01/24/Su – Grace to the Humble

1 Chronicles 16:37-17:15; Romans 2:1-11; Psalms 10:17-18; Proverbs 4:20-27

OT: ““So now this is what you are to say to my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of Armies says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. I will make a name for you like that of the greatest on the earth… Furthermore, I declare to you that the Lord himself will build a house for you. When your time comes to be with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who is one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will not remove my faithful love from him as I removed it from the one who was before you. I will appoint him over my house and my kingdom forever, and his throne will be established forever.’”” (‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭17:7-8, 10b-14‬ ‭CSB)

When David was fully settled into Jerusalem and settled in his role as King, he felt it wrong that he would have a palace and God’s presence would dwell in a tent. He wanted to build God a proper home. God’s response to David was quite amazing. God doesn’t need a house… if He desired a home of brick and mortar, He would have had one built. God doesn’t want to dwell in buildings – He desires to dwell within hearts that are humble towards Him. Because David had maintained his humility before God – God had blessed him mightily. God took David from the humblest of places and raised him up to be the King of God’s people… and that wasn’t the end of what God would do. David wanted to build God a house, but God said, “No – I will build you a house… not a physical house of wood and stone, but a lineage and a legacy that will endure forever.” Out of David’s bloodline would come a descendant that would not just be David’s son, but the Son of God. God would establish His Kingdom with David’s heir, the Son of God –  and that Son would build God the kind of home that He desired. The Apostle Peter spoke of that home in 1 Peter 2:4-5. When we come in humility and faith to Christ Jesus, we become living stones that are used to build a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. Because David was humble, God blessed him by building him a house that would eventually bring forth the One Who humbled Himself most of all, Jesus Christ. And because Jesus humbled Himself, God established Jesus as King forever. When we humble ourselves in worship to God and His Son, we enter into that everlasting legacy and are built into the house for God that David desired to build so many years ago. It is truly amazing what God will do through those who humble themselves and allow God to glorify Himself through their life.

NT: “He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For there is no favoritism with God.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:6-11‬ ‭CSB)

Paul wrote very plainly that God will repay each person according to their works – whether they lived their life in self-seeking pride and arrogance or in God-seeking humility and faith. Those who humble themselves, place their faith and dependence on the Lord, and submit fully to His word, will and ways; they will be graced with glory, honor, and peace. Those who walk in self-serving pride, which leads to evil – not so much.

Psalms: “Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully, doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭10:17-18‬ ‭CSB)

Once again, from David himself: God hears the desire of the humble, and upon hearing their desire, strengthens their heart.  What does a truly humble person desire? A person who is truly humble before the Lord is going to desire what the Lord desires – not his own desires… and God, by His Spirit, strengthens them in their humility to see those desires fulfilled. What are God’s desires? Part of what God desires is justice for the vulnerable and oppressed. A truly humble person doesn’t demand his own rights, but considers others (even the rejected of the world) before themselves. Instead of demanding what they deserve, they stand and fight for the rights of others. Loving God and His desires first, then loving others – those are marks of true humility… and God will give grace for that all day long.

Proverbs: “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. Don’t let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don’t let your lips talk deviously. Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23-27‬ ‭CSB)

Throughout history, men and women who started out well allowed their hearts to be lifted up when things started going well for them. Even David allowed his heart to be lifted up – which led him into adultery and murder. That is why in Psalm 51, when he repented from his sin, he said, “Create in me a clean heart.” Solomon’s words of advice: “Guard your heart above all else.” Don’t allow your heart to be lifted up in pride. Instead, stay humble by keeping your eyes fixed on the Lord, His word, His will, and His ways. Be careful what you do and always make sure that what you are doing and the places you are going line up with what God is doing and where His is going. If you live humbly in this way, the God will grace your life and establish your ways…because your ways will be His ways.

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