Ivory Digits
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William M. Howard

October 21, 2010


Luke 18:9-14

18:9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:

18:10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

18:11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

18:12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.'

18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."


It is so good to read this parable now and again.


I could, like the Pharisee, tell you of how I devote everyday listening to the Bible scripture and listen to a Bible study and listen to a sermon and read a daily devotional and speak a daily devotional.  But I hope that, like the tax collector, I feel I am humbled by God’s greatness as each one of these things is in reverence to His work


What would likely compare?


Here is a thought.  In our first acceptance of God in who He really is, we only touch the surface.  We are in awe but I am not sure we truly are thoroughly humbled.  As time goes on and we continue to develop the relationship, we become respectful and revere Him in a higher regard.  As I come to realize to the extent that our Lord in Heaven is way more than I can comprehend in my feebleness, I am humbled.  I just don’t mean a little humble.  I mean humbled to the point of I am nothing.  We are nothing without our God.


Look at what the tax collector says.  Somehow he became blessed more completely by the power and majesty. He cries out for mercy.  He states emphatically that he is a sinner.  He admits he is a sinner.  And, don’t you think that he streams the memories of all those sins he has committed, each one striking against himself and beating himself down, that he begins to be revealed how God could strike him with blow after blow in an unmerciful manner.  He is humbled to such a degree he begs for forgiveness.


Where is the humility is our society?  When was the last time you heard some one cry out for mercy? 


I know that God wants us to be humbled in His presence.  And that is what Jesus is talking about in this story.  God wants us to glorify Him.


Do we walk into the place of worship through those doors with humble reverence? 



Ivory Digits
William M. Howard
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