When I was in college, I was often told that if the professor ever says something 3 times you know it has to be important. I don’t know why three was the magic number, but it is true when people want to make sure that we know certain thinks they are sure to repeat the information several of times to be sure that no one misses it. In both the apostles Peter and James are sure to remind their readers that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jam. 4:6, 1 Pet. 5:5).

What I find more amazing is that both writers see humility as having a specific point of reference. Some people are humbled by being in the presence of some important individual. Others are humbled because of some circumstance in their lives, such as a natural disaster. Others are humbled by their own poor performance in various areas of their lives. But James and Peter both have a very different type of humility in mind – humility with respect to God.

James tells his readers “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord”, while Peter tells his, “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” As I have pondered these verse the last week, especially James 4:6, I found myself thinking about the nature of the One in whose presence we to be humble, Jesus Christ.

  1. He upholds everything in the world (Heb. 1:2)
  2. He made all things (Heb. 1:2, Col. 1:16)
  3. He is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15)
  4. He had all authority on heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18)
  5. He is the lawgiver and judge (Jam. 4:12)
  6. He is the Lord of lords and King of kings (Rev. 19:17)
  7. He has the ability to save and destroy (Jam. 4:12)
  8. He can give life to the dead and call into being that which does not exist (Rom. 4:17)
  9. He is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29)
  10. He is compassionate and gracious (Ex. 34:6)
  11. He is gentle and humble in heart (Matt. 11:29)
  12. He is the lamb who was slain (Rev. 5:12) 
  13. He is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5)
  14. He is the just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Him (Rom. 3:26)
  15. He is Holy, Holy, Holy. (Isa. 6)
  16. He is perfect (Matt.
  17. He loves righteousness and hates wickedness (Ps. 45:7)
  18. He loves his enemies (Rom. 5:8)
  19. He shows kindness, tolerance, and patience to all men (Rom. 2:4)
  20. He desires men to repent and live (2 Pet. 3:9, Ezek. 33:11)
  21. He is the sovereign God.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the character of the one before whom we should be humbled. I have become more and more aware as I have studied God’s Word that in the end the only reason anyone will not be saved is because they refuse to humble themselves before the Lord Jesus Christ.

“As I live!” declares the Lord God, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back, from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?”

Would not Israel have been saved if they had turned back? Would God not have shown them compassion and grace if they had forsaken their wicked ways and returned to Him? But alas it seems most people are too interested in their wicked ways to humble themselves under the mighty hand of Him with whom they will have to do. We must all stop to ask ourselves, “Are the fleeting pleasures of sin really worth it?”, “Is a moments enjoyment worthy and eternity of suffering?”

“Turn back, turn back, from your wicked ways! Why will you die, O sinner?” – Come to Christ for He has satisfied the wrath of God that your wickedness rightly deserves. No matter how wicked a sinner you may be, He has grace enough for you. No matter how unrighteous you may be, Christ’s righteousness is enough. You have nothing to offer the King, worry not, there is no charge…it is free. “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.” (Isa. 55:1)