“However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.”
2nd Chronicles 32:26
The Bible is full of promised blessings for those who humble themselves! Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the wise man Solomon wrote, “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23). James reminds us, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6). Peter writes in 1st Peter 5:6, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Unfortunately, today’s society does not look on humility with the same admiration as does the Lord! The question becomes, Why does the Lord put humility first when it comes to the conditions He requires for the coming of revival in 2nd Chronicles 7:14?
A studied look at Scripture reveals that when there is a list of blessings, or conditions for blessings, whatever is listed first is listed first for a reason. It is the most critical, most important. Think about it! Why would one pray, or seek the Lord, or turn from every way that deviates from the right way (the meaning of the word ‘wicked’ in 2nd Chronicles 7:14) if one thinks that we can solve our own problems, or make ourselves right with God in our own way? When we humble ourselves, the rest tends to follow, but prayer, seeking God and broken repentance are foreign to the prideful.
We need to recognize the scale of mankind’s problem. First, pride is a perpetual problem. “So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others…And many were bringing gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem and choice presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.”(vv 20-23). Not only is pride perpetual, the enemy will see to it that it is also keenly personal. After the Lord delivered Hezekiah from certain defeat and imprisonment, He was personally healed by God from a fatal disease! “ In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud!” (vv24-25).
Some years ago, a preacher friend of mine sent me a book of which he had been the general editor. It is a collection of sayings by people who are noteworthy for their faithfulness and fruitfulness in ministry. One such is the author and theologian J. C. Ryle who is credited with saying, “We have been too often content with zeal for orthodoxy and have neglected the sober realities of daily practical godliness! There has been of late years a lower standard of personal holiness among believers than there used to be in the day of our forefathers. The whole result is THE SPIRIT IS GRIEVED! And the matter calls for much humiliation and searching of hearts!”
My prayer for myself and each of you who name the Name of Jesus as Lord and Savior is that each of us would begin to humble ourselves before Him!