Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Wisdom of Humility

Reading: Psalm 25  
Pride and humility are about where we go with our fears. That is what we learned in Isaiah 2—4 this morning, January 23, 2011—The Folly of Pride. In that text we saw the disastrous effects of trusting in ourselves, or trusting in man. There we see the shame and disgrace that comes as all that we trust in is brought low.
This evening I sat down to read Psalm 25 and there we see the wisdom of humility. This psalm shows us the wonderful outcome of trusting in God. It paints a picture quite the opposite of the one we saw in Isaiah. Whereas placing our hope in man's wisdom brings shame and disgrace, “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame” (Psalm 25:3).
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. (Psalm 25:1-3)
What does it mean to put our trust in God? As we learned this morning in Isaiah, it is about where we go with our fears. Do we go to God and His truth, and trust in Him with those fears? Or, do we put our hopes in the lies that we tell ourselves, the lies that the world tells us? The person who trusts in God, desires to learn from God, to listen to Him. To place our hope in God, is to live according to His ways, and trust they are really the best.
4Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  (Psalm 25:4-5)
To trust in God brings about the obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5). But that doesn't mean those who trust in the Lord are sinless. Rather, since they trust God's ways they are in pursuit of them. Yet, they also know that He is merciful and has provided for our sin. The righteous, or humble, in the Biblical sense, are the sinners who have encountered the mercy of God and are being instructed in the ways of the God they trust.
6Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. 8Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. 11For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.  (Psalm 25:6-11)
In the psalmist we see a humble man who has been forgiven great iniquity, and is being taught in God's ways. The Lord is loving and faithful to him, as he keeps the demands of his covenant. What are those demands? Obviously, it wasn't sinlessness: these are not words penned by a man who thought he was sinless. It was trust. It was living by faith. The real people of God were always those living by faith. (This psalm reminds me of the truths we learned about Isaiah 3:10 this morning.)
Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,

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