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THE HUMILITY OF DEITY (A Christmas Meditation)

Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth who humbleth himself to behold the things in heaven, and in earth! Psalm 113:5,6.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and made in the likeness of men: and found in fashion as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8.

These two texts above — one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament — show us something about the acts of humility on the part of the First and Second persons of the Trinity.

The Psalmist indicates something of the greatness of God when he states that it is an act of humility on the part of Deity to just look upon things in heaven and in earth. No doubt the humility of God is greatly intensified as He observes the infidelity, the ingratitude and the abuse His creatures are making of the things He has made.

As a youth 1 once heard a comparatively wealthy man declare that it would be beneath his dignity to stoop to help a certain "down and outer" in his community. "The 'down and outer' got himself into the shape he is in, now let him get out of it the best way he can" seemed to be the prevailing attitude.

Aren't we glad that God, with all His wealth, and dwelling in a state of exaltation is willing to add to His humility and pay attention to the needs of all of us "down and outers" of the earth. Even that man who feels it an insult to his dignity to help his poor fellow-man is receiving constant help from a humble God and could receive much more if he so desired.

Doubtless the greatest manifestation of God's humility is seen in the coming of Emmanuel to this polluted, demon-dominated, God-dishonoring world. For the King of Glory to exit from the ivory palaces and come into this earth through the gateway of a human parent — a creature of His own creation — as a helpless bundle of flesh, amongst the beasts in a dark corner of a stable was really quite a stoop.

Very humbly Emmanuel became flesh and dwelt amongst men; humbly He submitted to the rite of baptism; humbly He made Himself of no reputation as He preached, performed miracles, washed His disciples feet, rode into Jerusalem on an ass, gave Himself into the hands of the sinful, feeble creatures of earth to be mocked, abused and crucified and slain. Very humbly, with the powers of Heaven at His command, although sinless and uncursed, He hung on the cursed tree dying like the most cursed wretch of earth should die. Hanging on the cross He humbly bowed His head and prayed "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Humbly He gave His body to the dark tomb in a cold rock of the earth — until the moment that He reclaimed His power and renewed His exaltation and glory with His Father.

Now it is quite an honor to man that he is made in the likeness of God but for Emmanuel to be sent to earth "in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin," was humility unspeakable on the part of Deity.

The humility of God our Saviour stands as an eternal rebuke to all the attitudes and acts of pride on earth. To the man who may be proud of his wealth, his family tree, his scholastic degrees, or his ability and achievements, let him be humbled over the magnificence of Him who was born in poverty, who came "out of Nazareth," who never learned letters (in school, college or seminary) etc., who nevertheless, filled three and one-half years so full of a ministry if imperishable words and immortal deeds that "I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" of Him. This short ministry of our Lord was confined to one small area of the earth but has brought blessing to all nations and will continue to be effective for all time. His ministry in and around Jerusalem, including "pouring out His soul unto death" is "bringing many sons to glory" of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation;".

The humility of Deity now calls upon us creatures of earth to "humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." Those who continue in pride He will bring to eternal abasement for there will be nothing in lake of fire to be proud of: no little children (upon whom parents so often manifest their pride), no beautiful faces, no jewelry, cosmetics or fashionable attire, no great victories or accomplishments, no fine homes or hot automobiles, no huge bank accounts, no hunting or fishing trophies, no rich parents or unclean etc., etc.

Indeed, all pride finds an eternal rebuke in the humility of Deity. Therefore, "let this mind [the humility of Deity] be in you."

"When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride."

Aaron M. Shank