totally obedient to His Father (John 5:30). He voluntarily submitted Himself in obedience to Him – even to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8)! His mission was to save sinners (John 12:47; 1 Timothy 1:15), serve the undeserving (Mark 10:45), and ultimately to exalt the humble (1 Peter 5:5, 6). He, Himself, after his resurrection was exalted (Acts 5:31; Philippians 2:9) above the whole earth (Psalm 97:9; Isaiah 52:13) and He sits at the right hand of His Father (Acts 2:33).
The suffering Servant (Isaiah 42:1; 53:1-12) set an example of humility to all mankind, and with all authority He said, “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4),” and, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:12).”’ Justifiably, His Father exalted Him (Philippians 2:9).
Exhortations for God’s People to be Humble
His Word, the Bible, particularly the New Testament, exhorts God’s people to put on humility. Here are some relevant texts:
Romans 12:16 ‘……….. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in you own opinion.’
Colossians 3:12 ‘Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.’
2 Timothy 2:24, 25 ‘And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.’
Titus 3:1, 2 ‘Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, but to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.’
James 4:10 ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.’
1 Peter 5:5 ‘Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”’
‘Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).’