Walk humbly with your God

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

Worldly people do not humble themselves before God.

God sent Moses to Pharaoh with the message: “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me” (Exodus 10:3). When Moses first asked Pharaoh to let the people go, he had replied: “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go” (Exodus 5:2).

God warns: “The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure” (Psalm 101:5). “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11).

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low” (Isaiah 2:11, 12).

When the wicked repent and humble themselves before God, He blesses them.

Because he refused to listen to the advice of older men, King Rehoboam had lost most of the kingdom Solomon had passed on to him (1 Kings 12:1-16). In the fifth year of his reign, because he and all Israel “forsook the law of the LORD” God allowed Shishak, king of Egypt, to conquer the fortified cities of Judah and to come as far as Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 12:1-4).

“Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah, who were gathered together in Jerusalem because

of Shishak, and said to them, 'Thus says the LORD: “You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak.”' So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, 'The LORD is righteous.' Now when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, 'They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance. My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations'” (2 Chronicles 12:5-8).

Although God allowed Shishak to conquer Jerusalem and require tribute, Rehoboam was allowed to remain king. “When he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah” (2 Chronicles 12:12).

God exalts the humble and humbles the haughty.

This principle is taught throughout the Old Testament.

“The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way” (Psalm 25:9).

“The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:6). “He will beautify the humble with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).

“Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).

“When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).

“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12).

“For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones'” (Isaiah 57:15).

Various examples are given.

“Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).

He told Israel: “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:2, 3).

God promised Solomon that He would forgive the people when they repented and humbled themselves: “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13, 14).

King Hezekiah restored correct worship in Judah. He also encouraged the ten tribes of Israel to return to the Lord. Most of them laughed his messengers to scorn, but a few listened: “Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 30:10, 11).

After reigning for 14 years, Hezekiah had become proud and God decided to end his life. But when he humbled himself, God extended his life for 15 more years. “But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him, for his heart was lifted up; therefore wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah” (2 Chronicles 32:25, 26).

Ezra and the people, when returning from Babylonian captivity, humbled themselves before God and asked for His protection: “Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, 'The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.' So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer” (Ezra 8:21-23).

The New Testament also instructs us to walk humbly with God.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

Jesus said: “Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

“Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men - extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14).

Paul wrote: “Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:16).

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12).

Peter admonishes: “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5, 6).

Worldly people do not humble themselves before God. If they repent, however, and humble themselves, He blesses them. God's people humble themselves before God and submit to His will. God exalts the humble and humbles the haughty.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive