“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord has promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:1-3
This week, I was intrigued while reading through these verses. As the Israelites were beginning their march into Canaan, God took time to remind them that they were His chosen people. They were not chosen because they were most talented or had the largest “church,” He chose them because He loved them and wanted them to be His example to the world.
He reminded them why they had wandered the wilderness over a 40 year period – He wanted to bring their humility to a new level and to realize their utmost dependence on Him. They had been through over 400 years of humbling in Egypt but it was humility with hope. As they began to enter the “promised” land initially, there was hope and anticipation but there was still the lack of faith and humility that God was looking for. In the natural, one might think, “Hadn't they been through enough already?”
But God, in His infinite yet hard to sometimes understand wisdom, thought they need a new level of humility… one not just mixed with hope in what He was to give them but with faith that He would actually do what He promised. He brought them to a place where they were literally starving so that He could provide them manna. He brought them to a place of total dependence on Him.
I heard a definition of humility some time back that really hit home. Humility is not the way one acts but an understanding of to whom one belongs. When we realize that we are God’s people, totally dependent on Him, we are on the path to real humility. As humans, relinquishing control of our lives is a scary thought but ultimately we must have faith that God will never let us down.
I encourage you to take time and think about this… are you walking in true humility? Is your walk one of both hope and faith?