'Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand': 1 Peter 5.1–11 (17 May 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.


Daily reflection: 1 Peter 5.1–11

Peter's letter was written in the context of persecution and trials. But he always has in mind a wider context: that this world doesn't have the last world, and that the sufferings and sacrifices we make now will be crowned with glory in God's good time. This is true for church leaders, as well. Peter is particularly concerned to say that they shouldn't 'try to rule over' their flocks (verse 3) but to be examples to them. Humility is key, whether someone is in church leadership or not (verse 5). The line, 'Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you' (verse 7) is a comforting word of advice for any situation, but it means here that we are not to strive for position or status – God will sort all that out himself. True pastors are humble pastors, whose reward for faithful service is in heaven.

And this is true of all of us. Humility is the overall condition of a Christian's life. In Peter's day, Christians were not powerful and admired but weak and despised. Peter says that when they've suffered 'a little while', God will reward them (verse 10).

When Christians have been in the majority, with the reins of power in their hands, it often hasn't gone well: we have oppressed and persecuted people too. Peter reminds us that we're all to be servants, humble before God, not seeking our own advancement but the good of others.



God, help me not to feed on the admiration of others, but on Christ who is the bread of life. Let me be humble as he humbled himself, trusting in you to raise me up in your good time.

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