2 Kings 14
Joash’s response to Amaziah’s challenge offers an admonition similar to the one given in a parable by Jesus in Luke 14:7-11. It is tempting, especially after a huge success as Amaziah had experienced, to think more highly of ourselves and our abilities than is warranted.
There are a couple of reasons why we should remain humble. First, and the reason illustrated both in this chapter and in Jesus’ parable of the invited guest who takes a seat of honor and has to be asked to move for the person who is actually being honored — elevating ourselves sets us up to be embarrassed and humbled. And usually in a public way!
Second, the source of our pride is the false notion that we are responsible for the success! An understanding of God’s sovereignty teaches us that even our breath is a gift of God.
Genesis 2:7 “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Acts 17:24-25 “God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. 25 Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else.”
Ezekiel 37:5-6 “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life.”
John 1:3-4 “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
If even our next breath is a gift of God, how can we possibly take credit or seek honor for anything that happens as a result? Only God allows us to draw that next breath. Only God allows us to do whatever it is we have done in our life that might be noteworthy.
Humility is easier when we recognize where the honor resides.
As we watched the Olympics over the past month, there were once again those who pointed to heaven, to acknowledge that all the glory, honor, and praise for their victory belongs to the God who made them, who gave them their talents, who provided the opportunities which brought them to that moment, and who gave them breath.
Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”