Monday: The Humble of the Land
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In Zephaniah 2:1-3, we see the prophet’s call to repentance.

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

Even though the destruction is imminent, there is still time to be sheltered from calamity, but only if the nation will repent. The wicked who refuse to repent will be consumed on the day of judgment like chaff. In Psalm 1:4 the wicked are also likened to chaff and, in the end, they perish.

With the words “Seek the Lord,” Zephaniah is encouraging those who humble themselves before God to hold firm in their faith. The prophet teaches that to seek the Lord is the same as seeking righteousness and humility. This attitude of repentance is essential in order to escape the coming judgment.

Zephaniah calls the repentant people the “humble of the land” (Zeph. 2:3, NIV). How do the following passages shed light on this expression, which is also translated as the “poor of the land”? Matt. 5:3Ps. 76:9Isa. 11:4Amos 8:4.

The humble are those people who have remained faithful to God and who are led and taught by Him. The psalmist says: “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Ps. 25: 8-9, NIV). The humble are urged to prepare for the coming judgment by seeking God, righteousness, and humility.

The possibility of survival for the humble who are faithful is expressed through the word perhaps. Survival depends solely on divine grace, and grace is something that never should be taken for granted. In the face of impending doom, there is hope for the future from God, who is merciful. The Lord has promised to shelter all those who trust in Him (Joel 3:16Nah. 1:7). This type of trust casts out self-reliance, guile, and deception.

“Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Saviour. By prayer, by the study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold them by a hand that will never let go.”—Ellen G. White, Ministry of Healing, p. 182. What has been your own experience with these incredible promises? How can you learn to have that kind of close walk with the Lord?

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Monday: The Humble of the Land — 13 Comments

  1. As in the days of Zephania the prophet, God has also a message to us in the theme of the humble. In our churches these humble people are left from the church activities. We seem to be knowing God but we are failing in our part. We need to be revived.

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  2. I know that I need to know my need! God has so much that I can connect to when I give up on myself and turn my focus fully on God, His mercy and His love. I have had that amazing experience of total dependence on God, but I need His help to always hold my concentration and dependence in that position. God's miracle at work in me can keep me connected. When the connection is fully in place I have that "abundant" life that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10!

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    • Thank you for sharing, Jackie, and reminding us that we need to put the effort where it counts -

      "I need His help to always hold my concentration and dependence in that position."

      It is only when we give up on ourselves and focus fully on God, His mercy, and His love, that we can experience the "abundant" life.

      Too often we focus on doing the right things, rather than staying in the right relationship. And that's putting the cart before the horse. It's hard work and doesn't get us very far.

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  3. What a wonderful promise by E. White in Ministries of Healing; God will hold "me" by His had and never let go! Wow, I need that for me today.
    Will you pray for me and with me that I will hold on to that promise, due to me going through horrific financial trials. I know He promised to be with me and never leave me, however, when destitute, I seem to lose the face of Christ that I need to focus on.
    I do know that He is perfecting my for the day of His return. PRAISE GOD!!!!
    May the Lord bless and keep all of you in His hand and never let you go.

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    • [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

      We are not supposed to give up for our selves.

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  4. " The humble of the Land"
    its absolute true that God is full of mercy and Love to his people,
    thus why he uses prophet Zephaniah to warn the mass therefore as long as we understand the truth we need to be faithful so that we can be served in the coming day known as the Day of the Lord"

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  5. This lesson comes as a reminder still,that God is love,the Almighty,the Creator and Provider. His wrath lasts but only a second and his love overflows forever. The call to repentance that Zephaniah made is so valid for us in this present moment. We as SDAs have taken ourselves exactly like Israelites,believing that we are the chosen remnants and have relaxed in our darling sins and wickedness..we have taken God,His church and the respect and honour due to Him for granted. Its is an urge to the present day church to do away with wickedness and allow the Master to prune us of all darling sins. Also an encouragement to give up everthing and let Christ dwell in us such that His day may never be a day of doom for us as well.

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  6. So, true , we definitely need a revival. We take our Christianity for granted. We need to get up on our laurels and go and tell people of the impending destruction that is coming.

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  7. Its indeed a call for a true revival and reformation to the SDAS first.
    Judgement begins with us. As others have rightly said, we to wake up from our "Laodeceanism" condition described in Rev 3:15-19.
    Salvation is like sunshine it is given to the whole world and not SDAS alone.
    Let us humble ourselves before God and claim His promises. As people given responsibility to take the gospel to the entire world, we must lead by example.
    Humility is the genesis of greatness.
    May the Spirit of our Lord search our hearts and correct any faults and evils found within us

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  8. [Moderator comment: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

    It pays to be humbe in everything we do, the good part of it is that we dont loose anything to humble instead we gain.
    A man’s pride shall bring him low:
    but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. Prov 29:23

    Matt{23:12} And whosoever shall exalt himself
    shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be
    exalted.

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  9. The minor prophet lessons have spurred in me a need to know what humility is and I think the following is one of best definitions I've found:

    God has told us at least five things about humility.

    1. Humility begins with a sense of subordination to God in Christ. "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master" (Matthew 10:24). "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God" (1 Peter 5:6).

    2. Humility does not feel a right to better treatment than Jesus got. "If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!" (Matthew 10:25). Therefore humility does not return evil for evil. It is not life based on its perceived rights. "Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps. . . . While suffering, He uttered no threats, but handed [his cause] over to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:21-23).

    3. Humility asserts truth not to bolster ego with control or with triumphs in debate, but as service to Christ and love to the adversary. "Love rejoices in the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6). "What I [Jesus] tell you in the darkness, speak in the light. . . . Do not fear" (Matthew 10:27-28). "We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5).

    4. Humility knows it is dependent on grace for all knowing and believing. "What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7). "In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).

    5. Humility knows it is fallible, and so considers criticism and learns from it; but also knows that God has made provision for human conviction and that he calls us to persuade others. "We see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). "A wise man is he who listens to counsel" (Proverbs 12:15). "Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Corinthians 5:11).

    ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.
    By John Piper. Website: desiringGod.org

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