27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?
28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. Gen. 43:27-28
“Thy servant our father…”
I haven’t heard that lately. In fact, I have not heard that kind of language spoken anywhere, real time.
And I am wondering what, if these men could refer to their father as someone’s servant, what then could they say of themselves? Much lower than a servant, no doubt.
And this was not a scene from some screen shot. This was real. It was real life.
Notice it was not Joseph who referred to Jacob as a “servant”. It was his brothers. They referred to him as Joseph’s “servant”, even though at the time they did not know it was Joseph they were addressing. This was the way Godly men of old spoke of themselves.
Our spiritual fathers were men who were extremely rich in the Spirit. And the reason for this was because they were extremely humble.
Modern man is so ‘emancipated’ he has missed it in the Spirit. But we need to have the spirit of humility that these early men of God had.
We recall also Sarah, Abraham’s wife, whom the Bible informs us called her husband “lord” (1 Pet. 3:6). That’s a big “Wow!” there. That speaks of humility, great humility. In today’s ‘modern’ church, a wife may not necessarily use the word “lord” to address her husband, but thank God the life she is called to live is not about words. However, the word “lord” as used here has a very specific meaning. It means that the wife humbles herself to the extent the husband actually becomes her lord, or master.
A woman of the Spirit has no place in her heart for things like women’s emancipation, because emancipation is of the heart, and Christ has set her free to obey her husband. He has not set her free to seek ‘equal rights’ with her husband. Christ has set her free to obey her husband. Any other ‘freedom’ is not of Christ.
We could talk of many more Biblical figures with regard to incredible humility. Take David, for example. We could talk of David and Saul; of King David and Absalom his son; and of David and a man called Shimei. We do not have the time to talk about these things in detail here, but they show that David was a truly humble man.
As we already stated, with the Godly men and women of old, it came naturally to humble themselves. But what was the reason for this incredible humility?
It was because they knew God. They may not have been perfect, but these men and women knew God to an extent that would make us appear like little children with all the pride and selfishness we exhibit.
The modern believer may boast of many things, many accomplishments in the Spirit. But to have the incredible heart of humility that the men of old had! That’s the true calling of God.
I use the word “incredible” deliberately. Humility is a big challenge to the modern believer. I have seen many men of God, myself included, who draw the line concerning how far they can be challenged, provoked or defied.
But humility is of grace.
My prayer today that God may give me – give us all – a heart which is ready and willing to say with the great men of old, “Your servant…”
[Below: A wedding. In marriage, as with any relationship, humility is of absolute essentiality]