Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud. (Psalm 138:6 NLT)
Did you ever wonder why God favors those who are humble? Both James and Peter are referring to this verse in the Psalms when they write, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, 1Peter 5:5)
Does God get satisfaction from seeing people tremble in fear at His presence, or does His ego get a boost from seeing people grovel at His feet? No, indeed. The smug satisfaction we see in people who love power, as they lord it over others, is an attitude that will never be found in the Lord our God.
Why then, you might ask, does God have such an affinity toward the humble? Because He Himself is humble in heart. Jesus Christ, who is the visible, in-the-flesh image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), says of Himself, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29).
The problem is, we tend to have distorted views of what pride and humility are all about. A humble person is neither a doormat nor a mouse. You might say, a humble person has a right view of him or herself from God’s perspective. A humble person recognizes that they are a dearly loved and helplessly (but not hopelessly) flawed creation of God. But a humble person doesn’t get stuck there.
I think C.S. Lewis had the right of it when he said,
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. –C.S. Lewis
That’s how God is. His heart is not wrapped up in Himself or in making sure He receives the glory He is due, His heart is wrapped up in compassion and lovingkindness toward others.
Yes, He is deserving of all glory. Yes, His power is supreme. But His heart is with the lowly, as we see repeatedly in Scripture,
For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite. (Is. 57:15; see also Psa. 25:8-9, Is. 66:1-2)
From the series: Nature of God