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Advent 2016: Christ Was Born For This: Day 18

A King Humbly Serves His People

by

Today's Text: 2 Chronicles 1:7-12, 2 Chronicles 6:12-21, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9-10

Text: 2 Chronicles 1:7-12, 2 Chronicles 6:12-21, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9-10

A king humbly serves his people. A king’s job in the Old Testament was to know what his people needed and to lead in such a way that they would have it. He was to lay down his life for his people, using his powerful position to secure for them what only he could. Doing this well required great humility.

“Look for the helpers.”

It was Mr. Rogers who shared this insight with us—advice his own mother gave him when he would see scary things happening as a child. “You will always find people who are helping.”

Have you seen them? Men or women risking their comfort, their time, their very lives to serve or even rescue others? They’re the helpers. And in a very real sense, Solomon was the helper to the people of Israel.

In 2 Chronicles 1, God said to Solomon, “Ask. What should I give you?” (v. 7). The God of the universe offered the new king whatever his heart desired. This is how we know Solomon was a humble king: he put the care of his people ahead of his own glory by asking God to make him a better ruler for them. “Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?” (v. 10).

Not riches, not wealth or glory or long life, or even the destruction of his enemies. Solomon understood even in his answer what some leaders never realize: power is not simply found in a display of strength or force. True power is displayed in humility. The Old Testament kings of Israel and Judah who followed and feared God understood this. And Jesus, of course, would be the ultimate demonstration of this power.

A good king is always a helper. But sometimes, the better the helper, the harder he is to spot. Can you find the helper-King in Matthew 27:41-43?

“So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.’”

Jesus Himself was the helper—humbly sacrificing His life for ours. It didn’t look much like heroism, but it was the most selfless act of royal rescue in human history. Jesus gave the help Israel needed—the help they didn’t know they needed, the help only He could give. His demonstration of power didn’t look like brute force at all. In fact, to the world it looked a little like weakness. He knew His people’s greatest need and was obedient even unto death to secure it for them. This is what makes Him the King of kings.

Solomon humbly, yet imperfectly, ruled over Israel, giving them a continued awareness of their need for a perfect King. They ached for that King. They believed God’s prophets who said He would come, and they rejoiced on behalf of the generations to come who would one day know Him.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you;
He is righteous and victorious,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
- Zechariah 9:9

Do you see the Helper? Righteous and victorious. Humble and riding on a donkey.

He’s coming. Hallelujah, He is coming!

SRT-Advent16-Instagram18s

  • for some reason makes me think of words from song, “God prepare me to be a sanctuary. pure and holy. Tried and true. with thanksgiving I’ll be a living sanctuary for you. ” God cannot be contained. He is the beginning and end of all things. Learning how to surrender in each moment and the humility of Jesus is deeper than I have ever understood.

  • Melody Suarez

    It motivates me to want to lead humbly in the leadership positions that God has given to me now and in the future ❤

  • so after reading today’s devotion, I checked FB and found this post by my friend Rebekah Walton. It fit so perfectly I had to share it with you all.

    “God stooped the farthest and deepest than any person ever has. There is no king who stooped so low, no nobility who made himself into nothing as thoroughly God, nor any common man who has humbled himself compared to the depth of humility with which God clothed himself with.

    In the annals of history we may see a king overtaken in war, unwillingly defeated by his enemies, but never a king so high as the King of the universe willingly entering humanity in the form of a babe to make a way for men to come to him and have fellowship. No man took his high position, and no man took His life. He gave both, willingly.

    Today, if you are struggling with humility remember that He has gone before you and you will never stoop lower than the King of Kings. You will never stoop lower than the King of Kings did to enable you to walk in the nobility of being His child, walking in freedom and in humility as He did, humility being one of the highest marks of nobility a child of God can possess.

    Today, it matters more how you sit with and love people who are less fortunate, less educated, sick, addicted, lonely and suffering (even at their own doing)! and cannot repay you, than with those who are of high regard.

    The King of all Kings, humbling himself far more than you ever will.

    Remember that today.

    Ask him to enable you with such a love and humility as He himself demonstrated and enables you to walk in.”

  • “True power is displayed in humility. ”
    Love this truth. I have a little girl who is struggling with belonging at school and have been trying to find a way to point her towards that truth.

    • churchmouse

      Will pray for your little girl – that one other little girl will befriend her. That one smile would make them connect. That they would become comrades in arm. Yes Lord. Do this thing. Please. Amen.

    • Naomi

      Praying for your precious little one.

      • Katy

        I will pray, the Lord answered the same prayer for my daughter! I pray yours will be the light for her future friend, and that she will know that the Lord has given her the desire of her heart.

  • We are shown that humility holds such strength…

  • Keri McCue

    When I think about this I get chills, ” It didn’t look much like heroism, but it was the most selfless act of royal rescue in human history. ” He humbled Himself. He didn’t look like a hero. But He saved us and died for us. I will never get over the awe of that fact!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • I am so thankful that our generation is able to know the King! What trust it must have taken to rejoice knowing that someone ahead of me would one day know Him. Praise God that He sent Jesus to be our perfect king, and the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

  • Kasey Summers

    “the most selfless act of royal rescue in human history” Love this! Jesus is our perfect humble example!!!

  • Carrie Rogers

    Oh, I am so thankful for our perfect King!

  • I was struck by the ‘ifs’ in Matthew, “IF you are the Son of God” (40) and “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now IF he wants him…” (43). Here is our King, enduring the mocking of those he came to save. But not only that, these religious men’s words were casting doubts that this was God’s plan, “He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down from the cross” (42). But Jesus did not let these words of doubt create a barrier to his trust in and obedience to his Father. I want to follow that humble King’s example.

  • It’s amazing to me that Jesus came to help us before we even knew we needed it in the most humble way possible – by giving his life! And he continues to help us in ways that we don’t always understand, but he knows best. I’m still learning to trust that his ways are better than mine, and to not complain about the situation I’m in. I have a pretty hard time with that, to be honest. I’m still trying to learn to make Jesus the center of my life..Not myself. And it’s hard! I want to think of myself less, but I don’t know how to stop being so selfish. Please pray for me as I continue to learn how to follow Jesus, and truly make him the center of my life.

    • Melinda Watters

      This is a hard lesson that on some levels, I believe takes a life time to learn. Know you are not alone in this struggle.

    • Jenn

      Praying for you Rachel.

    • Cheryl yost

      “… I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
      ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12-13‬ ‭

      Even Paul had to Learn! I figure if it was a learning experience for him… then it will definitely be for me.

    • Ashley

      I also struggle with this. You’re not alone! It takes a lot of effort to become aware of our ungodly thoughts/acts. It takes constant reminders. Hang in there! :)

  • The fact that Jesus was born in a very small town called Bethlehem and that it was known that He would be for a long time (Micah 5:2), shows how God wanted Him to enter humbly, but eventually fill a big purpose!

    • Melinda Watters

      Yes, I too have been marvelling this season at the intricacies of God’s plan laid out for us in the story and life of Jesus.

  • Leah❤️

    “power is not simply found in a display of strength or force. True power is displayed in humility. “

  • Humble …. In our humanness that is one word that is so easy to say, yet another to convey. I homeschool, with the help of a fantastic community, my two youngest children. Because October & November had me overwhelmed with work, I decided we would take December off from classes outside of our home and focus on lessons that were fun, and explorative, just plain enjoyable, seasonally focused and these two sweet people can not stop poking at each other, thus creating an atmosphere of frustration, daily, for each of us. Lately, I’ve felt wiped out and my grand idea of “fun” seems exhausting. Last night, I was so frustrated with my wee folk, I complained, complained, complained and this morning, I am humbled to remember, that it all starts with me. While I need to be prayerful over their behavior, I mostly need to be prayerful, like Solomon, over how to properly lead and parent them … “Give me now wisdom and knowledge!” … this will be my prayer today as I seek to encourage, love on and grow these sweet, little wildebeasts. ;) ~ Betsy

    • Carly

      Such a good message today packed with God’s example on how to lead others. I like that the devotional started with prayer and ended with serving others. Just like your message too! I’m sending you up in prayer today, as you lead your pack of wild beasts ;)

    • candacejo

      I couldn’t help but smile as I read this…I remember doing the same thing with mine a few years ago. Now they are grown and out of the nest and those are precious memories as they will be to you some day. But they sure can try your very last nerve in the present!! Praying for a better day today…may they get along more than five minutes for your sanity ♥

    • Skigranny1

      Will be praying with you Betsy. What a blessing to be able to home school.

    • Hailey T.

      Praying for a heart to see the ‘cute’ in their chaos and for a rush of patient love for you, B. Always enjoy your posts.

    • Melinda Watters

      It all starts with me being on my needs asking for wisdom to lead. I am with you as a mom on my needs after similar frustrating times. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alecia Huval

      Yes! It starts with us first. I love it. I’m a high school culinary arts instructor. Chef first, teacher second. I get so easily frustrated with my students, but it starts with us.

  • Jesus the helper King. I love it!!

  • Lindsay Sterchi

    This was a great reminder of the role of wisdom and serving for leaders. Humility to recognize that we don’t have the knowledge we need, and humility to serve by putting the needs of others before ourselves. Jesus fulfilled this perfectly.

  • Mandie Maass

    We live in an upside down world, but we serve a right-side up King. He left the richness of heaven, and became poor so that we might become rich (1 Cor 8:9). Not with the richness that the world gives, but with the richness of heaven. He brought the Kingdom to earth and showed us how to encounter it. Not through climbing or striving but through the laying down of our lives for the sake of his glory. I’m convicted about that this morning. Up all night with a sick child, let me pick up my crown by laying down my agenda today to be her “helper.”

    • Carly

      <3 such a good reminder to lay down our agenda for the richness of heaven! I'm praying that prayer too. I hope your little feels better with the help from her mama!

    • Melinda Watters

      Beautiful! Thanks for the reminder that it is the world that is upside down!

  • Stephanie

    “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven.” Mathew 5:16. When we follow a prompting to serve, let us serve as our Father’s hands here on the earth for His purposes, not our own.

  • Amen!

  • churchmouse

    We all can be “the helpers” – by helping others to know Jesus. We can help others in so many practical ways that don’t even take much time, effort or money. May we be bold enough though to actually tell them that we do these things not just to be nice but in the name of Jesus. May our kindnesses be known to come from Him through us. Like Solomon, may we spread out our arms and point out that any good we do is because we love Jesus and follow Him. May we not only meet needs but give them a hunger and thirst for more of the One who provides. Amen.

    • ~ B ~

      Your comment is leaning a work in me this morning, as I struggle with witnessing to one individual in particular who has caused great havoc in our family over the course of many years. Yesterday, I felt God asking me to reconsider communication and today I am prayerful over just how to do that, as this person, may be in the last days of her life. It is a strange situation, one with far more words than are for here, but I greatly appreciate you, friend and you always “Jesus-centered” reminders! Thank you!

      • Renee

        Praying for you , B. May you once again accept God’s challenge and try again.

      • The Blue Eyed Lass

        Praying for you -B- May the Lord honor your humble heart and give you the words to say to this individual. That there may be redemption in this situation that has been so hard for you to walk through.

    • Jess Gardiner

      so so convicting. I love to help others. I love how it makes me feel and look. But do I point them to Christ in my service or me? Thank you churchmouse for the timely reminder.

  • Jesus the helper King – as He was mocked for not saving himself, Jesus was saving us all. While the salvation was not what the people expected, it was so much better! I wonder how many times God has saved me from my own wishes because he has something so much richer and eternal in store?!

    • Carly

      It’s so true! Thanks for sharing your perspective Jen! His will is always so much better than mine. May we put our forever trust in our helper-yet POWERFUL King.

  • “…He stood on it, knelt down in front of the entire congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven.” I love how bold Solomon was with his faith, before the people he led! What a great example of a leader who was not afraid to show his people from where he drew his wisdom and strength!

    • Mandie Maass

      I loved that also, picturing him kneeling down, and lifting up Gus hands.

  • My husband works on a busy ambulance and comes home exhausted every time he works. But in him I see Jesus, I see him helping. He serves in an impoverished area with grace and compassion that we both beg God to give him. Thankful to have an example to watch of someone who serves the least of these with little fanfare. He is Jesus with skin on.

    • Sarah H.

      I normally sign as Sarah_Joy. Just forgot this morning.

    • Laura

      Wow, what an amazing husband and what a fantastic example! Such a blessing!

    • Treasure

      My husband is a police officer serving in a First Nation community at the moment, and I feel the same way you do Sarah. He gives so much compassion and care to those often in the worst situations, even when they don’t deserve it. I pray daily that as our family lives in this community among those who live in darkness, we would shine Jesus’s light into their homes and hearts. I try to smile and say a kind word to everyone I meet knowing they may need it more than I realize.

    • Hailey T.

      I pray in praise and protection for your husband. I am thankful for his service and for your service as his helpmate!

    • She Reads Truth

      Love this, Sarah. Grateful!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Alice Carroll

    Thanks Tina, it was really helpful to hear that song this morning.

  • Amen..

    https://youtu.be/C9ujBoud26k

    Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
    Look, your King is coming to you;
    He is righteous and victorious,
    humble and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey….

    Excited and looking forward…. are you?

    Happy Wednesday, Sisters…Praying Gods peace and grace throughout your day, as the season gets exciting yet hectic…hugs…xxx

    • Tricia Cavanaugh

      Thank you Tina. I do love that song.

    • Kelly R Smith

      I am a little tired and worn. But I can hear your excitement as you shout “Rejoice!” and it is contagious!

    • Carly Howard

      “Rejoice…your king is coming to you!” How exciting is that?! I’m right there with you Tina. It’s a good message. :)

    • ~ B~

      Good Morning T, or in your world, afternoon by now. Thank you for this beautiful sound this morning. Much needed! Love to you and yours! ~ B

    • Janelle

      thanks for sharing the song this morning!

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