If we are truly sensitive to the word of God then we
will find it requiring us to do things in response to it which naturally
we recoil at. Thus true obedience to the word must be associated with
a true humility, a willingness to submit self to the will of God in
ways which really hurt. The following make this clear:
- We are born again by the word (Jn.3:5 cp. 1 Pet.1:23).
This power of new life in the word continues to act upon us whenever
we have contact with it; our response to it should give us the humility
of a child if it's power of rebirth operates upon us. Thus Naaman's
final submission to the word of command concerning baptism resulted
in his flesh becoming "like unto the flesh of a little child" with
its associated implications of humility (2 Kings 5:14).
- Josiah is a good example of humility to the word:
"When the king had heard the words of the book of the Law, that he
rent his clothes". Huldah, speaking on God's behalf, noted that "thine
heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when
thou heardest what I spake" (2 Kings 22:11,19). How is our response
when a new understanding of the word's teaching in practical, everyday
issues stares us in the face from the pages of Scripture?
- Israel "obeyed not, neither inclined their ear,
but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction"
(Jer.17:23), implying that to be truly sensitive to receiving instruction
is like bowing the head in humility, rather than stiffening it upright
- "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to...walk
humbly with thy God?" (Mic.6:8) alludes to Dt.10:12,13: "What doth
the Lord thy God require of thee, but to...keep the commandments of
the Lord, and His statutes", thus equating obedience to the word and
- Dt.17:19,20 is explicit: "He shall read therein
(in the book of the Law) all the days of his life...that he may...keep
all the words of this law (aided by his familiarity with it)...that
his heart be not lifted up above his brethren".
- Israel were fed with manna to humble them (Dt.8:16);
and the Lord reasoned in John 6 that the manna represented the word
- Because our response to the word should humble
us, God may choose to humiliate those who do not respond in humility
to the word. Israel's humiliation at the hands of their enemies is
a prime example of this. "Therefore have I also made you contemptible
and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept My ways,
but have been partial (A.V.mg.:"Lifted up the face against") in the
law" (Mal.2:9). Thus having a semi-spiritual, "partial" attitude to
the word is the same as being proud against it.