The Review and Herald


May 11, 1897

The Grace of Humility


“Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” RH May 11, 1897, par. 1

The grace of humility should be cherished by every one who names the name of Christ; for self-exaltation can find no place in the work of God. Those who would co-operate with the Lord of Hosts must daily crucify self, placing worldly ambition in the background. They must be long-suffering and kind, full of mercy and tenderness to those around them. True humility must be seen in all they do. RH May 11, 1897, par. 2

Much fitful, spurious humility is seen among professed Christians. Some, determined to conquer self, place themselves as low as possible; but they try only in their own strength, and the next wave of praise or flattery carries them up out of sight. They are not willing to submit wholly to God, and he cannot work through them. Take no glory whatever to yourself. Do not work with a divided mind, trying to serve God and self at the same time. Keep self out of sight. Let your words lead the weary and heavy laden to Jesus, the compassionate Saviour. Work as seeing him who is at your right hand, ready to give you strength for service. Your only safety is in entire dependence upon Christ. RH May 11, 1897, par. 3

God honors those who humble themselves before him. Moses disheartened by the discontent and murmuring of the people he was leading into the land of promise, pleaded with God for the assurance of his presence, saying: “See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people; and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.” And the Lord said, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” RH May 11, 1897, par. 4

Encouraged by the assurance of God's presence, Moses drew still nearer, and ventured to ask for still further blessings. “I beseech thee,” he said, “show me thy glory.” Think you that God reproved Moses for his presumption?—No, indeed. Moses did not make this request from idle curiosity. He had an object in view. He saw that in his own strength he could not do the work of God acceptably. He knew that if he could obtain a clear view of the glory of God, he would be enabled to go forward in his important mission, not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord God Almighty. His whole soul was drawn out after God; he longed to know more of him, that he might feel the divine presence near in every emergency or perplexity. It was not selfishness that led Moses to ask for a sight of the glory of God. His only object was a desire better to honor his Maker. RH May 11, 1897, par. 5

God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart, and he understood the motives that prompted the request of his faithful servant. He answered Moses, saying: “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by.” “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” RH May 11, 1897, par. 6

Moses had genuine humility, and the Lord honored him by showing him his glory. Even so will he honor all who will serve him, as did Moses, with a perfect heart. He does not require his servants to work in their own strength. He will impart his wisdom to those who have a humble and contrite spirit. The righteousness of Christ will go before them, and the glory of the Lord will be their rereward. Nothing in this world can harm those who are thus honored by a close connection with God. The earth may shake; the pillars of the world may tremble under them, but they need not fear. “I am persuaded,” writes Paul, “that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” RH May 11, 1897, par. 7

God has been waiting long for his followers to manifest true humility, that he may impart rich blessings to them. Those who offer him the sacrifice of a broken and contrite spirit, will be hidden in the cleft of the rock, and will behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. As Jesus, the sin-bearer, the all-sufficient sacrifice, is seen more distinctly, their lips are tuned to the loftiest praise. The more they see of the character of Christ, the more humble they become, and the lower is their estimate of themselves. No heedless presumption is seen in their work. They do not seek self-exaltation; they are not anxious to mix common fire with the sacred fire of God's own kindling. Self is lost sight of in their consciousness of their own unworthiness and of God's wonderful glory. RH May 11, 1897, par. 8

Christ came to this world for no other purpose than to manifest the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. All power and grace were given to him. His heart was a well-spring of living water, a never-failing fountain, ever ready to flow forth in a rich, clear stream to those around him. His whole life was spent in pure, disinterested benevolence. His purposes were full of love and sympathy. He rejoiced that he could do more for his followers than they could ask or think. His constant prayer for them was that they might be sanctified through the truth, and he prayed with assurance, knowing that an almighty decree had been given before the world was made. He knew that the gospel of the kingdom would be preached in all the world; that truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the contest with evil; and that the blood-stained banner would one day wave triumphantly over his followers. RH May 11, 1897, par. 9

Yet Christ came in great humility. When he was here, he pleased not himself, but “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” To his followers he says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” To all who reveal his meekness and lowliness, living lives of self-denial and self-sacrifice, submitting themselves in humble obedience to his will, he will manifest the glory of God. RH May 11, 1897, par. 10

Those who value a holy and happy walk with God, who prize the strength that a knowledge of him brings, will leave nothing undone if only they may behold God. They will cherish the spirit that trembles at his word, and in every place, and under every circumstance, they will pray that they may be allowed to see his glory. RH May 11, 1897, par. 11

True humility is evidence that we behold God, and that we are in union with Jesus Christ. Unless we are meek and lowly, we cannot claim that we have any true conception of the character of God. Men may think that they are serving God faithfully; their talents, learning, eloquence, or zeal may dazzle the eye, delight the fancy, and awaken the admiration of those who cannot see beneath the surface; but unless these qualifications are humbly consecrated to God, unless those to whom these gifts are entrusted seek that grace which alone can make their work acceptable, they are regarded by God as unprofitable servants. RH May 11, 1897, par. 12

From the root of true humility springs the most precious greatness of mind,—greatness which leads men to conform to the image of Christ. Those who possess this greatness gain patience and trust in God. Their faith is invincible. Their true consecration and devotion keep self hidden. The words that fall from their lips are molded into expressions of Christlike tenderness and love. Having a sense of their own weakness, they appreciate the help which the Lord gives them, and they crave his grace that they may do that which is right and true. By their manner, their attitude, and their spirit, they carry with them the credentials of learners in the school of Christ. RH May 11, 1897, par. 13

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” All heaven enters into co-partnership with those who come to Christ for eternal life, submitting themselves to him as those who have made a surrender of all to God. God requires his servants to stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, striving in his power to keep the principles of truth pure and uncorrupted. They must never step aside from the path of self-denial and humility which every true Christian must travel. As they thus co-operate with God, Christ is formed within, “the hope of glory.” Clad in his meekness and lowliness, they find their highest joy in doing his service. Earthly ambition gives way to a desire to serve the Master. RH May 11, 1897, par. 14

“Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Those who reveal the meek and lowly spirit of Christ are tenderly regarded by God. Nothing is unnoticed by him. He marks their self-denial, their effort to uplift Christ before the world. Though these humble workers may be looked upon with scorn by the world, they are of great value in the sight of God. Not only the wise, the great, the beneficent, will gain a passport into the heavenly courts,—not only the busy worker, full of zeal and restless activity. No; the pure in heart, in whose lips there is found no guile; the poor in spirit, who are actuated by the Spirit of an abiding Christ; the peacemaker, whose highest ambition is to do God's will,—these will gain an abundant entrance. They are God's jewels, and will be among that number of whom John writes, “I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” RH May 11, 1897, par. 15