Valley of Humiliation

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him…

Philippians 2:8-9

Did Christ humble Himself?

Let us practice the same holy art. Have I not heard of some saying, “I have been insulted; I am not treated with proper respect. I go in and out, and I am not noticed. I have done eminent service, and there is not a paragraph in the newspaper about me.”

Your Master humbled Himself, and it seems to me you are trying to exalt yourself! Truly you are on the wrong track. If Christ went down, down, down, it ill becomes us to be always seeking to go up, up, up. Wait till God exalts you, which He will do in His own good time. Meanwhile, it behooves you, while you are here, to humble yourself.

If you are already in a humbled position, should you not be contented with it? For He humbled Himself. If you are now in a place where you are not noticed, where there is little thought of you, be quite satisfied with it. Jesus came just where you are. You may well stop where you are, where God has put you. Jesus had to bring Himself down, and to make an effort to come down to where you are.

Is not the Valley of Humiliation one of the sweetest spots in all the world? Does not the great geographer of the heavenly country, John Bunyan, tell us that such valley is as fruitful a place as any the crow flies over? “I should like to be known,” says one. “I should like to have my name before the public.” Well, if you ever had that lot, if you felt as I do, you would pray to be unknown, and to let your name dropout of notice; there is no pleasure in it. The only happy way, if God would only let us choose, is to be known to nobody, but just to glide through this world as pilgrims and strangers, to the land where our true kindred dwell…to be known there as having been followers of the Lord.

If Christ was exalted through His degradation, so will you be. Do not count your steps of triumph or by your steps upward, but by those that are seemingly downward. The way to heaven is downhill. He who would be honored forever must sink in his own esteem, and often in that of his fellow men. Be humble in mind; nothing is lost by cherishing this spirit, for see how Jesus Christ was honored in the end.

–From Charles Spurgeon (writing in the mid-1800’s)

In our day of social-media self-proclamations and self-pride this is a needful reminder for the believer!