James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(10) Humble yourselves . . .—Read, Humble yourselves therefore before the Lord, and He shall lift you up. “For thus saith the high and lofty One” (Isaiah 57:15), “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Comp. 1Peter 5:6.) “God,” says Thomas à Kempis, “protects the humble and delivers him; He loves and consoles him; He inclines Himself towards the humble man, He bestows on him exceeding grace, and after his humiliation He lifts him up to glory; He reveals his secrets to the humble, and sweetly draws and leads him to Himself.”

4:1-10 Since all wars and fightings come from the corruptions of our own hearts, it is right to mortify those lusts that war in the members. Wordly and fleshly lusts are distempers, which will not allow content or satisfaction. Sinful desires and affections stop prayer, and the working of our desires toward God. And let us beware that we do not abuse or misuse the mercies received, by the disposition of the heart when prayers are granted When men ask of God prosperity, they often ask with wrong aims and intentions. If we thus seek the things of this world, it is just in God to deny them. Unbelieving and cold desires beg denials; and we may be sure that when prayers are rather the language of lusts than of graces, they will return empty. Here is a decided warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God. An enemy may be reconciled, but enmity never can be reconciled. A man may have a large portion in things of this life, and yet be kept in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who will conform to it rather than lose its friendship, is an enemy to God. So that any one who resolves at all events to be upon friendly terms with the world, must be the enemy of God. Did then the Jews, or the loose professors of Christianity, think the Scripture spake in vain against this worldly-mindedness? or does the Holy Spirit who dwells in all Christians, or the new nature which he creates, produce such fruit? Natural corruption shows itself by envying. The spirit of the world teaches us to lay up, or lay out for ourselves, according to our own fancies; God the Holy Spirit teaches us to be willing to do good to all about us, as we are able. The grace of God will correct and cure the spirit by nature in us; and where he gives grace, he gives another spirit than that of the world. The proud resist God: in their understanding they resist the truths of God; in their will they resist the laws of God; in their passions they resist the providence of God; therefore, no wonder that God resists the proud. How wretched the state of those who make God their enemy! God will give more grace to the humble, because they see their need of it, pray for it are thankful for it, and such shall have it. Submit to God, ver. 7. Submit your understanding to the truth of God; submit your wills to the will of his precept, the will of his providence. Submit yourselves to God, for he is ready to do you good. If we yield to temptations, the devil will continually follow us; but if we put on the whole armour of God, and stand out against him, he will leave us. Let sinners then submit to God, and seek his grace and favour; resisting the devil. All sin must be wept over; here, in godly sorrow, or, hereafter, in eternal misery. And the Lord will not refuse to comfort one who really mourns for sin, or to exalt one who humbles himself before him.Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord - Compare Matthew 23:12. See the notes at James 4:6. That is, be willing to take your appropriate place in the dust on account of your transgressions. This is to be "in the sight of the Lord," or before him. Our sins have been committed against him; and their principal aggravation, whoever may have been wronged by them, and great as is their criminality in other respects, arises from that consideration. Psalm 51:4, "against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight." Luke 15:18, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee." As the Being against whom we have sinned is the only one who can pardon, it is proper that we should humble ourselves before him with penitent confession.

And he shall lift you up - He will exalt you from the condition of a broken-hearted penitent to that of a forgiven child; will wipe away your tears, remove the sadness of your heart, fill you with joy, and clothe you with the garments of salvation. This declaration is in accordance with all the promises in the Bible, and with all the facts which occur on the earth, that God is willing to show mercy to the humble and contrite, and to receive those who are truly penitent into his favor. Compare Luke 15:22.

10. in the sight of the Lord—as continually in the presence of Him who alone is worthy to be exalted: recognizing His presence in all your ways, the truest incentive to humility. The tree, to grow upwards, must strike its roots deep downwards; so man, to be exalted, must have his mind deep-rooted in humility. In 1Pe 5:6, it is, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, namely, in His dealings of Providence: a distinct thought from that here.

lift you up—in part in this world, fully in the world to come.

Humble yourselves: the same duty pressed again, only with respect to the more internal part of it, the debasement of the heart, lest they should rest too much in the outward exercises before mentioned. They did lift up themselves through pride and emulation, and he shows them the best way to the truest exaltation, viz. humility, Matthew 23:12 Proverbs 15:33 18:12.

In the sight of the Lord; sincerely, as in the presence of the Searcher of hearts.

And he shall lift you up; as to your outward state and enjoyments, so far as God sees good for you; but, however, in grace here, and glory hereafter, Luke 14:11.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,.... Which is done, when men, before the Lord, and from their hearts, and in the sincerity of their souls, acknowledge their meanness and unworthiness, their vileness, sinfulness, and wretchedness, and implore the grace and mercy of God in Christ, as did Abraham, Jacob, Job, Isaiah, Paul, and the publican; and when they walk humbly with God, acknowledging they can do nothing without him; owning their dependence on his grace, and ascribing all they have, and are, unto it:

and he shall lift you up; this is God's usual way to lift up the meek, and exalt those that humble themselves; he lifts them from the dunghill, to set them among princes; he gives them a place, and a name in his house, better than sons and daughters; he adorns them with his grace; he clothes them with the righteousness of his Son, he grants them nearness to himself; and at last will introduce them into his kingdom and glory.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Jam 4:10. Conclusion—carrying with it an O. T. colouring—of the exhortation, in which what has hitherto been said is summed up.

ταπεινώθητε ἐνώπιον κυρίου] ταπεινώθητε in reference to ταπεινοῖς κ.τ.λ., Jam 4:6.

κυρίου] i.e. Θεοῦ (comp. Jam 4:7), not Χριστοῦ (Grotius).

ἐνώπιον] not = ὑπό, 1 Peter 5:6 : ταπεινώθητε ὑπὸ τὴνχεῖρα τοῦ Θεοῦ, but expresses that the self-abasement is to take place in consciousness of the presence of God, who gives grace only to the humble; comp. Sir 2:17 : οἳ φοβούμενοι κύριονἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ ταπεινώσουσι τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν.

καὶ ὑψώσει ὑμᾶς] is to be referred both to the present concealed and to the future manifested glory of the humble Christian (comp. chap. Jam 1:9). The contrasted ideas ταπεινοῦν and ὑψοῦν often occur; see in the O. T. Job 5:11; Ezekiel 21:26; in the N. T. Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:6, and other places.

10. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up] Better, he shall exalt, so as to preserve the manifest allusion to our Lord’s words as recorded in Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:12; Luke 18:14. Here again we have another striking parallel with St Peter’s language (1 Peter 5:6). There is, however, a difference as well as an agreement to be noticed. While the other passages speak mainly of humility in its relation to man, this dwells emphatically on its being manifested in relation to God.

Verse 10. - Humble yourselves, etc. A further parallel with our Lord's teaching, St. James's words being perhaps suggested by the saying recorded in Matthew 23:12, "Whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted" (ὑψωθήσεται, as here, "He shall lift you up," ὑψώσει). In the sight of the Lord (ἐνώπιον). The article (τοῦ) in the Received Text is certainly wrong. It is wanting in a, A, B, K. The anarthrous Κύριος is used by St. James here and in James 5:4, 10 (with which contrast ver. 14), and 1 l, as equivalent to the "Jehovah" of the Old Testament, which is represented in the LXX. by Κύριος without the article. James 4:10
James 4:10 Interlinear
James 4:10 Parallel Texts

James 4:10 NIV
James 4:10 NLT
James 4:10 ESV
James 4:10 NASB
James 4:10 KJV

James 4:10 Bible Apps
James 4:10 Parallel
James 4:10 Biblia Paralela
James 4:10 Chinese Bible
James 4:10 French Bible
James 4:10 German Bible

Bible Hub

James 4:9
Top of Page
Top of Page