‘“Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. For if you return to the LORD, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”
So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun; but they laughed at them. and mocked them. Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the LORD.’ (2 Chronicles 30:8-12)
Today, humility is frowned upon. It is seen as a weakness of character. To humble yourself and make an apology for having done something wrong, some people find impossible to do. They will not admit their error. If they have caused an offence they will not stoop so low as to admit it! They are proud, and want to justify themselves. What they did wasn’t wrong – so they convince themselves. They had good reasons for doing what they did. They deceive themselves, or they have hard hearts.
What a contrast we find in the Lord Jesus!
‘And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death. even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:8-11).’
The above words of Paul the Apostle remind us of the words of Jesus (Matthew 23:11, 12) when speaking to the multitudes about the scribes and the Pharisees who thought they were superior and more holy than the common people. They liked to show off by wearing broad phylacteries and large borders of their garments, and by sitting at the best places at feasts and in the synagogues. They loved to be called, ‘Rabi, Rabi.’ They exalted themselves, and Jesus pointedly said about them and their like, ‘“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”’ (Matthew 23:11, 12)
‘Jesus, knowing the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded (John 13:3-5)’.
No greater example of humility can be found than that of Jesus.
Humility, then, is a characteristic Christians should strive for. Unlike the majority of the people of Ephraim, Manasseh and Zebulun who laughed and mocked the runners who brought the word of the LORD, Christians are to be like the few who did as the LORD commanded in 2 Chronicles 30:8-12.