Tobit- False Humility

Tobit 10:7b-13

Tobias persuades Sarah’s parents to send them off so he can return home. They exchange blessings, and Sarah’s parents send them off with Sarah’s inheritance. Tobias praises God as sovereign because God has made his journey a success.

This is an interesting praise. So far, the story has been very careful to describe how righteousness depends on people’s action and how Tobias has striven to deliver and provide for himself. Despite his human-centered religion, he praises God as sovereign for making his journey a success. This is the sort of false humility we witness in our own time. Notice the motivation of Tobias’s praise. God is not being praised for doing God’s own will. He is being praised for making a person’s journey a success from that person’s perspective. Even in Tobias’s praise, people are made the central component of the story. God is presented as worthy of praise because He has made Tobias’s journey a success. In one half of Tobias’s praise, he calls God sovereign. In another, he submits God to a very human-centered way of thinking. If Tobias truly recognized God as sovereign, he would be more concerned about God’s will than his own success.

Many people in our day claim to praise God but really only love their success, whatever their particular success might look like. Though they see themselves as working for what they have, they pretend to be humble or pious by worshipping God or practicing religion or being generous. In reality, they are the center of their worlds. They care not about God’s will, only about gaining for themselves or making things to be the way they think things ought to be. It is a false humility that tends to look very religious from a worldly perspective. It is the type of religion that, on the front end, says, “I have to get things done,” and on the back end sings, “Oh, praise the Lord for everything He has done!” It’s a contradiction and contrary to Scripture. Jesus teaches us to, on the front end, pray for God’s will to be done and submit to His will. Then, we praise God for the way He has worked things together no matter how He has worked them together because life isn’t about our successes. It’s about God’s will being done for His own glory and the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

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