A God of Matchless Humility
INFERIOR to none and in submission to no one, Jehovah God is indeed the Supreme Sovereign. As the all-wise God he does not need counsel from anyone. (Isa. 40:13) He is the supreme standard of all that is good, just and loving. His power is unchallengeable. The position he occupies is unaffected by what any creature may do or fail to do.
There is nothing that we imperfect humans can give to Jehovah God that would profit him. The young man Elihu reminded Job: “If you sin, what injury do you do to God? Even if your offenses are many, how do you hurt him? If you are righteous, what do you give him, or what does he receive from your hand? Your wickedness can affect only a man like yourself; and your justice only a fellow human being.”—Job 35:6-8, The New American Bible.
Despite the fact that sinful humans cannot affect his position, Jehovah God, in his great humility, is willing to deal with them. The inspired psalmist wrote: “Who is like Jehovah our God, him who is making his dwelling on high? He is condescending to look on heaven and earth, raising up the lowly one from the very dust; he exalts the poor one from the ashpit itself, to make him sit with nobles.”—Ps. 113:5-8.
How different Jehovah is from imperfect humans! Often those who are well-educated and of keen mind become impatient with persons who are slow to grasp things. In fact, they may be too proud to associate with those having limited abilities. But Jehovah God condescends to look with favor upon those whom men may even despise—the lowly ones and the poor ones.
The pitiable condition of those finding themselves reduced to the ashpit is illustrated in the case of the man Job. Having experienced the loss of everything, diseased Job sat “among the ashes,” possibly like an outcast at a city dump. (Job 2:8) Once he had enjoyed a position of honor as a respected elder and judge in the city gate. But as an afflicted man he was subjected to indignities from base persons. He exclaimed: “I have become even the theme of their song, and I am to them for a byword. They have detested me, they have kept themselves far from me; and from my face they did not hold back their spit.”—Job 30:9, 10.
Think of it, Jehovah God has been willing to come to the aid of despised persons like afflicted Job. He has repeatedly exalted those who were quite insignificant from the human standpoint.
One who appreciated this was David. In recognition of what God had done in his behalf, he said: “It is your humility that makes me great.” (2 Sam. 22:36) Being the youngest boy, David seemed the least likely of Jesse’s sons to be chosen for the kingship over all Israel. His father did not even call him in from pasturing the sheep to introduce him to the prophet Samuel, but presented his seven other sons. Only upon Samuel’s urging did Jesse call David from his shepherding. Thereafter Samuel anointed David “in the midst of his brothers.” (1 Sam. 16:6-13) So it was Jehovah’s humility in taking notice of young David that made that shepherd boy great.
Similarly, Jehovah’s choosing of those to be associate rulers with his Son Jesus Christ has been from among those looked down upon in the world. Calling attention to this, the Christian apostle Paul wrote: “Not many wise in a fleshly way were called, not many powerful, not many of noble birth; but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put the wise men to shame; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put the strong things to shame; and God chose the ignoble things of the world and the things looked down upon.”—1 Cor. 1:26-28.
Especially outstanding is the fact that, in his great humility, Jehovah God put up with repeated rebelliousness on the part of the Israelites. Through his prophet Isaiah, he stated: “I have spread out my hands all day long to a stubborn people, those who are walking in the way that is not good, after their thoughts.”—Isa. 65:2.
Such humility is truly remarkable. Jehovah God continued to ‘spread out his hands’ to the Israelites, entreating them to return to him that he might bestow upon them his blessing. This was despite the fact that their stubbornness hurt him deeply. The Scriptures tell us: “They themselves rebelled and made his holy spirit feel hurt.” (Isa. 63:10) Only after having appealed to them for centuries did Jehovah finally abandon the disobedient Israelites to their enemies. Nevertheless, he did not close the door to them as individuals. It was his desire that they repent and come in line for his approval and blessing. His warm appeal to them continued to be: “Return to me, and I will return to you.”—Mal. 3:7.
What about today? The apostle Paul’s words spoken at Athens still apply: “[God] is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent.” (Acts 17:30) In his great humility and boundless love, Jehovah God gave his Son for the world. This opened the way for mankind to come into an approved standing before him, with everlasting life in view.—John 3:16.
Since Jehovah is a God of such matchless humility, he cannot tolerate anyone who is proud. The Bible tells us: “Everyone that is proud in heart is something detestable to Jehovah.” (Prov. 16:5) “God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.”—Jas. 4:6.
The fact that Jehovah God is humble assures his modest servants of his unfailing help. Though he rules supreme, the lowliest one of his servants need not fear that he will be overlooked. “Jehovah is high,” says Psalm 138:6, “and yet the humble one he sees; but the lofty one he knows only from a distance.” The person who might stand out prominently but is dominated by pride is given no recognition by Jehovah. But the humble person is precious in his eyes. Jesus Christ encouraged his disciples with the words: “Five sparrows sell for two coins of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them goes forgotten before God. But even the hairs of your heads are all numbered. Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”—Luke 12:6, 7.
How grateful all of us can be that Jehovah is a humble God. Were it not for humility, there would be no possibility of our gaining an approved standing before him. Jehovah’s humility, in turn, should move us to want to imitate him. We should want to be in full harmony with the wise expression of Proverbs 8:13: “Self-exaltation and pride and the bad way and the perverse mouth I have hated.” If such hatred is the attitude we strive to cultivate, we can be confident that the God of matchless humility, Jehovah, will continue giving us his favorable attention.