Why not appeal to mystery BEFORE drawing conclusions that could in any way impugn the holiness of God by suggesting He had something to do with determining the nature, desire and thus evil choices of His creatures?
What also must be noted is that the decision to trust in Christ for our salvation is not a meritorious work. Asking for forgiveness does not merit being forgiven. Think of it this way. Did the prodigal son earn, merit or in any way deserve the reception of his father on the basis that he humbly returned home? Of course not. He deserve to be punished, not rewarded. The acceptance of his father was a choice of the father alone and it was ALL OF GRACE. The father did not have to forgive, restore and throw a party for his son on the basis that he chose to come home. That was the father’s doing.
Humiliation and brokenness is not considered “better” or “praiseworthy” and it certainly is not inherently valuable. The only thing that makes this quality “desirable” is that God has chosen to grace those who humble themselves, something He is in no way obligated to do. God gives grace to the humble not because a humble response deserves salvation, but because He is gracious.
Clearly scripture calls us to humility and there is nothing which suggests we cannot respond in humility when confronted by the powerful clear revelation of God’s convicting life-giving truth through the law and the gospel:
1 Peter 5:5-6: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Isaiah 66:2: “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.
James 4:10: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
2 Kings 22:19: “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.”
2 Chronicles 12:7: When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, this word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “Since they have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them but will soon give them deliverance. My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem through Shishak.
2 Chronicles 12:12: Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed.
Psalm 18:27: You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
Psalm 25:9: He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Psalm 147:6: The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
Proverbs 3:34: He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
Zephaniah 2:3: Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.
Matthew 18:4: Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 23:12: For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Luke 1:52: He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
Luke 14:11: For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:14: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
James 4:6: But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
If you will not humble yourselves, God will humble you in judgment.
The lost man’s inability to attain righteousness by pursuing it through works does not equal the inability to attain righteousness by pursuing it through faith. (Rom. 9:30-32)
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. – The Apostle Paul [Romans 9:30-32].
source: Leighton Flowers, “Why did You choose to accept Christ? What makes You Better?” (soteriology101).