“The man declares, ‘I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.’” (Proverbs 30:1–3)
Self-esteem pep-talks, books, and seminars aside – sensing and even declaring that one is stupid, lacking understanding, not wise, or less knowledgeable than God may not be a bad place to be. It may be very realistic. It may be humbling and healthy.
The Bible says:
“Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:6–7)
“All that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:16)
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
Are you at your wits’ end? The humiliating stuff that you are experiencing may be the gift that helps you humbly get back under God’s mighty hand.
When we feel like this: “They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.” Our good outcome can be this: “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.” (Psalm 107:27-28)
“Jesus delights in simple humility as he prays, “I thank you, Father,…that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Matthew 11:25–26) Here, “little children,” implies being “babes, unlearned, unenlightened, or simple.” That gives some of us hope.
Back in the 70’s, my pastor and boss was a 68 year old Alabaman, named, C. Allen Taff. He called himself a plodder, preached slowly, and took his sweet country time as he did church repairs and chores in the blue and white striped overalls that he called his “Alabama tuxedo.”
Once in a while under tough circumstances I’d hear him say, “The Lord preserves the simple.” (Psalm 116:6) His unassuming humility impressed me. He didn’t mind claiming “simple” for himself.
Now, as I get closer to the age he was back then, his scripture has become a centerpiece of my journey. “The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” (Psalm 116:6–7)
So, if you, like me, perceive yourself to be stupid, ignorant, weary, overwhelmed, unenlightened, or simple these days — simply rejoice! You are humbly positioned under God’s mighty hand for him to “preserve the simple,” and “exalt you in due time.”
“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer us from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.” (Psalm 20:6)
Please Email Me your thoughts, insights, questions, or responses!
First printed in: The Chowchilla News Pastor’s Commentary by John Parker for October 1, 2014
What better esteem can there be than that?