Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blessed are the humble

UV1718/10000 Blessed are the humble
And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation
Daniel 4 v 34
Nebuchadnezzar was initially filled with pride at his royal power and his achievements. He exalted himself in his own eyes. Thereupon, the Lord humbled him and he lived like a person demented and who had lost all his senses. When he lifted his eyes to heaven, his sanity was restored. He re-gained his understanding. He acknowledged the sovereignty of God. He acknowledged that the Lord is the King of Kings who lives forever while he himself was a mortal man destined to die. He acknowledged that the kingdom of God is everlasting and is not bound or limited in time or space. He also acknowledged that the power of God is manifest from one generation to the other. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged, blessed, praised and honoured the Lord of heaven and earth. The setback he suffered on account of his pride and arrogance led to this realization of the awesomeness of the Lord. But for that setback, Nebuchadnezzar would have looked upon himself as a veritable god. It had even prompted him to set up a huge statue of himself that was to be worshipped by his officials and people. We too should never venerate or elevate a human being as it would lead to his or her moral and spiritual destruction.

Before the Lord, leaders and followers, kings and subjects are equal. We should always cultivate a humble attitude towards the Lord. This is the true reverence that leads to wisdom and understanding. We have to lift our eyes up to the Lord at all times in prayer. We should not become full of ourselves, our success , our talents, abilities or resources. Every day we need to empty ourselves before the Lord acknowledging that we would have been but a dead stump but for our being grafted to the root of Jesus. It is the Lord’s pleasure and will that each of us grow and flourish like a tree full of evergreen leaves and full of fruit but we should always realize that the sap of blessings that rise in us and flow out of us is not from us but by the Lord’s grace.

Pride is considered the original sin – the source of deception and misery. When Lucifer, the loveliest and most powerful of angels aspired to be like God, Jesus the Son of God submitted to the Father’s plan and will to become one among the poorest of human beings. Lucifer’s heart was turned over to be like that of a beast. Similarly, Nebuchadnezzar’s heart was turned over to that of a beast. For seven years, he lived in the wild like a beast but he was restored when he came to his senses and humbled himself. Whatever be the position to which we are exalted by the grace of the Lord, we should remember the paths in which He brought us. We should recall our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. We should be warned by the example of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar himself though he was a gentile or unbeliever was convicted by the example, words and testimony of Daniel. He gave glory to God as the one true God when Daniel’s friends were delivered from the fiery furnace. The example of Nebuchadnezzar also inspires in us the hope of restoration even when we fail or fall from the grace of the Lord. The more messed mankind gets, the more we realize that it is vital to be blessed by the Lord. Humility is a counter-intuitive attitude and action- the lower we climb down, the higher we go, the more we exalt the Lord and humble ourselves, the more we are blessed. Each of us is expected to be a witness to the sovereignty, might, love, grace and mercy of the Lord in our generation.

Prateep V Philip

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