Pride and Humility
My son-in-law started to hand me the Wii controls. “Dave, this is how the game starts and this button does…..” I cut him off, took the controls and the game started. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and of course my score was miserable. I put the controls down and didn’t play again.
My son-in-law is a wiz at video games and a fantastic teacher. He tried to help me. He wanted to take me through the steps, but I was too proud to listen and obey. This was a game where my natural instincts weren’t close to being good enough. It’s one thing for pride to keep me from listening to my son-in-law. It’s a lot more serious when pride causes me not listen to God.
Yesterday’s Devo showed us how Mary praised God for her miraculous pregnancy. God’s Son was in her womb and she wasn’t too proud to admit that socially she was not exactly in league with the rich and the powerful (v. 48). On the other hand, she knew her Jewish Scripture well. Take a look at Israel’s history and it doesn’t take too long to figure out who wins—the proud or the humble—in His ultimate game of redemption.
In Exodus God delivered a couple of millions slaves from proud Pharaoh. In Numbers He fed, clothed, and watered a bunch of wanderers in the wilderness, and in Joshua He kept His promise and they conquered the idolatrous, immoral Canaanites. In the Books of Samuel He reached into the field and took a humble shepherd boy and made him king. David united Israel, and Solomon, his son, built God’s Temple.
By Mary’s time at the dawn of the first century these golden days seemed to have disappeared under the boot of Rome, but Mary believed that the baby in her womb would one day rule the nations. Her reason? Because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. This wasn’t only true for the Virgin Mary, it’s true for all who will humble themselves and believe what God promised to Abraham about the gift of the Seed (Genesis 3:15, chapters 12, 15, 17)
“‘Because the Mighty One has done great things for me, holy is His Name. His covenant faithful love is from generation to generation toward those who reverence Him. He has demonstrated the strength of His arm. He has scattered those who are arrogant in the thoughts of their heart. He removes rulers from their thrones, and He lifts up the humble. Those who are hungry He satisfies with good things, but the rich He sends away empty. He has come to the aid of Israel, His child. He remembered His merciful covenant loyalty to them just as He spoke to Abraham, our father, to Abraham and to his seed forever.’
Now Mary stayed with Elizabeth three months and then she returned to her own house.” Luke 1:49-56
Dr. Luke has us all set up for John the Baptist’s birth in the next part of his story, but before we move to that delivery, I need to ask myself, “What role will I play in this story?” Luke began mentioning King Herod (1:5). This king ruled with arrogance, wealth, and vengeance. He would have laughed at Mary’s praise, but it’s this humble, pure, teenage virgin who generated the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The proud don’t get the controls in the ultimate game when Jesus rules over all the earth.
LORD, protect me from my pride that blocks me from having a teachable spirit. Destroy the insecurity that causes me to falsely believe that I need to be the one with the controls and I don’t need to listen. Thanks that Harvey, my son-in-law, isn’t embarrassed about reminding me about my need to let him teach me how to play video games.
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