1. 1 Peter 5:6 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What is meant by the command to “humble yourselves”?

1 Peter 5:6 (ESV)

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

The term itself continues the thought begun in 1 Peter 5:5, with its double reference to humility. Humility captures an attitude befitting the awareness that one is in the presence of God, the Almighty who determines all that happens in this world. Instead of puffing ourselves up in his presence with, for example, accusatory questions that challenge why God puts certain things on our path (such as suffering), the posture befitting a creature before the Creator is humility. (See Job 34:1 – 37:24.) We also do well to remember Jesus’ words: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). An attitude of humility, then, involves patience and the confidence that we are safe in God’s hand even when he leads us through dark valleys of suffering. This hooks on to Jesus’ instruction to bless those who persecute you (Matthew 5:11–12; see also Romans 12:14). That Peter uses the imperative form of the verb underscores that before God his readers have no option.