Conditional Humility


As I neared the end of my Finance program for my undergraduate, we began studying something called situational ethics. In essence, the merit of demonstrating ethical behavior depended on the circumstance or condition one was facing. For example, conducting business in the United States of America requires one to follow one set of rules where as those rules, norms and expectations may not be present in another country where a multinational business has operations. One of the most understandable conditions was the use of large cash bribes. While it certainly happens here, it is against the law and rules of generally accepted business behavior. Conversely, it was generally accepted behavior in certain countries. In fact, it was reported that if one failed to provide a bribe he/she failed to procure business it sought.

As man interacts with God, we attempt to provide bribes and demonstrate situational ethics in the form of Conditional Humility. The currency of God is humility and faith. None can have one without the other. God is looking for man to have faith in Him; however, one cannot express faith, trust, dependence or reliance upon God unless he is humble. In the post Humility, humility was defined as 1) the having a humble opinion of one’s self, 2) a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness, 3) modesty, humility, lowliness of mind. This lowliness of mind is the opposite of pride. It is the example cited for us by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2.

Today, we go old school as in Old Testament to see a shining example of humility by looking at the negative. The focal character today is Pharaoh who repeatedly demonstrated Conditional Humility. Exodus 10 is just one of many examples of Pharaoh refusing to humble himself before God. Let me digress for a minute. Lowliness of mind should truly be held when we survey why Pharaoh refused to humble himself before God (v.20). If God does not open our hearts to acknowledge our lowliness of mind, we should understand that we will never humble ourselves before Him. We need to understand that God enables us to trust Him, so we are not all that.

In Conditional Humility, we only humble ourselves to get out of a jam, a pickle, a fix – that is an unsavory circumstance. Let’s see what Pharaoh’s pickle was in Exodus 10.

Exodus 10

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.”

Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me. For if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land. They will also eat the rest of what has escaped—what is left to you from the hail—and they will eat every tree which sprouts for you out of the field. Then your houses shall be filled and the houses of all your servants and the houses of all the Egyptians, something which neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day that they came upon the earth until this day.’” And he turned and went out from Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, “Go, serve the Lord your God! Who are the ones that are going?” Moses said, “We shall go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we shall go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord.” 10 Then he said to them, “Thus may the Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Take heed, for evil is in your mind.11 Not so! Go now, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desire.” So they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence.

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt and eat every plant of the land, even all that the hail has left.” 13 So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the Lord directed an east wind on the land all that day and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled in all the territory of Egypt; they were very numerous. There had never been so many locusts, nor would there be so many again.15 For they covered the surface of the whole land, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every plant of the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Thus nothing green was left on tree or plant of the field through all the land of Egypt. 16 Then Pharaoh hurriedly called for Moses and Aaron, and he said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. 17 Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once, and make supplication to the Lord your God, that He would only remove this death from me.” 18 He went out from Pharaoh and made supplication to the Lord. 19 So the Lord shifted the wind to a very strong west wind which took up the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea; not one locust was left in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go.

The humility that God desires is not Short-term Humility. It is not situational as it was with Pharaoh. Pharaoh’s humility was conditional. It was to get his country and himself out of a locust invasion as promised – one where “something which neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day that they came upon the earth until this day.” It was quite clear that locust had never covered the entire land and eaten every green thing to the visible eye. The prophecy which God had Moses proclaim had come true.

Like Moses, God has His Word and the messengers who carry His Word as warnings to the pharaohs of today. A pharaoh of today is any one who fails to humble himself/herself before God to worship God.  It is even more true of those who have a heavy influence on others. If one is leading others away from God, he/she is a pharaoh type. Where are you? Are you submitted and surrendered to God? What is God calling you to surrender in your life? Remember, he is saying to your inner pharaoh, let my man/woman go. If you have continuously failed to let God’s person go, pray to God pleading Him for the humility to surrender yourself. Those with Conditional Humility have not place in God’s kingdom. Just finish reading about Pharaoh if you don’t believe me. Be blessed today by being humble.

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