Humble עָנָה

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Rm 12:3

A few months have passed since I’ve published an article, which are mainly Hebrew word studies or events in my spiritual journey I wish to share. I had not abandoned the studies, or the spiritual growth.  I have been in the processes of rebuilding: spiritually the church where I’m a member, and my home which was damaged by the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey.

During these months, I’ve continued volunteer coaching in basketball and baseball, my children also involved in cub scouts, soccer, and hosting a foreign exchange student from Thailand. On the weekends, I go out with fellow servants in evangelism.  I guess I should add I work a full time job with a global position where I’m on call 24/7.

My quiet time comes between the hours of 4 am and 6 am, when the Lord wakes me, and I go out prayer walking for an hour or two, depending on recent struggles.  This has been the routine of my fall and spring.  With two weeks before  summer break, the activities will decrease to just my children on the swim team, then my family’s annual trip to Mexico for 4-6 weeks, which I may partake for a week.

Today I want to look at the word for Humility or Humble.  My general definition is inline with our dictionaries that define humble: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.  Is this what Paul is referring to in his letter to the Romans?  To not esteem oneself higher than he or she really are?

Over the past few months of activity, I have also found time to watch a few lectures, sermons, and study insights others have brought to us in evangelism.  During a lecture, this one Rabbi discussed the meaning of being humble, and this has stuck with me.

Humility, is knowing who you are, your status and abilities in life, but most importantly acknowledging where your abilities come from, the Divine.  Without God, we are nothing.

He used an example of Michael Jordan.  Growing up, Michael Jordan was my hero, and I cried with him when they finally won their first World Championship.  Even though I consider Michael Jordan to be the greatest basketball player to play the game, he was also a good role model.  He was never involved in scandals, he played with his heart.  He was always trying to improve.  One season, he left the NBA after his father died, only to return a season or two later and win another championship.

Even though Michael Jordan is one of the greatest athletes, the Rabbi maintained, Michael could still be humble.  Michael knows he might be the best that has ever played the sport, but being humble is recognizing who gave you the ability.  To offer praise to God who wove every feature of you.

As I have demonstrated in my Hebrew studies, the word itself  can give us a deeper insight.  The Hebrew root for Humble is anah (spelled Ayin-Nun-Hei)  ענו (Ayin-Nun-Vav)

Ayin: Pay close attention to what you see in God’s creation.

Nun: Emergence or Endurance

Hei: Power of self-expression

Vav: a connection with heaven and earth

Another Hebrew letter is the Tsade צ, which represents humility.  In primitive Hebrew it was drawn as a person kneeling, or a man on his side.


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