Humble and Contrite in Spirit (Exodus 10:3) - Radical
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Humble and Contrite in Spirit (Exodus 10:3)

“So 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.'””
– Exodus 10:3

So I want to camp out on and pray according to that middle phrase, really the first thing that Moses and Aaron say to Pharaoh here in Exodus 10:3. They say, “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me?” Think about those words to refuse to humble yourself before God, this is Pharaoh’s sin. It’s often times described in these plague narratives as a hardness of heart. Pharaoh hardening his heart toward God, or having a hard heart toward God. But here, it’s described as, refusing to humble himself. And you think about a verse like Isaiah 66, where God says, “This is the one whom I esteem. He who is humble and contrite in spirit. And trembles at my word.”

God Looks for Those Who Are Humble and Contrite in Spirit

This is who God is looking for. Those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at his word, and Pharaoh is the opposite. And as a result, Pharaoh and those he leads, are experiencing God’s judgment over, and over, and over again, in plagues. The whole picture that we’re seeing here is crystal clear all over the Bible. That God’s blessing, God’s goodness, God’s favor, God’s mercy, is poured out on those who are humble before him. And those who oppose God in pride, those who refuse to listen to God’s word and obey God’s word, ultimately, experience God’s judgment and condemnation. And so, I just want to lead us to pray in our own lives for this one thing, for humility before God.

This is one of those things that I have in my prayer guide for myself and my family, and for those around me. For members of our church, that I pray for continually, week, after week, after week, that I, and my wife, and my kids co-laborers in ministry, that church members, that we would have humble hearts before God. That we would have soft hearts before God, that hear his word, desire to obey his word, and who look to him with humility, for everything we need on a daily basis.

Exodus 10:3 Warns Against The Sin of Pride

Oh, God help us to see and realize that the core of sin is pride. Pride before you. That says, we want to live our own way, or we can do life on our own. And we are wise, and we know what is best. And we want to live for our own acclaim, even. All of these things, evidence of pride. And God, we pray that you would remove them all from us. God, I pray that you would remove all pride from me.

God, I pray that you would remove pride from those I’m praying for right now, God. That you would rid us of pride, that you would give us humility. God, we pray that you would help us daily, and all throughout the day, to humble ourselves before you. To be contrite in spirit. Oh, to tremble at your word. To express moment by moment, all throughout the day. And day by day, and week by week, our dependence upon you, to say to you over, and over, and over again, that apart from you, we can do nothing.

Exodus 10:3 Desires a Life Found in God

And apart from you, we don’t want to do anything. We know that life is found in you. So we need you for life. We need you for joy. We need you for peace. God, we need you for wisdom, for strength. We need you for everything. So we humble ourselves before you now in prayer, and we pray that you would help us to grow in this humility.

Even as we think about Jesus, and what Philippians two says about him, how he humbled himself. He, who was in very nature, God, did not consider equality with God, something to be grasped, so he made himself nothing. Taking the very nature of a servant. Being made in human likeness, and being found an appearance as a man. He humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Even as we see him in his life on this earth constantly humbling himself before you, as the father, expressing dependence upon you. God, if Jesus, Jesus, God, in the flesh, the second person of the Godhead is humble. God, may we be humble? Give us the humility of Jesus, we pray. In every facet of our lives today, we pray that you would help us to grow in humility. Help us to humble ourselves before you. To live with humility before you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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