Jesus said: "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12). There are many examples on how the Lord humbles proud people in the Bible, and we would like to share three unusual stories here.
1. One Angel Killed 185,000 Assyrians Overnight
(2 Kings 19:10-37) When Sennacherib, the king of Assyria made plans to attack Judah, he boasted about his past victories and declared that no god of any nation would be able to deliver them from his hands. The king of Judah, Hezekiah therefore humbled himself before the Lord and asked for deliverance. That night, the Lord sent one angel to kill 185,000 men in the Assyrian army. Having been defeated, Sennacherib went back to Nineveh, and was killed by his own two sons while he was worshipping in the house of his god.
The Lord showed Sennacherib clearly that He could easily beat his whole army with ONLY ONE SERVANT! But on the other hand, when Sennacherib was killed by two juniors (his sons) in the presence of the god whom he was worshipping, his god was totally incapable of delivering him.
That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning - there were all the dead bodies! ..... One day, while he (Sennacherib) was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword. 2 Kings 19:35-37
2. The King Who Became the Lowest of All Men
(2 Chronicles 26:16-23) Uzziah was one of the good kings of Judah. He defeated the Philistines and Arabs, built fortified towers and strengthened the armies of Judah. He also created powerful military weapons and made important contributions in agriculture.
However, Uzziah became proud because of his achievements, and intended to take over the role of the priests to burn incense at the altar. When eighty priests tried to stop him, he raged at them. Leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead and he became the lowest of all men - an "unclean leper". Not only was he banned from the temple, he could not even continue his reign as a king, and had to live in a separate house until his death.
But when he (Uzziah) was strong his heart was lifted up ..... While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead ..... King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house - leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 26:16-21
3, The Donkey That Knows More Than a Prophet
(Numbers 22:21-39) During the time of Moses, the Moabites became afraid of the Israelites who had just come out of Egypt to take their land. They therefore summoned prophet Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites. Even though the Lord forbid him to do so, Balaam was unable to resist the handsome reward offered by the Moabites and turned back to ask the Lord a second time. This time the Lord allowed him to go, but He opened the mouth of Balaam's own donkey to rebuke him, and opened Balaam's eyes to show him that an angel was actually standing in his way with a drawn sword, ready to kill him!
How shameful is it that an esteemed prophet was rebuked by a donkey which saw what he could not see? And how can a prophet be proud of himself when the Lord could have easily killed him and used his donkey to prophesy in his place?
Then God’s anger was aroused because he (Balaam) went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him ..... And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff. Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey ..... “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?” And he said, “No.” Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. Numbers 22:22-31