The Results of
Pride & Humility
passage seems to be part of the context (which is rare in Proverbs!) of
the preceding two verses.
- vs.10 –
to the righteous man, the name of the Lord is his safety.
- vs.11 –
to the rich man, his wealth his so called safety.
- vs.12 –
to the proud man, there is no safety… apart from repentance and becoming
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty
- Heart (Dict. Of Bib. Lang. gives
23 definitions for this term!)
man, mind, will, heart, understanding.
resolution, determination (of will).
source of life of the inner person in various aspects, with a focus on
feelings, thoughts, volition, and other areas of the inner life
immaterial inner self or being
- Man: often refers to a male, but
on other occasions it refers to mankind – male and female – anyone.
ladies, this is for you too!
- Pride is
a male problem… but also a female problem.
- It is
sometimes translated “whosoever” (Lev. 15:5)
pride is a human problem… and one Solomon, as the observer
of human behavior, wrote about often.
- to be
high, be exalted, arrogant
- It literally
speaks of anything TALL: in either a positive or negative sense.
- Used in
a positive sense:
i. Used of tall trees, walls, gates,
ii. Used of dignitaries – in a tall or
iii. Used of men lifted up and exalted by
iv. Used of Jehoshaphat whose heart
“lifted up in the ways of the Lord”
- Used in
a negative sense
i. But more often it is used of men
lifting themselves up on high… arrogance…
ii. Used of pride – tall thinking about
oneself… (exaggerated, puffed up thinking… thinking of self more highly than we
Solomon is using the term in a negative sense here: pride,
arrogance, self righteousness, vanity, conceit, self exaltation, etc.
picture Solomon conveys in this passage:
- A man
whose inner thought life is full of self exaltation…
describes a man full of himself…
- A man,
woman, or child who is full of pride…
observed that this kind of pride always seemed to precede a great fall or
some sort of destruction.
fracture, crushing, crash, ruin, shattering.
downfall, a state or condition of moving from a high status to a low
used to describe a high stone wall that comes crashing down to a pile of
rubble; used of a potter breaking his clay pot and leaving it in many
broken pieces… useless…
Solomon observed people whose lives came crashing down around them, he
noted that it was usually preceded by PRIDE of one sort or another.
saw people’s lives smashed like broken pottery…
observed families crumble… like a high stone wall and left as a pile of
- He saw
lives fractured, crushed, broken, and ruined…
observed as many shattered lives as we observe today…
- So he
studied those lives… he thought about what LED up to the destruction and
- And time
and time again, his observations led him to conclude that pride was
at the root of very many of those ruined lives.
6:16, 17 - Perhaps
this is why he included pride as one of the seven deadly sins. In fact,
it is on TOP of the list!
16:18 – Pride
goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
i. The fall could be a physical fall –
ii. The fall could be a moral fall –
iii. I Cor. 10:12 – “Let him that thinketh he
standeth take heed lest he fall!”
iv. We are warned repeatedly, especially
in gray areas, about pride.
v. Pride says, “I can handle this. It
won’t bother me.”
vi. I can skate on thin ice. I won’t
vii. I don’t need God. I can do this
viii. I can handle reading all these
romance novels; I can handle watching all these movies; I can handle a little
flirting; I can handle a beer once in a while; I can get by just going to
morning service; it won’t affect me! I can handle reading the Word once in a
while… I’m strong!”
ix. I can handle going out with this
unsaved girl or guy. I’ll win them to Christ. I can handle this situation.”
x. Paul WARNS us about that kind of
pride that pushes liberty to the edge…
xi. Solomon isn’t directly warning us.
Rather, he is giving us his own observations in life: People who THINK they can
stand (because of pride) often fall… and they fall hard.
- Prov.11:2 – Pride usually results in
i. The man who THOUGHT he could stand
soon discovers that he was not able to do so…
ii. His fall brings him shame…
embarrassment… even disgrace.
iii. He THOUGHT he could flirt and get
away with it… but it led to something far more serious – and he fell morally.
iv. He brought shame into his life.
v. The man who THOUGHT he could handle
working three jobs to buy all the best things… ends up loosing his kids to
drugs… and instead of bringing joy, they bring him shame…
vi. The proud teenager who BOASTS that
he can jump off cliffs with his motorcycle – or some other silly stunt, ends up
in a wheelchair… and is ashamed of how stupid he was.
17:19 – He
that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
i. Here Solomon adds another note: the
person who exalts himself is actually SEEKING for destruction!
ii. Obviously, the proud person would
iii. When calamity strikes, he usually
bemoans himself: poor me! How did this ever happen?
iv. But Solomon has already given him
the warning. He KNOWS the outcome of pride – it is followed by destruction.
v. Hence, the one who KNOWS that… and
continues in his vain, proud ways, is in reality SEEKING for destruction.
vi. In other words, he’s LOOKING for
trouble… and he will eventually find it.
And before honour is humility.
also noted something else about the results of a humble life. It was
usually followed by some sort of HONOR. Prov. 15:33
unpretentiousness, i.e., a state or quality of being straightforward and
sincere, suggesting a lack of arrogance and pride.
probably did not come in contact with too many of these folks –
especially in the royal and noble circles in which he traveled.
- But he
did observe humble people…
- And as
he observed, he noted the similar in each of their lives…
honour, glorious, abundance, dignity, reputation, reward.
observed that those whose lives were unpretentious, humble, meek…
selfless had a special HONOR about them…
lives were characterized by a dignity that was missing in the lives of
wasn’t just the difference that one was proud and one was humble… he
observed some CONSEQUENCES that seemed to follow the various heart
was a sense of shame to the lives of the proud… and a sense of honor in
the lives of the humble.
lives of the proud were shattered… but there was a sense of quiet dignity
in the lives of the humble…
proud nobles often had an abundance of material things… but they lacked
an abundance of real friends… they did not have an abundant life… but the
humble were characterized by a dignified honor.
29:23 – That
honor UPHOLDS the humble spirit
- Uphold -
to hold fast; make secure, i.e., give aid and help so as to keep it from
- It is
used figuratively of supporting someone inwardly, morally, spiritually.
the humble spirit is accompanied by a sense of honor and dignity… and
that honor UPHOLDS him and keeps him from falling.
humility results in true riches, honor, and life!
- It can
save your life…
results in a fall… calamity… a shattering…
keeps us from that fall… and it may even save your life!
4:6 – “God
resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
tells us that when pride is in our hearts – GOD Himself stands AGAINST
us. (What a formidable opponent!)
humility reigns, God lifts us up. (What a Person to have on our side!)
response to us is always the same: He resists pride and gives grace to
- I Pet.
5:6 --- Peter wrote: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of
God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
Peter, Paul, and Solomon are all in agreement on this issue.
- We are
warned, admonished, commanded, and given consequences for both pride and
humility. The choice is ours.