October 5, 2017 | To Walk Humbly With God

Mankind, He has told you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God. [Micah 6:8 HCSB]
Humility in correct anthropology
Humility is a proper understanding of self. As a human, I am made in the image of God. Think about that. Every person is created in God’s image. There is enough glory in that truth to lift the heaviest head.
Of course, humankind is now tainted by sin. The image of God is defaced – not erased, but indeed defaced. And there is enough ugliness in that truth to lower the haughtiest eyes.
Further, as a believer in Christ, a person is redeemed. We are made children of God, not through any effort or quality of our own, but totally through the grace of God. As God’s child, the Christian has access to God and His wisdom. There is enough power in that truth to change a life forever.
Humility is recognizing all that and living accordingly.
Humility in a fascinating word
Look at Micah 6:8. The word we translate “humbly” is הַצְנֵ֥עַ whsn. This is a very specific and rather odd term for Micah to use. It only appears in one other place in the Bible. And this verb – used here as an adverb – has 3 extremely important aspects:
  1. It is an action verb. This is not a passive thing.
  2. הַצְנֵ֥עַ is used often outside the Bible, where it always means to act wisely.
  3. In particular, most ancient books that employ הַצְנֵ֥עַemphasize using cunning to gain understanding.
Think about that. Micah uses a very rare word to teach us what God wants. “Humbly” is a fine translation, so long as we understand that the humility God requires is active. Real humility actively seeks God’s understanding and then acts wisely as a result.
It’s an implied contrast. Our own heads are empty of genuine understanding – though we are so proud of them and pretend we are full of wisdom. But the humble person knows her own true emptiness. Therefore, she instead actively seeks God’s wisdom. That is true humility.
Paul carries this idea into a great humility text of the New Testament – Philippians 2 – which reads:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. 
(Philippians 2:3-5 NASB)
See the contrast? Empty conceit regards self as most important. Humility recognizes that we can have Jesus’mindset. We can cunningly act wisely according to Jesus’ understanding. The upshot is that we will have then the confidence and capacity to be like Jesus – seeing others as more important than ourselves.