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True Grace and Greatness of Humility

Its Meaning
The English word ‘humility’, and its adjective ‘humble’, are derived from the Latin word ‘humus’, which means ‘ground’, ‘earth’, or ‘soil’. It reminds us all that God formed us from the dust of the ground. After Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, God said to him that he would die, and that, since he was just dust, his body would return to dust again. This is a sobering thought, and one which indicates to us our true condition and position before God. In fact, in Genesis chapter 18 verse 27 Abraham described himself as ‘dust and ashes’ before the Lord when he was interceding for Lot in Sodom. Likewise, the patriarch Job, at the end of his traumatic sufferings and the Lord’s revelation of Himself to him, simply said that he abhorred himself and repented of his rash words against God ‘in dust and ashes’, Job 42:6. The Hebrew word most frequently used for ‘humility’, or ‘being humble’, has the idea of being ‘low’. It is sometimes used of low-lying land, but most frequently has the metaphorical sense of being humble, or humbled by others. The Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament uses the same word to translate this Hebrew word as the Greek New Testament uses to express the idea of ‘humility’, and ‘being humble’. It, too, basically means ‘low-lying’ physically, but, again, is most often used in a metaphorical sense to mean ‘lowliness of mind and attitude’. It is the opposite of being high-minded, proud, or arrogant. Scripture everywhere commends humility as being a thoroughly right attitude to take towards both God and other men and women around us.

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