Look at our assurance again in verses 11-12. “In that day you shall not be ashamed for any of your deeds in which you transgress against Me; for then I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer be haughty in My holy mountain. 12 I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.
The first mark of membership in the remnant of the people of God is worship from a pure heart and clean lips. The second mark we see here is the destruction of pride and the presence of meek humility.
How devastating is pride? It is ultimately the root of every sin. It was the first sin – as Lucifer proclaimed, “I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14). It is all about “I”. It is about my will, my way, my wants. Pride prevents fellowship with God. So God says He will take pride away, literally He will conquer pride. In James, He says He will abase the proud. Abase means to knock someone down. To take them down a notch, we would say in Texas. This fall, this abasement, it is a guarantee. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18).
And God says when you belong to Him you will no longer be proud and haughty. God humbles us. How much of our trials and suffering I wonder are tools in God’s hands to humble us, to crush pride and remove haughtiness and self-dependence? God will conquer our pride and raise up among us meek and humble people who trust in the Lord, not in self, but in the Lord.
Jesus says of the meek, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5). Here it is, after the Day of Judgment. The meek and humble remain with Him and will reign with Him in this renewed creation.
And be sure, meekness is not weakness. It is not pacificity. Meekness is having a proper view of self in relation to God. It is reverence and trust. It is bowing before God in submission, abandoning ourselves to His will and His way.
Before we can make a claim to belonging to the remnant, we must ask if we are mostly proud, or mostly meek and humble. Read your facebook comments to take your temperature. Amen. Or ouch!
We see the third mark of membership in the remnant in verse 13. “The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid.”
Compare Psalm 24:4 to Zephaniah 3:13. Who can draw near to God? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.
Ultimately it says here we will do no unrighteousness. If we follow Jesus we will live a holy life. This speaks to our sanctification and also to the hope of our glorification. We should be able to look at our lives and see growth in grace. We should be making progress, even if at times that means a step forward after a slide back. It is evidenced by falling 7 times and getting back up 8. It is Proverbs 24:16, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again.” It is not about where we are, but about where we are headed. What is our trajectory?
Are we making progress? And as we look at the hope of glorification, the day that even the desire for sin will be removed. This is all because of God’s grace. And did you know that grace has requirements? Grace is free but grace has requirements.
1 John 2:3, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” Humble obedience is the mark of having received grace. Grace empowers us, it enables us to walk in holiness. But it is not merely the ability. If grace is at work, we will want to walk in holiness and we will walk in holiness! We will hear and we will do.
To review from verses 9-13 we see God’s promises to the remnant of His people – a pure heart and clean lips, worthy worship, meekness, humility, and holiness. But we do not need to wait for the day of judgment for these things to be part of our life, do we? We need to exhibit these marks of membership in the remnant now. See, living a holy life does not save you, but if you are saved, you will live a holy life.