For the past month, 1 Peter 5 has been the main focus of my study. It’s really where God has me, the topic of anxiety has been heavy. I think it’s because there are some hidden anxieties that are holding me back. Holding me back from going deeper with God and my trust of him; holding me back from living life boldly, bravely and courageously. The more I study this passage of scripture, the more it is all tying together and I absolutely love it. I’m excited to see where He leads me as these scriptures are studied out.
Digging through 1 Peter 5, there are five different things that really stand out to me as things that we are to do or give to God. My intent is to go through each one, dissecting it and looking at how it applies to the scripture as a whole. This entire passage in 1 Peter 5 is about shepherding the flock. So in examining these words, it’s important to apply it to ourselves and and also see how it corresponds in our relation to others. The five words I’m going to explore are :: Humble, Cast, Watchful, Resist, and Suffer.
I know, thrilling words! Trust me, it’s pretty cool. And it’s all part of the process of being drawn closer to Jesus and others if we allow it. So, onward!
“Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that the proper time he may exalt you,….” 1 Peter 5:6
Humble. What do you think of when you hear the word humble, or when you are told to humble yourself? Are you aware of when you are being humble (or not humble)?
(I invite you to take a moment to write down your initials thoughts to these two questions, or at least think through them.)
For me, I think of humbling in two different ways. And perhaps I experience one or the other depending on my mood, or who is involved! I have both a “negative” and a “positive” connotation. On one hand, to humble myself is kind of like being pinned down. Unable to move. Cowering almost, as a position of lesser than and unworthy. On the other hand, there is a sense of respect and mutual understand, a reverence to humble myself under the authority of others. It’s welcomed and provides comfort. It feels appropriate and natural.
Scripture has a lot to say about being humble. Luke 14:11 tells us, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” When we are not humble before God, it’s like we are placing ourselves higher than He. One of the sayings I’ve heard many times is “Humble or be humbled.” It’s God’s economy.
Well, if you’re human I’m guessing that you have had some “humbling” experiences. It can keep us from being a know-it-all, or get to thinking your a little too cool. If you have kids, they are really good at keeping you in a place of humility at times.
In the Greek, this word humble is tapeinoó (tap-i-nó-o). It means to bring low, depressed (like a pressing, not an emotional depression), physically lowered position. And here in 1 Peter 5, the idea of humility or humble is expressed three times. So it’s important!
So we are to lower ourselves. Take a look at 1 Peter 5:6. What are we supposed to lower ourselves under?
So if I’m going to lower myself under the mighty hand of God, I would really love to know what that hand of God looks like, feels like, how to recognize it. Being familiar with this can potentially give clues as to when I’m being humble or humbled. And our first clue is right there in the scripture of 1 Peter 5:6.
God’s hand is….. MIGHTY (1 Peter 5:6)
God’s hand has ….worked SALVATION for me (Psalm 93:1)
God’s right hand is …. filled with RIGHTEOUSNESS (Psalm 48:10)
God’s right hand is …. glorious in POWER (Exodus 15:6)
God’s right hand …. SHATTERS the Enemy (Exodus 15:6)
God’s right hand …. SUPPORTS me (Psalm 18:5)
God’s hand has …. SAVING MIGHT (Psalm 20:6)
God’s right hand …. UPHOLDS me (Psalm 63:8)
God’s hand is …. AGAINST Enemies & DELIVERS (Psalm 138:7-8)
God’s hand …. CREATED the Foundation of the earth (Isaiah 48:13)
If we are to humble ourselves under the hand of God, knowing that His hand has worked salvation for me, shatters my enemy, created me and the foundation of of the earth, and supports me. This gives me an entirely different picture of who I am humbling myself to. Any negative connotation of humbling is dissolved and replaced with a sense of protection and love.
Does knowing this, change your view of being humble? Does it change how you might relate to humbling yourself before God?
Can you picture humbling yourself under the Delivering, Righteous, Glorious, Powerful, Saving, Upholding, Supportive, Creative hand of God? I can. And honestly, it sounds like a beautiful place to be.
If we finish out this verse in 1 Peter 5:6 it says “so that at the proper time He may exalt you”. He will lift you up with that same loving hand that we are to humble ourselves under. Held; safe and secure.
This changes things for me. How about or you? I want to be humble, and a good example to others. We are to lead by example, and a humbleness towards God is to depress myself under His hand. Not being high minded and closed, but remaining open to what and where God is leading and who He is connecting me with. It’s a good place to be.