Several years back as I was reading Deuteronomy, Papa highlighted the word “presumptuously” to me, which I shared in my blog Presumption (Deuteronomy 17:12-13). In short, the verse sets the penalty for presumption towards the priests as death. The fact that the repercussions were so severe is part of what caught my attention. To me, I had always thought of presumption as moving forward assuming something was ok, which may take a bit for granted, but does it really warrant death? I began to wonder if perhaps the word meant more than I’d thought it did.
The original Hebrew words connected to presumption are zadown (H2087) and zuwd (H2102). Interestingly, the word “zadown” was translated into the word “pride” more often than presumptuous. Its definition is “pride, insolence, presumptuousness, arrogance” and it came from the root word “zuwd”, which was also translated both as presumptuously or some version of pride. Its definition was, “to boil, boil up, seethe, act proudly, act presumptuously, act rebelliously, be presumptuous, be arrogant, be rebelliously proud.”
What brought all this up again was as members of the Dyed4you Team were working on a silk with the theme of humility, God gave a word to the customer about God being the God of now. He connected it to the Hebrew word “Akh’shav,” which means now and has a heavy focus on immediacy. And so as we pondered this along with this name of God, what God began to highlight was the importance of staying in step with Him – staying in the now.
As this connected to our earlier post about Deuteronomy 17:12-13, we realized that at that time priests spoke on behalf of God, so if you acted presumptuously against the priests, in essence you were doing so against God. This suddenly adds more weight to staying in step with God, because rushing out ahead of God would be acting with presumption, so we need to do our best to stay in His will and timing.
But let’s face it, to yield to anyone else’s timing – even God’s – requires humility because it is a release of control and a submission to another’s direction, and to do that requires great humility. In part because our pride wants us to appear useful, so it wants to keep us in motion – even when God may say pause. Or people around us may pressure us or ask why we’re waiting, and the truth: is we may not know. God doesn’t always tell us His plans (and in fact frequently doesn’t because it requires we act in faith), and in those moments it requires much humility to yield anyway. The fact is that it isn’t about us. Our pride is worse than useless, it’s a hindrance.
In this time and in this season, we must walk in humility. We must choose to stay in step with the “God of now” – Elohim Akh’shav. As we trust His plans and His purpose, then we truly can reflect His heart and walk in the fullness of the call He’s placed on us. So may we choose wisely. May we lay down our presumption and pride and instead choose the cloak of humility.