Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. – Psa. 138:6 KJV
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Today’s scripture, which is part of chapter 138, of the book of Psalms, is a definite description by King David of one of the several attributes of the Almighty God. In the scripture, King David reveals the following facts:
1. The Lord is high. High in terms of perceived location, high physically, spiritually, morally, materially, etc. The Lord is high in all ramifications and nothing or no one is higher than the Lord.
2. The Lord respects people, and some of the class of people he respects are those who are lowly (humble) in character. To be humble is to have or show a modest estimate of one’s importance. By this definition, only one who is important in a relevant situation can display humility. Until there is a relevance of someone to a particular situation and the display of modesty is such circumstance, such cannot be said to be humble. Although it is possible to have a humble disposition to life, it seems unrealistic to have someone who has relevance in all situations. It therefore implies that one can only be relatively humble, but in that situation where the individual is relevant, the display of humility is very well recognised and acknowledged by the Almighty God and men.
3. The Lord keeps a distance from people and some of the people in this class are the proud. To be proud which is the opposite of being humble is defined in this kind of situation as having or showing and excessively high opinion of oneself. This will be the assessment of the person’s character, whether the individual in reality possesses the advantage in reference or not. So it is very possible to be proud even when the basis for that pride is absent. One probably would describe such pride as deceitful pride. Whichever is the case, king David says the Almighty God keeps a distance from such people.
This is a significant information being offered by King David. Proximity to the Lord is very key to being heard in prayer. Not physical proximity but spiritual proximity. No matter how much display of actions by a proud person, that give the impression of being next to God in terms of positioning, the psalmist says all will be an attempt at deceiving, as the reality remains that the Almighty has kept a distance. No one can get the attention of the Most High God from a distance. If you cannot get close, then he cannot hear you.
The Christian today will complain of not been answered in prayers but the Psalmist in today’s scripture gives the possible reason. It is for the Christian to do a honest assessment to confirm whether he/she is proud or not. For most people, the immediate response will be in the negative but it is not about what you say but about how you think. Pride is not always expressed in a manner that is visible but more about the thoughts in one’s heart.
There is actually much to gain in being humble, not only in terms of actions but in terms of thought. In the case of the psalmist, his humility got him victory. He testified that the Lord preserved his life even when he was in the midst of trouble by stretching His hand to save him – Psa. 138:7-8. What a great reward for a simple attitude of humility.
He who intends to enjoy great things from the Lord must not only shun pride but must embrace humility as an attitude. There is no doubt that it will be a decision that will not be regretted. If you are able to achieve this as a Christian, or any one for that matter, you can be sure that you will confidently make the same claim that the Psalmist made which is that the Lord will fulfil His purpose for you – Psa. 138:8. May that be your testimony in Jesus name. Amen.