The Proud and the Lowly
The Proud and the Lowly
1. This proverb is another simple truth crystallized into a short, concise saying.
2. It is much like the previous verse: God curses the wicked and blesses the just.
3. Here, God scorns the scorners and gives grace to the lowly.
4. It is possible (even likely) that this verse (as well as verses 32-35) is given at the end of the chapter as a REASON why Solomon’s son ought to follow his father’s words of wisdom. (see FOR in vs.32)
Surely he scorneth the scorners:
1. Means: Conceited mockers; arrogant talkers; to be inflated…
2. Prov. 9:7-8 – it is hard if not impossible for us to know how to deal with proud talkers!
3. Prov. 13:1 – scorners love to talk proudly and mock others, but they will not listen to instruction or rebuke themselves!
4. Prov. 14:5 – scorners seek wisdom but don’t find it. Pride keeps him from real wisdom.
a. Real wisdom comes through humility… and the proud talker knows it all already! You can’t tell him or her anything!
5. Prov. 21:24 – his pride leads the scorner to wrath… and fighting… arguments.
6. Prov. 28:25 – Proud, arrogant talkers stir up strife!
7. Prov. 15:12 – He hates to be told what to do. He gets angry when someone dares to approach him about something! He won’t go to the wise man to hear or to obtain wise counsel.
8. Prov. 22:10 – and when there is an argument or contention, it will END if you get rid of the scorner—the proud, arrogant talker! (Only by pride cometh contention!)
9. Psalm 101:5 – David would not tolerate proud talkers!
a. Such proud talkers and scorners and slanderers cannot be tolerated in the local church either!
B.) God Scorns The Scorner
1. Prov.24:9 – the scorner is an abomination (disgusting) to men. Imagine how much it must disgust God?
a. God hates pride because He is jealous of His glory. He shares it with no one.
b. Pride seeks to remove God from His throne… and place self there. (Lucifer; men)
2. Prov. 19:29 – judgments are prepared for scorners.
3. Psalm 31:23 – God will recompense proud men.
4. Prov.26:12 – there is no hope for a man wise in his own conceits. (proud; arrogant scorner—no hope!) God is against him. His case is hopeless… worse than a fool!
5. Ps.138:6 – the proud He knows afar off. Arrogant talkers do not have a close relationship to God. Period!
6. This thought is important to God.
a. This verse was repeated two times in the NT
b. In both verses the NT writers use the word “proud” for scorner.
c. Also in both NT verses, the authors use the word “resist” as a translation of the verb “scorneth.”
• Resists: to range in battle against; to oppose one’s self.
• God not only is disgusted by the behavior of proud, arrogant talkers… scorners… He actively resists them… opposes them!
• He allows proud scorners to continue in this life. But He is preparing judgments for them all!
BUT HE GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE LOWLY.
1. Lowly = the humble; meek; poor;
a. This term helps clarify exactly what shade of meaning Solomon meant to attach to “scorner.” He means the “proud” talker… emphasis on pride.
b. That is how both James and Peter understood his usage of the term too.
2. God judges the proud talkers, but God gives GRACE to the lowly.
3. Isaiah 57:15 – God dwells with the lowly… the hearts of the lowly is God’s dwelling place—and He revives the spirit of the lowly.
4. Isa. 66:2 –God looks to the lowly… humble… contrite in heart.
5. I Pet. 5:5-6 – God wants us to be clothed with humility!
a. Col. 3:12-13 – PUT ON humility…
b. When that is the case, there will be no fighting or contention.
c. If we humble ourselves, God will lift us up!
d. Luke 14:11 – For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
e. We need to promote self-abasement, not self-esteem!
6. 2 Ch. 32:26 – Hezekiah humbled himself of his pride, and the Lord removed the judgment that was about to fall upon him!
* Cf. 34:37 – God answers prayer because of humility!
7. Prov. 22:4 – By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honour, and life.
a. God honors humility!
b. Note that the fear of God and humility appear together here. They are two peas in a pod. One who acknowledges God for who He is will fear Him AND will humble himself before Him! The bigger God is in our sight, the smaller we become!
c. A just apprehension of God will always lay us in the lowest dust before Him! (Charles Bridges)
d. For the Christian, humility and godly fear may not bring us earthly riches. But it will enable us to enjoy our true spiritual riches!
e. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of God!
8. True greatness is humility! Matt. 18:4 – Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
a. Matt.20:26-28 – If you want to be great = humble yourself—stop trying to be great!
b. Jesus is our example! He was great—and He was humble!