Humility may be the essential quality of the believing life. When Proverbs teaches, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” it is lauding a creaturely humility. Bonhoeffer quotes Luther as claiming, “Bewilderment is the true comprehension.” (“Unverstand ist der rechte Verstand.”) He is referring to Abraham’s belief. Faith is always about trusting God and obeying His voice, not so much about having all the answers. The Pharisees were the ones that thought they had all the answers. Those who believe understand their need. They are humble.
Here Peter concludes his teaching by warning his readers to remain humble. Even here this is not so much a self-deprecating, false humility that focuses on itself. It is about recognizing and maintaining our creatureliness. We do not trust our understanding, we cast our cares and worries on Him. We are “sober-minded” which involves a keen awareness of our own ignorance. We are watchful and remain focus on the one truth we can trust, God’s voice. His Word. Our adversary is on the prowl, looking for those who are confident in their own understanding. Those who do not feel a need to grow or learn. Those who do not need leading every step of the way. Those who are not following, but going their own way.
And it is only in following God’s voice that we would go into the places that He leads. If we could see the sufferings and hardships in our path we might not chose that way. It is in the humility of trust and obedience that we go through suffering to the glory and growth that leis on the other side.