podcast

The Necessity of Humility (1 Samuel 9:21)

Pray The Word
1 Samuel
9
21
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Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjamite from the least of the tribes of Israel, and is not my clan, the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
-1 Samuel 9:21

This is such a surprising verse as we listen to these words from Saul and we think about who he later became, this prideful king, who was focused on himself and what others thought about him and who was quick to disobey God in order to preserve himself. But that’s not how he started. This picture in 1 Samuel 9:21 is such a remarkable picture of humility.

We need to pray for humility in each of our lives and to cultivate humility on an ongoing basis.

Saul’s overwhelmed that he might be the next king? Like who is he, he asks, from the least of the tribes of Israel, from the humblest of all the clans of that tribe. Like who am I? And in this way and this picture of humility that changes in the days to come in Saul’s life. I think we see a clearer picture that we need to pray for humility in each of our lives and to cultivate humility on an ongoing basis. We are all prone to pride. And it may look different in different lives, but this is our sinful nature inside of us.

When you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and you see his chapter on pride, the greatest of all sins, really in a sense the core of all sin. In Genesis 3, God’s not going to tell us what to do. We’re going to do what we want to do. We’re going to trust ourselves over God. We’re going to obey our instincts instead of God’s word. It’s pride that’s at the core of all sin, which means we need humility. We need to pray for it. We need to cultivate it at the core of each one of our lives.

And praise God, we have a savior who demonstrated humility to us, who humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2 says even as Philippians 2 tells us, your attitude should be the same as his. God, we pray for this right now in all of our lives. We pray that you would open our eyes to see pride in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our desires, in our words, in our decisions. God, that you would open our eyes to see pride in our lives.

And we pray, God, that you would do the supernatural work of removing pride from us and replacing it with humility. God, we ask for humility. We pray for humility. We pray for the humility of Jesus to mark our minds and our hearts, our desires, our words, our actions. Help us to continually humble ourselves before you, before others, to look to others interests instead of our own, to have the attitude of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2, “Our Savior who humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

God, we pray that we would humbly obey you in every way. God, we pray that we would humbly encourage and build up others in every way. God, we ask for humility in our lives, the kind of humility we see in 1 Samuel 9. It’s just overwhelmed by your grace and your mercy toward us and lives with humility before you and with humility before others. God, we ask for this supernatural gift of humility in our hearts. Cultivate it in us. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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