The Fall Festival season pictures the Kingdom of God being established on earth. That means a new government will be established to rule all the nations of the earth! (Revelation 11:15; Daniel 7:14).
Why is a new government necessary? Because government in the hands of man has failed miserably. The record of history is one of war, oppression, poverty, disease, all too often famine, and every other evil imaginable, often caused by government, or at other times not prevented by man’s governments. Historically, government has often been man’s greatest enemy. Yet, effective and genuinely beneficent government is essential to the well being of man. A new and much better government is needed to replace current governments with their failures, inadequacies and evils.
A big part of the responsibility of government is to regulate relations between people. God’s government, through his law, regulates our relationships with God and with one another. In God’s Kingdom, a big part of the job of those who administer the government will be to teach individuals and nations how to relate to one another and to God so as to produce peace and joy, happy and abundant lives on a universal scale. Scripture tells us that the resurrected saints will be given authority under Jesus Christ in his millennial Kingdom to help him rule over the nations of the earth (Daniel 7:27; Revelation 2:26-27; 5:9-10).
If you were made a “king” today, what kind of king would you be? What kind of rulers does the world need? If you were made “king” or “prince” or “princess” of your town or your county, province, etc., today, how would you be a different or a better ruler than its present rulers? Or would you be a better ruler than those presently in authority?
There are many attributes that a good ruler must have. But for now let’s focus on one essential prerequisite to rulership in God’s Kingdom in the World Tomorrow. It’s a character trait that every ruler in God’s Kingdom must have. Yet it’s a trait that almost no one associates with being a king. When people think of rule they may think of such things as great authority, power, control over others, splendor, wealth. But how many rulers or kings can you think of that you would describe as humble?
Some, perhaps, but such are all too rare. When there’s talk of kings and queens of the past you hear names like William the Conqueror, Ivan the Terrible, Bloody Mary, Peter the Great. But how many kings were known as the humble, the meek, the contrite?
Humility A Requirement
Lack of godly humility is one of the main reasons the governments of this world have failed. It is a requirement for rulers of Tomorrow’s World that forms a basis for all other essential characteristics.
Why? Because without humility you can’t have wisdom, good judgment, or even love. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). Fearing God or having a proper reverence for him implies humbling yourself before him, and that is the beginning of true knowledge. Godly wisdom goes hand in hand with meekness or humility. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13).
David wrote, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way” (Psalms 25:9, KJV). “…love does not parade itself, is not puffed up,” Paul reminds us (1 Corinthians 13:4). Wisdom, judgment, love – these basic attributes of godly character are predicated on humility.
Because of the failures of human government, including even at times government in the Church, many conclude that government is the problem, and the solution is to get rid of government. But the root of the problem is not so much government, as the attitudes and behavior of those entrusted with authority. Where humility is lacking, along with other essential attributes of godly character necessary for the proper exercise of authority, the results are inevitably less than ideal and not infrequently catastrophic.
Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). A child like humility is required of us if we are even to be in God’s Kingdom. We can conclude then that those who lack humility certainly won’t rule in Tomorrow’s World.
God Exemplifies Humility
God requires humility on the part of those who rule under him because he himself is humble. In fact, of all beings who exist, God is the greatest in humility. For us to understand why, we need first to begin to comprehend how great, mighty and glorious God is. God created the vast universe, spreading it out as a tent to dwell in. To him the inhabitants of the earth are like grasshoppers, and all the nations put together are as nothing (Revelation 4:11; Isaiah 40:15-17, 22).
What is man then that God should consider us? For God to be mindful of us shows his great humility. God, “…humbles Himself to behold The things that are in the heavens and in the earth” (Psalm 113:6). He delivers the poor and needy (verse 7). God even takes notice of the
plight of sparrows, and he takes care to know more about us than we know about ourselves (Matthew 10:29-31). God’s humility is revealed in his deep concern for his creation.
God Hates Pride
God, who inhabits eternity, says that those who will dwell with him are the humble (Isaiah 57:15). God hates pride and arrogance (Proverbs 6:16-17; 8:13). The proud in heart are an abomination to him (Proverbs 16:5). God hates pride in a ruler because pride leads to oppression and engenders strife (Psalm 12:3-5; 73:6-8; 119:122; Proverbs 13:10; 28:25).
God is going to destroy the proud and all oppressors from the earth (Job 40:11-13; Psalm 10:16-18; 72:4; Isaiah 16:4-5). His government is to be a liberating, not an oppressive, government (Exodus 20:2; Leviticus 25:10; Isaiah 61:1). And it will be a government of peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Satan was originally known as Lucifer, meaning shining one, morning star, or light bringer. He was one of the covering Cherubim associated with God’s throne (Psalm 80:1; Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:14). But he became lifted up with pride and rebelled against God, and was cast down to the earth (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:17; Luke 10:18). Yet God has allowed Satan to continue as god of this world, ruler of the present age on earth, and he has ruled it with violence and oppression (John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 14:4-6; Ezekiel 28:16). The character of his rule is summed up in one of the names applied to him – namely Apollyon, or destroyer (Revelation 9:11). But he will ultimately be cast out as an abominable branch (Isaiah 14:19; Revelation 20:10).
Pride will ultimately destroy the person who allows himself to be filled with it (Proverbs 16:18-19; 18:12; 29:23). Pride is inward and selfish, the opposite of love, which implies outgoing concern for others.
God wants those he chooses for leadership to be humble, as Moses was (Numbers 12:3). Meekness is not weakness. Exactly what is godly humility?
What Is Godly Humility?
When you study the subject in God’s word you’ll find it includes a deep reverence for God. A humble person has a deep respect for God and stands in awe of him, gratefully acknowledging his utter dependence on God as creator and sustainer of all that exists. Humility is the opposite of pride and vanity – of thinking of yourself more highly than you should. It means realizing that apart from God you are nothing but dust, your life like a vapor being dissipated in the wind (Psalm 39:5-6, 11).
Humility includes contriteness of heart and a willingness to submit yourself totally to God and obey his word (Isaiah 66:2). The saints in the World Tomorrow will rule under Jesus Christ’s authority. To do so they must willingly be guided and directed by Jesus Christ and those he places in higher positions of authority, as long as they are also faithful to Christ. Humility means showing respect and concern for others including the weak, the poor, the helpless. It includes esteeming others better than one’s self – in other words, having the attitude of a servant (Romans12:3-16).
Jesus himself is “gentle [or humble] and lowly in heart,” and admonishes us to learn from him (Matthew 11:28-30; cf. Matthew 21:5; Zechariah 9:9). Paul sought to imitate the “meekness and gentleness of Christ,” and was not seeking glory, but was gentle and affectionate among those he served (2 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:6-7). He instructed Timothy that ministers must be gentle, patient and meek even when dealing with difficult individuals (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
To God, a meek (humble) spirit is of great value (1 Peter 3:4). In the sermon on the mount Jesus discusses qualities of mind and character consistent with humility, and he mentions rewards and blessings God reserves for the humble, including the inheritance of God’s kingdom. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:3-5). We need to have God’s concept of rulership, characterized by humility, indelibly imprinted in our minds, instilled in our character. We need to seek to develop with God’s help an ever deeper spirit of godly humility. We should be practicing humility daily. Only with humility will we be considered fit to rule with Christ.
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Copyright © 2013 by Rod Reynolds
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