king himself comes to you. He is righteous, yes, saved; humble, and riding upon an ass, even upon a full-grown animal the son of a she-ass.” (Zech. 9:9; John 12:12-16) In his exalted heavenly position when he goes forth against the enemies of God, the command is prophetically given to him: “In your splendor go on to success; ride in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness.” (Ps. 45:4) Therefore those who have humility can rejoice, even though the have been crushed and mistreated by the proud any haughty, and they can take comfort in the words: “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”—Zeph. 2:3.
Jehovah’s words to Israel before the destruction of Jerusalem warned the humble ones and comforted them in declaring that He would, nevertheless, act in their behalf in his due time. He said: “Then I shall remove from the midst of you your haughtily exultant ones; and you will never again be haughty in my holy mountain. And I shall certainly let remain in the midst of you a people humble and lowly, and they will actually take refuge in the name of Jehovah.” (Zeph. 3:11, 12) Humility will actually result in the saving of many, as it is written: “The humble people you will save; but your eyes are against the haughty ones, that you may bring them low.” (2 Sam. 22:28) Thus we have assurance that the King Jesus Christ, who rides in the cause of truth and humility and righteousness, will save his people who humble themselves before him and before his Father, Jehovah.
CHRISTIANS MUST CULTIVATE HUMILITY
In counseling fellow Christians to put on the personality that “is being made new according to the image of the One who created it,” the apostle Paul says: “Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering.” (Col. 3:10, 12) Citing the fine example of Christ, he admonishes them to be humble, “with lowliness of mind considering that the others [of God’s servants] are superior to you.” (Phil. 2:3) Again he appeals: “Be minded the same way toward others as to yourselves; do not be minding lofty things, but be led along with the lowly things. Do not become discreet in your own eyes.”—Rom. 12:16.
It is in the same vein that Paul tells the Christians in the city of Corinth: “For, though I am free from all persons, I have made myself the slave to all, that I may gain the most persons. And so to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law, that I might gain those under law. To those without law I became as without law, although I am not without law toward God but under law toward Christ, that I might gain those without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to people of all sorts, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Cor. 9:19-22) It takes real humility to do this.
Works for peace
Humility promotes peace. A humble person does not fight his Christian brothers in order to establish his supposed personal “rights.” The apostle argued that, though he had freedom to do all things, he would do only the things that are upbuilding, and if a brother’s conscience was bothered by his personal actions he would refrain from that practice.—Rom. 14:19-21; 1 Cor. 8:9-13; 10:23-33.
It also requires humility to keep the peace by putting into practice Jesus’ counsel to forgive others their sins against us. (Matt. 6:12-15; 18:21, 22) And when one offends another, it tests his humility to obey the command to go to the other person and admit the wrong, asking forgiveness (Matt. 5:23, 24) or, when the offended person approaches him, only love coupled with humility will prompt one to acknowledge the wrong and act immediately to set matters straight. (Matt. 18:15; Luke 17:3; compare Leviticus 6:1-7.) But the results such humility brings in the way of peace to the individual and to the organization far outweigh the feeling of humiliation; also, his humble action further develops and strengthens in the individual the fine quality of humility.
Essential for unity in the congregation
Humility will aid the Christian to be content with the things that he has, and will help him to maintain joy and balance. The interdependency of the Christian congregation, as illustrated by the apostle at 1 Corinthians chapter 12, is based on obedience, humility and submissiveness to God’s organizational arrangement. Therefore, while the male members of the congregation are told: “If any man is reaching out for an office of overseer, he is desirous of a fine work,” they are also told not to be ambitiously seeking a position of responsibility, for example, as teachers of the congregation, for these “shall receive heavier judgment.”—1 Tim. 3:1; Jas. 3:1.
All, men and women, should be submissive to those taking the lead, and should wait on Jehovah for any appointments or assignments to responsibility, for it is from him that promotion comes. (Ps. 75:6, 7) As some of the Levite sons of Korah said: “I have chosen to stand at the threshold in the house of my God rather than to move around in the tents of wickedness.” (Ps. 84:10) Such true humility takes time to develop. The Scriptures, in setting forth the qualifications for one who would be appointed to the office of overseer, specify that a newly converted man should not be appointed, “for fear that he might get puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment passed upon the Devil.”—1 Tim. 3:6.
Christians are warned against letting their humility be only on the surface. Such a person can become “puffed up without proper cause by his fleshly frame of mind.” One who is truly humble will not think that the kingdom of God or entering into it has to do with what one eats or drinks or refrains from eating or drinking. The Bible shows that one may eat or drink or refrain from partaking of certain things because he feels he should, from a health standpoint, or for conscience’ sake. Yet if one thinks that he gains God’s favor by whether or not he eats, drinks or touches certain things, or observes certain religious days, he does not realize that these practices are “possessed of an appearance of wisdom in a self-imposed form of worship and mock humility, a severe treatment of the body; but they are of no value in combating the satisfying of the flesh.”—Col. 2:18, 23; Rom. 14:17; Gal. 3:10, 11.
False humility can actually result in developing haughtiness in the individual, for he may tend to think he is righteous on his own merit; or he may feel that he is accomplishing his ends, not realizing that he cannot deceive Jehovah. If haughtiness develops, he will in time be humbled in a way that he will not enjoy. He will be brought low and, it may be, to his own destruction.—Prov. 18:12; 29:23.
HUNTING AND FISHING
Only after the Flood was man authorized to hunt and fish for food. (Gen. 9:3, 4) But even in pre-Flood times men may have engaged in hunting to procure animal skins for making clothing and other items.—Compare Genesis 3:21.
After the Deluge, Nimrod was the first man to distinguish himself as a “mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah” (Gen. 10:8, 9), undoubtedly one who hunted for sport, as did later kings of Assyria, Egypt