II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Jeremiah 13:15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.

16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’S flock is carried away captive.

18 Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


MEMORY VERSE: For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  —Isaiah 57:15


CENTRAL THOUGHT: An important part of repentance is that of humbling ourselves before God, that He might have mercy on us, heal our land, lift us up, revive our souls, and draw us near so that we might walk closely with Him.




II Chronicles 7:14 “Humble”: bend the knee; bring down low; bring into subjection; subdue.

Jeremiah 13:15 “Proud”: to soar; be lofty; be haughty; lift up.

Jeremiah 13:18 “King….queen”: Jehoiachin, king of Judah (II Kings 24:8-15), and “the queen mother who, as the king was not more than eighteen years old, held the chief power. Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan, carried away captive with Jehoiachin by
Nebuchadnezzar” (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary). “This and the title of ‘mistress’ are indications of the high rank they enjoyed in the social system. In the case of Asa, we are told that he removed his mother, Maachah, from her position as ‘mistress,’ or queen- mother, on account of her idolatry (I Kings 15:13). The political value of the station is strikingly shown by the ease with which Athaliah, as queen-mother, usurped the supreme authority (II Kings 11). From an historical point of view, the ‘queen-mother’ of the Jews is a most interesting personage; she is a relic of the primitive age in which relationship was reckoned with regard to the mother” (Pulpit Commentary). “Principalities”: literally, headtire, or royal diadem of state.

Daniel 10:12 “Chasten thyself”: to humble yourself; to afflict oneself by fasting and humiliation.

Micah 6:8 “Walk humbly”: humble yourself to walk with God.

James 4:9 “Be afflicted”: realize one’s own misery; suffer hardship; be wretched.

James 4:10 “Humble”: to make low, as to reduce a mountain to a plain.

Isaiah 57:15 “Contrite”: literally, crushed or pulverized, as powder or dust.




The first verse in our lesson comes from the night visit by God to Solomon after Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and holding a dedication and feast, offering thousands of burnt offerings and peace offerings. The people had all been sent home and all his desires for building God’s house and his own house had been realized.

“I have heard thy prayer,” God said. He went on to establish and sanctify the house

Solomon had built for Him as the location He had chosen to place His name, promising that in a time of drought or pestilence, if the people would humble themselves and pray, His ears would be attentive to the prayers made in that place.

The prophecy of Jeremiah in chapter 13 begins with an object lesson God instructed Jeremiah to use to describe the ruined condition of Israel and the place of their captivity. The linen girdle, left to rot for a long time, was a type of the manner in which their glory would be marred. He also used the illustration of wine skins filled with wine to describe the judgments of God against them. Then he makes an affectionate, personal plea to the royal family, which at this time was Jehoiachin, or Coniah, and his mother, Nehushta, to humble themselves.

Daniel had been fasting and praying for three weeks. He was beside the river when a man clothed in linen and girded with fine gold suddenly appeared to him in a vision. The man’s face had the appearance of lightning and His eyes were like fiery lamps. His feet were like polished brass and His words sounded like a great multitude. The other men fled and Daniel was left alone. His strength drained from him so that he fell into a deep sleep. The man lifted him up and began to speak, telling him that He had heard his prayers when he had first begun to humble himself. The man who appeared was truly Jesus, in the form in which He appeared to the Old Testament saints. The point we can take from this story is that He heard the prayer as Daniel humbled himself.

The prophet Micah appeared in about the same time frame as Isaiah, and prophesied for about fifty years to kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. His prophecies include special details about the Messiah, and he also spoke concerning God’s judgment upon the apostatizing Jews. The verse in our lesson is a familiar one, where God answers the questions asked about acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. His answer was simple but succinct: do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

The New Testament writer, James, gave stern admonitions to “worldly” believers who were “double-minded.” His emphasis was on being a doer of the good works that accompany salvation. The instruction we quote in our lesson is still relevant and the promise still holds, that if a man humbles his heart, God will give him more grace. The one who draws closer to God can know that God will draw closer to him.

The memory verse from Isaiah gives us a clue of what it means to be contrite and humble (see the Word Definitions!). I am reminded of Job’s response to God’s dealings; when God was finished with him, Job said, “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,” and he wasn’t just being melodramatic. Repentance is exactly what will put us in the place where God will dwell with us.

—Angela Gellenbeck



  1. Describe the time and place in which God spoke the words in II Chronicles 7:14.
  2. Jeremiah explains God’s response to pride. What is it?
  3. The “Man” in Daniel’s vision heard his humble cry from the start, but how long did He bear with Daniel before He came to answer? (Look in Daniel 10). How does this encourage us in our times of unanswered prayer?
  4. Share the steps James lined out for drawing closer to God.
  5. What is the word picture given by the word “contrite” in Isaiah 57:15?




When we read the different messages—from various times and various prophets—all put together, we really get a clear picture of how God views man’s pride and how He immediately responds when man humbles his heart before Him.

Another prophet, Obadiah, once lamented in his message to the Edomites, “The pride of your heart has deceived you.” A Scottish poet, Robert Pollok (1798-1827), in his book, “The Course of Time” penned, “Here then, in brief, what peopled hell; what holds its prisoners there. Pride, self-adoring pride…” God pleaded with His people; He held them at length from Him; He wept for them. They could not dwell closely with Him on earth, or live in eternity with Him— because of pride.

I hope—oh, I pray!—that you or I don’t forfeit all the good things God has for us because we are simply too proud to humble our hearts. Are there decisions you made when your heart was stiff and obstinate in pride? Perhaps you are several years down the road from that choice that was made, and you are wiser now and see the folly of your ways. Don’t let pride hold you back from repentance. You can still turn around and change the ending story of your life. Don’t miss out on God’s sweet blessings—a revival of your heart, His abiding presence, a close, intimate walk with him—because of pride.

—Angela Gellenbeck




“Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?” These were the words spoken by the king of Nineveh in the 3rd chapter of Jonah, after the people of Nineveh heard Jonah’s warning that God would destroy their city in forty days for its wickedness.

Can you visualize the scene when Jonah arrived and began to declare God’s judgment? Can you imagine the commotion and disruption as so many began to turn to God? They believed God’s warning and began to humble themselves and repent through the ancient custom of donning sackcloth and sitting in ashes, and as word reached the king, he too humbled himself and declared a fast. Even the animals had to fast and wear sackcloth! God saw their repentance and spared their destruction for another 250 years or so.

This is a great illustration of humility and repentance, and Jesus Himself stated that the people of Nineveh would condemn those who have the Gospel and dealings of the Holy Spirit available to them, and yet don’t yield. One commentator called this refusal to yield “obstinate impenitence” and it is hard to argue against that characterization of those who refuse to bow before God, when He so frequently and willingly extends mercy and goodness to those who do humble themselves before Him. Are you obstinate and proud, calling on God to fight against you (see James 4:6), or do you regularly choose to relent to Him, exalt Him, and allow Him to bless you exceedingly?

—Fari Matthews