shrubbery and tree trunks reflected in a spring, in springtime

Baptism of the Lord and a little more on James 4 1-10

Some last-minute perspective on James 4:1-10 – with respect to pride and humility:

It may be worth comparing James on “conflicts and disputes” and on the matter of pride and humility with a story about conflicts and disputes from the history of ancient Israel: Numbers 12.

This is the story where Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses. The text reads “because of the Cushite woman whom he had married.” Rashi tells us this is actually about a separation between Moses and Zipporah. Miriam and Aaron invoke their prophetic credentials in the process. Whatever is going on, they seem to be drawing an invidious comparison between themselves and Moses.

At this point, Numbers announces:

Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3)

So it may be worth recalling this morning, when we are pondering James’s reminder that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), and perhaps glancing ahead to other verses in James 4 about not judging, perhaps in the course of our “conflicts and disputes,” and not boasting arrogantly that we are going to do this and that and reap various rewards (James 4:16) and forgetting that we are all prone to sins of omission (James 4:17), that Moses is an explicit Biblical benchmark for humility.

That tells us something about humility, I think. And how people come by it.

shrubbery and tree trunks reflected in a spring, in springtime

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