I’m excited to have my friend Katie Chew back for this week’s edition of Word Nerd Wednesday: Prostrate.
verb (used with object), pros·trat·ed, pros·trat·ing.
- to cast (oneself) face down on the ground in humility, submission, or adoration.
- to lay flat, as on the ground.
- to throw down level with the ground.
Prostrate is not a word we use often in our culture and it is even less of an attitude. Today we elevate self to the highest point. We seek our own gain and our own prominence. God, however, calls us to something different. To follow Christ we must empty and humble ourselves. We must always keep sight of his holiness in comparison to our humanity.To follow Christ we must empty and humble ourselves. We must always keep sight of his holiness in comparison to our humanity. #prostrate #WordNerdWednesday Click To Tweet
Biblical Stories of Prostration
2 Samuel 9 provides a beautiful example of prostration, not only physically but of the heart as well. David, after 15 years of waiting to become King, finally receives his promise. Though his rule was firmly established by this time, it would have been wise to kill off any remaining bloodlines of Saul to prevent the possibility of a coup. In this instance, though, David seeks out Saul’s grandson, the son of his friend Jonathon, in order to show him kindness. David makes very clear that the kindness is not from him, rather it is “the kindness of God” (2 Samuel 9:3).
“Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?” And he answered, “Here is your servant!” So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” Then he bowed himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”
In the Old Testament, a dog was considered an unclean animal and often used in analogy as “a figure of insignificance” or contempt (Smith). In this same way that Mephibosheth is a man humbled in the presence of his King, we must be humbled in the presence of ours. We are lame, dead dogs in comparison to the holiness and splendor of God. In fact, “all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and he has every right to do away with us. Yet, in spite of our filth, he finds us and offers us a seat at the table because that is the very kindness of God.
Will You Prostrate Yourself?
So often in stories like these throughout the Bible our thoughts turn to his grace, and understandably so because his grace is matchless. Today, though, let us take a moment to dwell on his righteousness. Let us recognize the gap between Creator and created that he chose to breach. Let us fall prostrate in his presence recognizing that we, like Mephibosheth, are dead dogs in comparison to him. You see, it is His very holiness and perfection that gives grace its power. It is only the sacrifice of the perfect spotless Lamb that has the atoning power to break the curse of death and the chains of our sin, offering grace in its stead.
Today, I challenge you to dwell on the power and Glory of the Most High God. Humble yourself and focus on his majesty. Replace the idol of yourself and your selfish gain with the One True God and His Kingdom. Fix your eyes on him and you will begin to develop an eternal perspective in your life and your work. Prostrate yourself and your heart today, for it is there that God lifts us up, clothed in righteousness by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. It is there He adopts us to sit at his table as a son or daughter and commissions us to serve Him with a humble fervor that will shake the world.Prostrate yourself and your heart today, for it is there that God lifts us up, clothed in righteousness by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. #prostrate #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
Smith, William, Dr. “Entry for ‘Dog,’”. “Smith’s Bible Dictionary” 1901.
Dictionary.com. “Entry for Prostrate. 22 October 2018.
Katie is a wife and stay-at-home mom of three preschoolers. Most of her time is spent outside or in imaginary worlds. In rare moments of free time she loves to read, paint and write.