Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 16, 2015

“humble yourself” and “solicit persistently” and “pray and not … lose heart”

Today’s Scripture comes from 1 Kings Chapter 21.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+21&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it.  19 You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’  And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?”  And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord.  21 Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel;  22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.  23 Of Jezebel also has the Lord spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’  24 The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”

25 Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife incited him.  26 He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the sons of Israel.

27 It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.  28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me?  Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”  1 Kings 21:17-29.

—————–

As wicked as Ahab was, he did humble himself such that the LORD brought it to the attention of Elijah and decided to delay the punishment to some extent (“I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”  Verse 29).

Likewise, we read later in Scripture:  “because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord.  “Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.”’”  2 Kings 22:19-20.

In addition to humbling ourselves before God, we may need to also humble ourselves before men.

“1 My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,
2 If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,
Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.
4 Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;
5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”  Proverbs 6:1-5.

(“Importune” is defined by Merriam-Webster online dictionary as “to beg, urge, or solicit persistently or troublesomely”)

This persistence was shown by Jesus in the following parable.

“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.  There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’  For a while he was unwilling;  but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’”  And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said;  now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?”  Luke 18:1-7.

In conclusion, to put it all together to get out of trouble (or lessen or delay the trouble), “humble yourself” and “solicit persistently” and “pray and not … lose heart”.


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