By Vincent C. Finnegan
LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
God will cause His ear to hear the humble. When we humbly approach our God with love and respect, He hears us and fulfills our desires.
The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
Hezekiah, King of Judah, lived the truth of these scriptures. When he was sick unto death Isaiah, the prophet, told him by revelation to set his house in order for he was going to die. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, prayed, mourned his sin, asked forgiveness, and humbled himself. Before Isaiah left the middle court, God told him to return to Hezekiah and inform him that He heard his prayer. God gave him 15 more years to live. God hears the prayers of the humble.
II Chronicles 32:24:
In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.
The sign God gave him was to turn the shadow on the sundial back ten degrees. What does that mean? God turned back time for Hezekiah! With a sign like that you would think Hezekiah would remain humble the rest of his life. Not so! He was like all of us in that we must fight every day to maintain humility. Honestly, without the help of God we cannot even get to the place of knowing we need the help of God. We need His help to be humble.
II Chronicles 32:25-27:
But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;…
When Hezekiah was humble God blessed him abundantly. Likewise for us, when we are humble God will bless.
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Ahab and Manasseh are two others to whom God responded when they humbled themselves. These two warrant our attention because they so dynamically show God’s willingness to bless the humble.
Ahab cried unto his wife Jezebel about his denied request for Naboth’s field. Jezebel told him not to worry, she would arrange everything for him. She then proceeded to have Naboth stoned to death. God told Elijah to confront Ahab and tell him the consequence for his evil actions. The following verses take our breath away.
I Kings 21:25-29:
But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.
For God to respond at all to Ahab gives testimony of how much He honors humility.
Manasseh started reigning as king when he was 12 years old. He did so much evil that God would forgive him is hard to conceive. He destroyed all his father, Hezekiah, had accomplished in the kingdom. He brought in more evil and idolatry than the heathen God had cast out of the land so His people could live there. He built altars to false gods in the house of the Lord. He seduced God’s people to do great evil. He caused his own children to pass through fire. He shed innocent blood very much till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another. Because of him the kingdom was taken into captivity. Yet, when he humbled himself God forgave him.
II Chronicles 33:12 and 13:
And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.
God will hear the humble, even an Ahab and a Manasseh. God’s mercy is so great that when an individual humbles himself regardless of how far out he has gone, God will forgive and deliver.