Real Humility: Why is it So Rare?

There is something about real humility that is very attractive. Perhaps it is because it is such a rarity or perhaps it is because it is such a supernatural phenomenon in a human being. In either case, it is clear that David’s brand of humility was rare AND supernatural in origin.

In 1 Samuel 16, David was anointed secretly by Samuel, secretly, that is, to Saul. Verse 13 of chapter 16 makes it clear that there were witnesses to the spectacle, namely, all of his older brothers.

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.”    

Though he is the anointed in the midst of his brothers, the three oldest brothers chose to follow Saul (17:13-14). Think of it. Imagine that you are David. You are the youngest of the eight brothers. You’re the runt. You are the one entrusted with the lowly role of shepherd to your father’s flocks. Yet, you have been selected by God and anointed by God’s prophet to be the king of Israel. The rumors around your home town of Bethlehem for weeks, were that Samuel, when he last spoke to Saul (Chapter 15) said that God was taking the kingdom from Saul and giving it to another who was “better” than Saul (15:28). Now, it turns out that you are “the better one” Samuel talked about.

How would you respond?

Take some time to honestly answer that question.
Don’t spiritualize your answer.
Don’t think of how you would like to respond.
Don’t think of how you know you should respond.
Just think of how you would most likely respond in similar circumstances.

Think of your past responses to situations in which you.received praise or honor.
And don’t forget that God looks at the heart response not just your public assertions of humility.

Now examine David’s response. What do you find him doing in chapter 17? Serving. Serving his father (17:15). Serving his brothers (17:17) Serving Saul!! (17:32, 34, 36), And ultimately, most importantly, serving God (17:45).

Humility starts and ends with service to others.


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