Humility is one of the principal graces of the Christian life—a chief earmark in the life of the believer. God seeks to find humble souls with which to make His dwelling.
“...This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word...” (Isaiah 66:2 NIV)
“... I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit …” (Isaiah 57:15 NIV)
God's grace is made more readily available to those who walk in humility (Proverbs 3:34). Many examples can be found in the Old Testament. Here are four kings who humbled themselves and received God's grace:
- King David's life stands out as a clear illustration of humility and submissiveness to God. Though already anointed as Israel's new king, and with the knowledge that Saul intended to kill him, when he had opportunity, David refused to lift his hand against the rejected King Saul. (I Sam 16-24)
- King Josiah tore his clothes and cried out to God for mercy when workers discovered scrolls of the law during a temple renovation. (2 Kings 22)
- When King Shishak of Egypt attacked Jerusalem and captured the cities of Judah including Jerusalem, King Rehoboam humbled himself before the Lord and repented, temporarily averting God's wrath. (2 Chronicles 12)
- Likewise, when threatened by Assyria, Judah's King Hezekiah humbled himself and repented, once again averting God's judgment against Judah through a foreign nation. (2 Chronicles 32)
Countless other examples can be found in scripture of God's grace working through humility. But no greater example can be found in the Bible than the testimony of Jesus himself. For though …
“… found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil 2:8 NIV)
Here Christ provides the perfect lesson for those who would walk in His ways. Through His sacrificial death, Christ demonstrates the odd paradox that ultimate humility is the heavenly road to glory.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” (Phil 2:9 NIV)
Jesus, the God-man, came from heaven and placed himself into our world. He came to walk in our shoes—or sandals. Could there be a more perfect culture than the Trinitarian society of Father, Son and Holy Spirit? And yet, Christ left the comfort of His own culture to come into ours.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Phil 2:6-7 NIV)
We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. Those historical figures who bear testimony to the benefits of humility inspire us to prayerfully consider walking the path of the humble.
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