We need to put on humbleness of mind like we add brotherly kindness in our experience. No matter how old we are, there isn’t any time that we should stop learning. Even Jesus had to learn obedience (Hebrews 5:8).
Colossians 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity…the bond of perfectness.
If we think we’ve learned everything, we won’t be teachable or learn things God wants us to know. People that think they know everything are set in their ways. Some things God wants us to be set in are setting our affections above and set to be holy. God wants us to learn and to be flexible so we can learn. We need to put on humbleness of mind every day when we get up. If we think we can get by without praying or reading our Bible, we don’t have humbleness of mind. We need to be learners throughout life and have humbleness of mind so we can learn. Jesus said to take his yoke and learn of him (Matthew 11:28-29). Moses was eighty years old when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He had to learn to rely on God.
Exodus 17:1-6 And all the congregation…journeyed from the wilderness…and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said…Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?…the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the Lord said…Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock …thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so…
The people spoke against Moses because they had no water after they had passed through the Red Sea. God told Moses to gather the elders together, to stand on the rock and hit the rock, then water would come out for the people. After the spies went into Canaan and the Israelites didn’t believe God would help them conquer the giants, God said everyone that was twenty years and older would die in the wilderness. Years later the congregation needed water after they had wandered in the wilderness and were about to go into Canaan. The people were complaining again and talked like they did the first time there was no water. This time God said to take the rod and gather the congregation, but he was supposed to speak to the rock for the water to come out. God may tell you to do something different in similar in a situation.
Numbers 20:2-8 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses…saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron went from…the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock…
No matter how old we get, we need to be humble in mind. God wants us to be obedient to what he tells us to do and to take his instruction. If we decide we’re going to do it the way we’ve done something before, we will not be practicing humbleness of mind. Moses was not humble this time but had pride. He gave Aaron and himself the credit for water coming out of the rock. If we do something the way we think or feel, it will not be done in humbleness of mind but in pride. Moses didn’t get to go into Canaan or to receive the blessing he wanted. He repented and God accepted, but he still couldn’t go into Canaan.
Numbers 20:9-12 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said…Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly…the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
We all need God’s instruction. If we start thinking we only need an hour a week of instruction, we’ll be independent and think we can do things on our own. We all need our pastor and to be in services to receive instruction.
Proverbs 9:8-9 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
When the hard battle came, Hezekiah strengthened himself and worked to cut off all the avenues of the enemy. We can’t go a day without humbling ourselves to get strength from prayer and reading our Bible.
II Chronicles 32:2-6 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come…to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance. And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together…and spake comfortably to them…
With God on our side and keeping humbleness of mind, we’ll always win the battle against the enemy. Sennacherib spoke against the people to make them afraid. The devil is like a roaring lion and by his roar he wants us to stop trusting God. The people didn’t have to fight in the battle, but they had to trust what Hezekiah told them.
II Chronicles 32:18-21 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth…Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains…of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.
The people lifted up Hezekiah, but it was God that gave victory and made Sennacherib go away. We can’t take what God does for us for granted. If we don’t give God the thanks, we’ll get puffed up and think we’re special.
II Chronicles 32:22-25 Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and…Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side. And many brought gifts unto the Lord to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. 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. 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.
When you are benefited and God helps you, don’t forget to thank him. A humble spirit will cause us to be obedient to what God wants us to do. Pride always puffs you up, is self satisfied, and is not humble.
II Chronicles 32:26 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.
If you find you are lacking grace for the trials, the problem is pride. If we aren’t casting our cares and troubles on God, it is because of pride. We’re trying to carry things by ourselves instead of trusting God.
I Peter 5:5-6 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
As long as king Uzziah sought God, he prospered. As long as we seek God in humility, we will prosper.
II Chronicles 26:3-5 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years…And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah…and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
He greatly strengthened himself so he was famous everywhere.
II Chronicles 26:7-8 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians…and the Mehunims. And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad…for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
He prospered and was marvelously helped by God.
II Chronicles 26:11-15 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands…the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred. And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. And Uzziah prepared…the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
When Uzziah was strong, his heart was lifted up. If we get a spirit of pride and think we’re stronger than we are, we’ll not be clothed with humility.
II Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Uzziah went into the temple to burn incense but it was only the priests that were to offer it. There were eighty priests that tried to stop him but he was furious and broke out with leprosy which he had until he died.
II Chronicles 26:17-19 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said…It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar.
When Uzziah became strong in himself and proud, he was contentious and had no grace from God.
Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)