Humble to be Exalted

  • “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to fell the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

    The above quote is not from some great preacher preaching to a congregation full of Christians wanting to hear the truth. The above quote is from Abraham Lincoln and was made in 1863 as he proclaimed a national day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer. Even as early as 1863 it was very apparent to Lincoln that our great country was slipping farther and farther away from God. We as a nation believe that we have made ourselves great. We believe that we are strong because we have built a great and mighty military. We believe that our economy is great because we have made it such. We believe that we are the most powerful and Godly nation that has ever existed. We believe as a nation that we are God’s gift to the world and are here to dole out His righteousness to other nations. Lincoln was concerned with this pride and rightfully should have been.

    It was pride that caused Nebuchadnezzar to fall. Nebuchadnezzar looked over his kingdom and said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty” (Daniel 4:30). Within the same hour that Nebuchadnezzar made this great and prideful statement, God caused Nebuchadnezzar to fall. He was eating grass and living outside within an hour! (Daniel 4:31-33). I am thankful that God is often more longsuffering and patient with us today. God often allows us opportunity to repent and change. However, we must not read His patience as weakness. Just as in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, God is in control in the nations of men today. We as a nation are powerful and prosperous because God allows us to be so. When we as a nation lift ourselves up with pride and turn away from God, we will inevitably face His wrath.

    It is sometimes much easier to look at this point in regards to entire nations. It is easier to say that our nation is wrong than to realize and notice our own faults. Yet we can have this same pride in our own lives. We can feel like we have made our money, established a stable and peaceful life, and are fully self sufficient. We might still come and worship God either out of habit or obligation, yet we believe that we are who we are because we have made ourselves. Let us never forget that every blessing we have is from God. Every good thing, every time we have food, our home, our clothes, our family, our peace. Every good thing we have is a blessing from God (James 1:17). We must be thankful towards God and realize that we depend on Him for our substance. He is the one who judges. God is the one who exalts us and He can tear us down again.

    Let us turn to God and trust Him. Let us seek to follow His will, obey Him, and serve Him. Let us humble ourselves before Him so He will exalt us (1 Peter 5:6).

    James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

    1 Peter 5:6 says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."

  • Abe lincoln would be driven to madness if he were confronted with the general citizenry of this country today.