Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”
— Matthew 11:25-26 (NRSV)
Life is the great equaliser.
Whenever we get too far ahead of ourselves,
We seem to be pulled up by life,
Whether by humorous embarrassment
Or by a shame that cuts like a knife.
Perhaps the grand truth is this: we never advance so much past our contemporaries that we can see ourselves as superior to them. The so-called wise, the learned, the intelligent, are all graced by situational blessing.
It’s no guarantee for blessing beyond the present moment in their specialist field.
Instead, those who would normally be considered disadvantaged are given access to the love and knowledge of God in ways that are spiritually proud are not.
The Father’s Gracious Design
Despite what we might think, the Father favours not one person over another. This is qualified by the fact that, over a significant time period, certainly over a lifetime, lives are levelled and equalled.
The disciplined are blessed. The diligent are granted progress. The prudent move slowly and surely forward. But the lazy are found out. The arrogant turn people off and God, too. The person who has a superiority complex is coming quickly to their end.
God is reversing the trend of human will; those taking in life have life taken from them; those who give in life are given life.
The Father is fair. The Father levels the playing field. The Father’s wisdom is gracious. It is the provision of his will.
God takes the person who is insignificant in the world’s eyes and elevates them, much as the tortoise beats the hare. This is good news to anyone who would be tempted otherwise to envy.
Instead of envy, the truly wise wait on the Lord. They understand that those who are presently blessed are only as blessed at their literal yesterday.
The Graciousness of the Hidden and Revealed Will of the Father
The truly poor of spirit are blessed by the revelation of God’s will for their situations and lives. But those who have a cocky sense of self-sufficient spirit will soon fall, because the will of God is hidden from them. They refuse to search for and see it.
Life is all about guidance. Where we are guided by God’s Spirit, where we see the flow of divine grace, we have an incredible advantage. This is one of the reasons we are blessed to be humble. The world, let alone God, admires the humble, but pride generally disgusts the world. The world’s heroes are humble.
The Father’s gracious will favours the patient and humble person, not getting ahead of themselves. God’s will is revealed to the patiently humble person, but it is hidden from those who are spiritually proud.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.