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Chapter 12 - Humility - The Destination of Truth

The life of king David, the second king of Israel, is an example of how truth and humility work. When David was young he was anointed king when the first king was still ruling. The first king, Saul, spent years seeking to take Davidís life. Many of the Psalms were written by David who was constantly on the run from the men Saul sent to kill him. Truth was to be found in the reality that his life was at risk and only the protection of God kept him alive. This situation produced humility because there was no other option. David had to live in humble and grateful dependence upon God.

After Saul died and David had ruled as king for years, he faced no more threat to his life. It is a kingís job to control things and as the years passed, David came to see no restrictions on what he could have happen. He went so far as to arrange to have a man killed so that he could have the manís wife for himself. Even then, he still had no idea that he had done anything wrong.

God sent Nathan to tell David a story about a rich man who took away the lamb of a poor man. When David expressed anger for what the rich man in the story had done, Nathan accused David by telling him that he was the rich man in the story. Because David was still 'of the truth', he understood what he had done. Psalm 51 was written by David to express the sorrow he felt when he came to understand his sin.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. - Psalm 51:6-10

In his later years, David came to understand truth not of necessity or circumstance, but face the cold truth of his own nature. Most of us only slowly come to understand the degree of sinfulness within us and the degree of majesty of God. As these two levels of understanding increase, one can only grow in true humility.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. - Isaiah 64:6

As we grow in truth (draw nearer to God) we can only grow in humility. In a way, humility is the measure of the progress we have made in understanding truth. It is also the gateway through which we receive grace from God.

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. - James 4:6

While truth gives us direction, and humility, gives us the capacity to receive Godís grace, it is the passion of our heart that is the engine that drives us forward.



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