Clothed With Humility
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 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. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith . . . 1 Peter 5:5-9a NKJV
For the third time in the Bible, we are reminded that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Prov. 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). God is a God of grace, but He doesn’t give grace to all—only to the humble. He opposes the proud (Prov. 16:18), and to be proud is to be an enemy of God.
God firmly stands against and opposes the proud for two reasons: (1) Satan, and (2) Adam and Eve. Pride drove Satan to want to exalt his throne above the stars of the Most High God—to be like the Most High God (Isa. 14; Ezek. 28). And, Eve and Adam, out of their pride, disobeyed God to become wise like God (Gen. 3). In both cases Satan, and Eve and Adam’s pride led to them being cast out of heaven and the Garden of Eden, respectfully. Pride was Satan’s chief sin and Adam and Eve’s main sin. Pride is a stronghold of temptation and sin. Therefore, as James admonished the Christians of twelve tribes of Israel scatter abroad: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (Jas. 4:10).
Jesus also taught His disciples that the way to go up in God is down (Matt. 23:12). Peter taught that because God resists the proud, believers need to be “clothed in humility” (Text), i.e., to wear humility as a spiritual girdle. Humility can be a hard virtue to maintain because it is the opposite of pride, and again, pride is a stronghold of sin. But it is better to put yourself down than to have someone else do it. If you humble yourself, God will lift you up.
We are to humble ourselves under the “mighty hand of God.” The mighty hand of God, universally speaking, is God’s omnipotence—power and authority. If you don’t humble yourself under God’s grace, He will humble you under His judgments. The mighty hand of God will punish the proud and defend the humble, because He cares for us. And finally, what does the Lord require of His people: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Be clothed with humility; resist the devil and he will flee from you!