1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:…
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, etc. Approaching the end of his letter, the apostle condenses into two or three almost electric sentences some most momentous practical directions for troubled Christian men. In these directions we learn -
I. THE TRUE SPIRIT FOR CHRISTIAN MEN TO CHERISH IN LIFE'S TRIALS. Here is:
1. Devout humility, and with it freedom from anxiety. The two are more closely associated than we sometimes imagine. Let us look at them separately, and then in their combination. "Humble yourselves.., under the mighty hand of God."
(1) Self-humbling is true humility. To be crushed by others or by circumstances may be only humiliation.
(2) Humbling of self before God is true humility. Towards God first and chiefly the emotion is to be cherished, the attitude maintained.
(3) Humbling of self before a personal, great, and loving God is true humility. "Mighty hand of God." Not a force, but a "hand" - a hand as gentle as mighty.
(4) Humbling of self before, such a God will lead to exaltation "in due time he will exalt." "Casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you." "Anxiety;" perplexing, dividing, cutting thought. "Cast;" by a brave and resolute and simple act of will. "For he careth." Not anxiety now, but clear, loving, constant interest. Now, we can see how true humility leads to freedom from anxiety. The relationship and attitude of the soul towards God is the key to both.
2. Sober watchfulness, and with it stern conflict. "Be sober," etc. Note the need for the watchfulness.
(1) An enemy. "Your adversary the devil."
(2) An active enemy. "Walketh about."
(3) A destructive enemy. "Whom he may devour."
(4) An enemy who can be resisted. "Whom withstand."
(5) An enemy whom others have contended with and conquered. "The same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world."
Into that trial and battle and storm all the brotherhood, even the great elder Brother, have gone.
II. THE FINAL PURPOSE OF GOD WITH REGARD TO MEN WHO CHERISH SUCH A SPIRIT' IN LIFE'S TRIALS.
1. A destiny that is wonderful. "God of grace " - compassion, favor, help. "Called." God compels rivers, oceans, in their courses, etc., but calls souls to their high destiny. "Eternal glory in Christ;" such as is
(1) revealed in Christ;
(2) shared with Christ;
(3) inherited through Christ.
2. A trial that is transient. "Alter ye have suffered a little while." Often it seems long. "Life, an age to the miserable, a moment to the happy." But it is a "little while" comparatively to eternity, and absolute in itself.
3. A character that is complete. "Perfect;" no deficiency or defect. "Stablish;" all this to be made permanent. Not goodness like the early cloud and morning dew. "Strengthen;" inspire with force to overcome all hostile influences.
4. A character that calls for praise to God. "To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Peter exulted that God reigned, and yearned for him to have empire that was universal and perpetual, and acknowledged by all with the "Amen," not only of all men, but of all the powers in every man. - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: