~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 1), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
Andrew Murray, a Christian author and pastor, lived almost 89 years and authored over 240 books. You read that correctly, 240 books! 20 dozen books. Amazing! Now, considering that, this next statement should be equally striking:
Murray said THE #1 characteristic that all Christians should be known by is HUMILITY.
That is what this sermon series is about. Humility. The goal of the series is to clarify God’s definition of humility. Note that we are not wanting to be know by the world’s definition of humility. Humility is not “head down” and “tail between legs.” As we study what the Word of God has to say about humility, there may be aspects of humility that are surprising to us. We want to have a biblical view of humility. How can we develop that view or mindset about humility in our lives? The answer is to soak our minds with the Word of God concerning this virtue.
So, let’s start with a story from Numbers 12 in order to get a picture in our minds of humility from God’s perspective:
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. So they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)
Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!” So the three came out. Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. Then He said,
“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream.
Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
I speak with him face to face,
Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant Moses?”
So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. So Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb!”
So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterward she may be received again.” So Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again. And afterward the people moved from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.
So, what do we learn? First, Moses was more humble than all men on the face of the earth – according to the Lord. What a thing for God to say about you! Numbers 12 shows pride and humility side by side. Notice Miriam’s and Aaron’s pride. What they were saying was not wrong . . . yes, they both heard God as Moses did. But their pride caused them to not recognize whom the Lord had esteemed. Upon the Lord’s correction, Aaron’s heart changed – saying “oh my Lord” to his little brother, Moses. Moses, humble as always prayed for his sister, Miriam. Pride is the opposite of humility. God will exalt (give grace to) the humble and oppose the proud.
Our next post will some more “definitional” scriptures concerning humility according to the Lord.