2 Kings 24:8–9: “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.”

May 16th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Sadly, as we read through the history of Judah’s kings, the description, “And he did evil,” appears again and again. 2 Chronicles gives us even more information on this particular king: “he did evil in the sight of the LORD his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet who spoke for the LORD” (2 Chron. 36:12; italics added). God repeatedly sent His prophets to the kings telling them to repent and return to Him. In the case of King Jehoiachin, He sent the prophet Jeremiah, but the young king refused to humble himself. Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:12 that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” What might have happened for the good of Israel if this young king had simply humbled himself before God?

God doesn’t cause trouble and adversity, but He does allow it to come into our lives to refine us, to mature us in the area of humility. Trouble, pressure, struggle, reveals what’s really in our hearts. Some respond to it by raising their faces to heaven and becoming bitter, while others bow their knees before God and become better. God will always accept a humble heart. We see that in the lives of two of the worst kings, Ahab and Manasseh. At the end of their lives, which were filled with idolatry and arrogance, they did at last humble themselves before the Lord. Ahab “tore his clothes . . . fasted . . . and went about mourning . . . [and the Lord said], ‘See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days'” (1 Kings 21:27–29). Manasseh “humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers . . . and [God] received his entreaty” (2 Chron. 33:12–13).

Two of the greatest pastors in 18th-century England, George Whitfield and John Wesley, disagreed over a point of doctrine concerning salvation. Whitfield embraced Calvinism, which says God saves whom He will and we have no choice in the matter. Wesley leaned toward Armenianism, which says we have to choose to accept Jesus to be saved. Their disagreement resulted in much public debate and great animosity between their followers. A newspaper reporter, wanting to cause even greater division, asked George Whitfield, “Do you expect to see John Wesley in heaven?” Whitfield replied, “I don’t expect to see Mr. Wesley in heaven.” Then continued humbly, “For he will be so near the eternal throne and we at such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him.”

“LORD, we humble ourselves under Your loving hand today so that we might be of some use to You in Your Kingdom.”