“God is for the humble”

1 Peter 5:5-7   “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Psalm 34:18-22  “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.  The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”

In last week’s sermon (Luke 7:1-10), Jesus heals a centurion’s slave who was near death.  In verse 9, Jesus commends the centurion’s faith expressed in verse 8.  Though the centurion feels deeply unworthy for Jesus to come to his home, Jesus acts on his behalf for good.

This was the last point of the sermon – to trust that God is good, and that He is for us.  It is important to recognize that God is not “for” everyone.  Scripture is very clear in 1 Peter 5:5 that “God is opposed to the proud.”  We see this illustrated in Haman’s plot to kill Mordecai and the Jews in the book of Esther.  Haman’s arrogance is displayed throughout the book, especially in his hatred for Mordecai, who refused to pay him homage (Esther 3:2-6, 5:9).  The God’s specific opposition towards this proud leader shows itself in the providential judgment of Haman on his own gallows (Esther 7:10).  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

However, God gives grace to the humble!  The opposition of God should be and is a terrifying thing.  But how sweet should be his favor towards us.  We can find rest and refuge and security in His gracious gaze!  Psalm 34 expands on this, “The LORD is near to the broken hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit…the LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”  This is what the Scriptures invite us to believe and trust.

Even when God has ordained hardships for us to endure, He means for us to walk with Him through it.  In those times, the character of God has not been altered nor eclipsed.  His purposes for His covenant people remain steadfast.  He is for you and is working for your good (Romans 8:28).  In the message this coming Sunday, we see this again on display as Jesus makes a special trip, to an obscure town, to intervene for an obscure widow who has just lost her only son.  Luke 7:13 says, “…He felt compassion for her…”  In His incarnation, Jesus is unmistakably revealing these truths of God’s character.

It honors Him when we trust Him, both in His sovereign position as Lord, and also in His goodness (Rom. 4:20-21).

Thanks! See you Sunday,

Pastor Dave

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