1 Peter 5:6-7 – Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (NKJV)
Peter is specifically admonishing the younger folks to be humble and submissive to God. He tells them they need to spend some time being submissive in order to be prepared for the work God has ordained for them. Then when they have marinated in humility for a while, God will be ready to “exalt” them; that is, God is ready to use them. They are ready to fulfill the plans God’s has for them.
If Peter wrote this verse today, I wonder if he would be addressing it specifically to the younger crowd? In Biblical Israel certain immaturities may have been primarily “youth” problems. No doubt a lack of humility still plagues our youth today, but it certainly is NOT unique to our youth. So let’s discover what Peter was saying.
Peter is not making a polite request. He is giving us a command. In fact, God very mercifully commands our submission now while it still remains OUR choice.
EVERY person will humble themselves
under the mighty hand of God.
It’s just a matter of timing.
It’s a question WHEN. You can willingly do it now or be forced to under condemnation at the Judgment Throne of God. We can do it now in obedience and enjoy the blessings of God; or we can be forced to our knees moments before departing to eternal condemnation (Rom 14.11-12).
You can not do this for anyone else, nor can someone be your substitute. This is a personal act of submission and the lessons to be gained are unique to each and every one of us.
Each of us individually must work out our salvation in fear and trembling and personally decide to humble ourselves now, or wait to be humbled later.
Under the Mighty Hand…
We humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. Not His oppressive hand, or burdensome hand, or condemning hand. His mighty hand. For the humble, God’s mighty hand is a hand of strength, power and protection. Submitting to God is not scary or giving up anything. It is gaining the greatest of security and provision from the mighty hand of the Creator of Life.
We are to get UNDER His hand, not on top stomping God’s fingers trying to get our own way. There is no hand like God’s hand. Being safely hidden under it is the safest place in the universe. It’s like crawling under your favorite blanket times a million. It is the ultimate personal state of security, blessing and provision.
Being under God’s hand is to be protected by God’s hand. Who can bother you there? What man or demon can move God’s hand? God’s hand is the ultimate spiritual bodyguard and there is no safer, more secure place.
That He May Exalt You…
Humility and submission are key ingredients in preparing us for God’s service. What does Peter mean here by exalt? We typically think of it as lifting up or focusing attention on. Of course as Christians, only Deity is worthy of this type of exaltation. The other meaning for exalt is to “intensify the use of”.
When we have been properly humbled and have learned submission to God’s authority, we become ready for the specific use that God has prepared for each of us before the world was created. Our purpose in life is ready to be revealed and fulfilled (Eph 2.10).
In Due Time…
Or in other words, when God gets good and ready. Part of the very essence of humilty and submission is to wait on the timing of the one in authority over you. Waiting and patience are uniquely Godly traits and are rare commodities in Christians today. Waiting is rare because of our “instant”, can’t-wait mentality.
Immediate gratification is the lure of modern life.
Patience is rare because few people have the courage to ask God to teach them patience. Go ahead, ask God for patience. I dare you. Better grab Aunt Millie and the dog and run to the storm shelter. There’s only one way to learn patience and that is by enduring the storms of life.
Casting All Your Care on Him…
A heavenly benefit of finding refuge under God’s mighty hand is that He allows (commands!) us to cast our cares on Him. This idea both amazes and puzzles me. Here is the Creator God of the Universe saying “cast your cares on me. I will take care of them for you.” And we don’t do it!
It’s the one “too good to be true”
that’s NOT too good to be true!
Why don’t we take God up on this offer, or worse yet, why don’t we obey this command? We are in essence sinning by not doing it. It is a strange phenomenon. The only logical reasons are:
- We don’t believe God
- We don’t trust Him
- We don’t want to because we like our burdens
- We scared too because we’ve never tried
- We think God can’t handle them
- Or, we think we can handle them better than Him
How amazing it would be for the spiritual health of our churches, marriages and families if we would simply take God at His word and cast ALL of our cares on Him. I don’t read any conditions on it. It says ALL. It’s like my Dad used to say to me, “what part of ALL did you not understand?”. When the Bible says ALL, God means ALL. God is the only Person uniquely qualified to use words like ALL, NEVER and EVERY.
Because He Cares For You!
With typical clarity, Peter ties up his instructions by making the reason plain. It’s kind of his “commandments for dummies” approach. We are to do all of this simply because God cares for us. Think of that. The King of the Universe cares for you and says:
“Humble yourself under the protection of My Hand, and I will take care of all your burdens for you. Then when you have learned humility, and to trust Me, and to rest in My care, you will be ready for Me to use you.”
I wonder sometimes if it is our lack of humilty that causes us to often say, “I don’t know God’s purpose in my life”. Maybe you aren’t ready for His use. Maybe you need to spend some time humbling yourself under His mighty hand. While you’re there, He will take care of you.
He’s quite capable you know.
Almighty God, thank You for giving us a place of protection and allow us to submit to Your loving care. We thank you that in Your timing, You will prepare us to be used and our part in Your plans will become clear. Amen.
Contemplation: Would you characterize yourself as a humble and submissive person? Do you wonder what God’s plan for your life is? Does it seem like God doesn’t use you like He seems to use others? Can you measure a difference in humility between you and them?
Application: Humility and submissiveness are key Christian attributes. They indicate our level of trust in God and until we truly learn to trust God, how can He use us? If you feel “unused” by God, maybe it’s because He is waiting for you to humble yourself and cast your cares on Him.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?