“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
“Humble”. Merrium-Webster defines humble as: “not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive or reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission.” In the case of this verse, “humble” is a verb or action, so the definition is adjusted to: “to make (someone) humble (see HUMBLE entry 1) in spirit or manner or to destroy the power, independence, or prestige of.” In our verse, God’s people-those called by His Name, HUMBLED THEMSELVES and prayed.
A true encounter with God is humbling. As we encounter His glory, whether suddenly or progressively, we begin to see His perfection, majesty and beauty. He pursuing love is great, His forgiveness plentiful and His standards unattainable by ANY human. Compared to such a glorious, self-sustaining God, we are humbled! But the people in this verse, went one step further! They realized He was powerful and in reality, they were not. They recognized that He was truely in control and they were not. They saw that He was sinless and they were not.
As Americans, we’re taught to be independant, strong, brave and free. The truth, however, is that these “virtues” are ONLY truely attainable, by God’s Indwelling Power WITHIN us and not without Him!
The Apostle Peter, probably the most arrogant, confident and independant original disciple of Jesus, wrote it this way: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
(I Peter 5:6)
In Peter’s case, humility meant laying aside his OWN strength, HIS own preferences and HIS own way of doing things and embracing GOD’S WAYS. To those Israelites, to whom
2 Chronicles were originally written, it meant acknowledging their National sins of idolatry and ignoring God their Creator and embracing Him. To us, it ultimaterly means realizing and acknowledging that God is in control and I am not! He reigns and I do not! He loves me and wants to save me in a way that I can not. It’s putting my trust in Him and asking Him for help!
Lastly, it occurs to me that God desires us to “humble ourselves” our self-not to have to be humbled!
God goes on to say that “if My people, called by My Name, will HUMBLE themselves, pray, seek and turn from wickedness that HE WILL hear, forgive and restore”! That sounds like what I need.
Humble yourself before God today and ask for HIS help!
Think about it!