Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eating Humble Pie

Today is the second day in our 42nd week, reading the Bible through together in a year.  Our scriptures today are:  Obadiah; Jeremiah 40-42; 1 Peter 5; Psalm 147.

The end of October is upon us, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  If you plan to host a Thanksgiving celebration, you would do well to begin planning now.  There are so many things to cook, from appetizers to dinner to dessert.  One of the things I like most about Thanksgiving are all the pies.

I'm excited about the pies this year, because something has changed in my taste buds since last year.  All of a sudden, I actually like pumpkin and sweet potato pies.  I never enjoyed them before, but recently I tried some, and was pleasantly surprised at the change.  

One pie that won't be on the menu this year will be Umble Pie.  That's right, I said Umble Pie.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, Umble Pie is a dish that dates back to the 1640s, and is made of umbles--the inner organs of deer and other animals.  It was a food that was only eaten by the poor, lower classes.  In those days, the word "humble" was pronounced without the "h" sound, so you can imagine how the words "umble" and "humble" got confused.  Today, we have forgotten all about Umble Pie, and when people are humiliated, they say they had to eat "humble pie."  

You probably wouldn't like to eat either kind of pie.  I don't particularly like it, either.  But 1 Peter 5:5b-7 says:

 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Clothing yourself with humility means having the good sense to cover up your own glory, because Christians should be all about God's glory instead. In the place of self-exaltation, we should be raising others to their feet.

In Jeremiah 42, the people went to the prophet to inquire of God.  They asked, "Should we remain where we are in the Holy Land, or should we seek refuge in Egypt?"  Jeremiah prayed and listened to the Lord for ten days.  God finally told them that if they remained where they were, God would bless them.  It was their choice, though--they weren't forced to stay.  However, if they chose to flee to Egypt, there they would die by the sword.  Why?  Because Egypt represented human striving and self-determination, and remaining in Israel indicated obedience and trust in God.  Egypt was pride; Israel was humility.  "God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble."  

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you," says Peter.  You can trust that if God says He will take care of you, then He will.  It takes humility to put God in charge of your life, and take yourself out of the driver's seat. The Israelites needed to learn this hard lesson, and maybe you do, too.  But if you can do it, if you can humble yourself, He will lift you up in due time.

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