Seek HumilitySeptember 13, 2012 - 5:00 am
“Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.” — Zephaniah 2:3
Consider this: God chose Moses, a man who wasn’t good with words, to give over the word of God. He chose Mount Sinai, a mountain that was barely as big as a hill, as the place where the Torah would be given. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to choose a skilled orator and a grand mountain for such a spectacular event?
When God appointed Moses to be the spokesperson of the Israelites, Moses protested: “Who am I that I should go?” (Exodus 3:11). God could have chosen Aaron, the older, more confident brother, who—as time would prove – was much more charismatic and beloved by the people.
But he chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and it was through him that the Ten Commandments were given to the world. For all that he lacks, Moses had the one trait that mattered the most. The Bible calls him: “a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).
Mount Sinai was a mountain that was smaller than any around it. Tradition teaches that when God was about to give the Torah to mankind, other mountains wanted to be the place of such a holy event. They boasted that they were taller and more majestic. They were grandiose and awe-inspiring. But God chose Mount Sinai because it was small. Even the place of revelation was chosen because it symbolized humility.
Remember those funny mirrors from amusement parks? Some make you look short and fat, while others make you tall and skinny. The distortions make us laugh because we know what we really look like. But what if someone didn’t know that it was all a joke? Imagine if someone who was skinny thought she was obese, or if someone dangerously overweight saw a skinny person in the mirror?
You can’t make your body better if you don’t know what you really look like. And you can’t make your inner self better if you don’t know who you are. That’s what humility means —knowing who you are. It’s only when you can admit your flaws that you can begin to overcome them. Only one who is humble can receive the word of God.
The prophet Zephaniah writes, “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land.” If you are looking for God, start by taking a good, honest look in the mirror. Be humble and acknowledge where you are lacking. By making yourself less, you open yourself up to becoming more.