A Vocabulary Lesson
Humble: not proud or haughty
Around these parts I've certainly shared my perspective on why it's so important to remember what God has done in our lives. I don't think God was haphazard in using the word remember in Scripture at all. We are called to remember a lot. Why? Pride.
Deuteronomy 8:14 in the CSB reads be careful that your heart doesn't become proud and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Pride is the root, forgetfulness is the fruit.
A few verses later we get a stern warning. You may say to yourself, 'My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,' but remember that the LORD your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant He swore to your fathers, as it is today. (Deuteronomy 8:17 CSB)
However, God saves the mic-dropping truth bomb for chapter 9. You are not going to take possession of their land because of your righteousness or your integrity. Instead, the LORD your God will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness, in order to fulfill the promise He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people. (Deuteronomy 9:5-6 CSB)
I promise this post is not meant to beat us up. I swear.
When we read these words it's easy to feel like our lives have just been blown to smitherines. I mean, we all have a degree of pride in our lives and it's not pleasant to have it pointed out. But instead of wallowing in self-pity for thinking we're a horrid people, we can realize something immensely more beautiful. Despite our flaws, desipite our failures, despite our gross imperfections, God truly does love us and He is still faithful to keep His promises. Not because we earned it, not because we deserve it, but because He is good and He is relentlessly pursuing our hearts. And if anything, the reality of this should cause us to humble ourselves the way He's been hoping we would since He first put His breath in our lungs.
If we get nothing else from this, my hope and prayer is that we understand this: While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. He was promised in the beginning, He came to fulfill that promise, and we have been benefitting from it every day since. We don't get to our promised land because we perfectly follow every command, statute, and decree, we get there because we humbly realize that God is extending something to us that we can never earn, keep, or sustain on our own. It will always be His grace, His love, His compassion, His mercy, and His forgiveness that will lead us there as we respond to His invitation to fear Him by walking in all His ways, loving Him, and worshipping Him with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 10:12 CSB), no matter how imperfectly we do it.