Pride drove the construction of the ancient skyscraper in Babel (Genesis 11) and it drives the multiple efforts to build global empires today. The same root convinced Jacob to steal his father’s blessing (Genesis 27) and underlies our modern pursuit of the American Dream.
We love a good success story here in America. The boy or girl who had nothing, and by sheer grit and determination created a life of outstanding achievement, perhaps in business, government or sports. Books are written about such folks, and there is often much to admire.
But oh, what need we have to remember that everything we are and have is derivative. We received it. “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7) Even our ideas are the product of an infinitely creative Creator, as are the will and resources necessary to bring those ideas into being.
However, a worldwide humbling is now well underway. The now famous COVID-19 virus is bringing the earth to its knees. Financial markets have plummeted. The economy languishes. Health care systems are overwhelmed. Massive athletic venues sit empty and silent. Roads and freeways are eerily empty. Once bustling communities are hushed.
This is a time to embrace humility. We are certainly grateful for the strenuous response efforts underway, especially frontline healthcare works serving sacrificially, but we are not showing ourselves to be masters of our world. We are revealing how vulnerable we are. A tiny microorganism, a mere 120 nanometers in diameter, has turned the world on its head. Its very name exhorts us to be humble – ‘corona’ is Latin for wreath or crown. This tiny little king is ravaging the world and it should drive us to humbly seek the true King.
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)