1 Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with your majesty. 2 From the mouths of infants and nursing babies, you have established a stronghold on account of your adversaries in order to silence the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I observe your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place, 4 what is a human being that you remember him, a son of man that you look after him? 5 You made him little less than God and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all the sheep and oxen, as well as the animals in the wild, 8 the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea that pass through the currents of the seas. 9 Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is your name throughout the earth! — Psalm 8
God’s Glory, Man’s Dignity
by Michele Dyer
Recently, I was talking with a trusted friend and spiritual mentor about pridefulness and my struggle to have true humility. I commented that I believed some of the silly or unwise things I said or did in the company of others might just help me stay humble. Perhaps it’s good for me to look like a fool now and then. It might serve to remind me of “the worm that I am” in comparison to God’s great and crowning glory.
My very wise friend gently pointed out that I may be mistaking humiliation for humility, which are two very different things. She compared God’s desire for me to the desire I have for my own children. When one of my children talks with me about saying or doing something wrong or unwise, I don’t want them to punish and degrade themselves. I don’t want them to think their mistakes somehow diminish their worth or immense value to me.
Psalm 8 speaks of God’s majesty and incomparable glory. It’s incomprehensible to us. David describes his awe when he ponders the works of God’s hands in His masterful creation. It seems like a natural response to feel humiliated in our own feeble strength and ability next to God’s—even David was compelled to ask the question, “What are mere mortals, that God should think about them?” And yet this passage tells us that God has elevated us in His creation and crowned us with glory and honor.
I love the passage in Ezekiel 2 describing Ezekiel’s call by God to be a prophet in Israel. Ezekiel had a vision of God’s majesty and brilliance, shining with splendor and wearing a halo that resembled a rainbow. The glory of God coming to him caused Ezekiel to fall on his face. Yet God, in His grace and loving kindness, spoke to Ezekiel, and the Spirit caused Ezekiel to stand up before God.
My realization is that God doesn’t desire for us to dwell on our depravity. Even in our times of confession, I believe God wants us to be reminded of His great love for us, that His only Son’s great sacrifice was offered because we are so dearly cherished.
Humility isn’t embarrassment. It’s the realization that we are dependent on God to empower and equip us to become all He has purposed for us to be. We can embrace the honor and glory He bestows on us because:
- We are his children and He loves us (1 John 3:1).
- We are made to shine for His glory with His light in us (2 Corinthians 4:6).
- We can be humbly confident, knowing that it is His power in us that enables us to do great things for His Kingdom (Ephesians 1:19-20; 3:20).
- Consider doing a word study in scripture on humility. Begin by reading verses such as 1 Peter 5:5, Colossians 3:12, and Philippians 2:3. How do these verses help us define true humility?
- In what ways have you misunderstood what true humility looks like?
- Reflect on God’s equipping power in your life, and thank Him for the gifts and talents He’s given you. Ask Him to show you how you can bring glory to Him through using these abilities.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.