‘HUMILITY’ – an initial STEP towards RESTORATION: "So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, "The Lord is righteous." Now when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, "They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah" (2 Chron. 12:6-7, 12).
The event detailed in 12:1-12 illustrates God’s response to Rehoboam to the initial step taken as per His directive: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves…” (7:14a). God had promised that Israel would receive relief from the hardships caused by their sin if the people would turn to Him in humility. When Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam a second time and delivered his message of doom (11:2), the king and the princes of Judah humbled themselves before God. Instantly, we see God’s mercy and grace provided deliverance from serving their captors Egypt!
God used Shishak, the king of Egypt to bring Rehoboam to the initial step of repentance through humility, and he regained much of his power and glory (12:12–13). However, the overall indictment from God was still negative as Rehoboam "did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord" (12:14).
We need to understand that the king’s conduct had inevitable consequences on the nation. When a king obeyed God, the Lord would bless the nation. When the king turned away from the Lord, the people in his kingdom would suffer. But when the king repented and humbled himself before God, God’s forgiveness and restoration would cover both him and his kingdom.
Humility is an initial step towards restoration, and as His children, we need to have the mind of Jesus Christ who displayed humility in the complete sense (see Phil. 2:1-7). Not only does God hear the prayers of the humble (2 Chron. 7:14), but He saves those who are humble (Psalm 18:27) and preserves the lives of humble people (Psalm 147:6). Also, God cares for the humble (Isaiah 66:2), and He will exalt the humble (Luke 18:14).
Today, let us humble ourselves before others and God (James 4:10) to receive God’s grace in our lives!
Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:5-6).