Devotional Text and Mediation for the Day
The devotional text for today gives us much to meditate on as we are confronted with that which is repugnant to the Lord and thus that which He hates (1; 20 cf. 3:32; 6:16; 11:1; 12:22; 15:8, 9, 26; 16:5; 17:15; 20:23). This is a sobering truth that utterly contradicts the god of the contemporary Church who, according to the modern mindset, eagerly sweeps sin away with no righteous anger or judgment as if it never happened. Yet, it is verse 2 in this chapter that I want to point your attention to today as this proverb truly gets to the core difference between the wicked and the godly, which is pride versus humility. The unjust weights of the prideful (11:1), which means tipping the scales for personal gain, might bring some temporary treasure, but in the end, their treachery will ultimately bring destruction upon themselves (11:3). Pride truly is the heart soil from which all sin sprouts and bears its self-centered fruit in our lives (Mk 7:22). The word for pride here in verse 2 means “to boil or run over” speaking to an overwhelming arrogant attitude and actions that point toward self. Instead of being consumed with God’s glory and His greatness, one is obsessed with personal praise and self-absorbed pleasure. This was the ultimate problem with Adam and Eve (Gen 3:5) and was the heart behind Satan’s rebellion (Isa 14:12-14). Yet, this proverb is clear that pride only brings disgrace, meaning shame, and we would do well to let that truth soak deep into our hearts today (16:5). Here are a few more examples of the shameful fruit of pride in the Scriptures (Gen 11:4; Num 12:2,10; 2 Chron 26:29-32; Esth 6:10-11, 7:9-10; Dan 4:29-32; Acts 12:22-23).
However, verse 2 goes on to provoke our thoughts in the positive direction of the fruit born in the life of the humble person, and it is godly wisdom. The word used here for “humble” is a rare Hebrew word and carries the idea of one who has a submissive and modest spirit before God and man (Mic 6:8). Humility always brings its own satisfying reward from the Lord (15:33; 16:19; 22:4 cf. Lk 14:11 & Js 4:6) because it is driven by a teachable spirit that desperately seeks and needs the wisdom of God (Ps 25:9; Isa 66:2). Humility, at its most basic level, really is utter dependence on and delight in almighty God (Lk 22:41 cf.1 Pet 5:6). This not only gets to the heart of the gospel (Lk 14:25-33), but also to the core of the character of Christ who became nothing that God might be everything (Jn 5:30; 8:50; 17:4; Phil 2:1-11). Therefore, those who are utterly dependent on and satisfied with God will not put forth an unbalanced weight and rob people for personal gain (11:1), but will do all things for the glory of God because they understand that everything is from, for, and to the Lord (Rom 11:30-33). This humble dependence on God not only brings a deep wisdom from God but a peace in God that brings pure delight (Ps 16:1-11; Phil 4:4-9). As you contemplate this verse today, can you answer why submission is always the heart of humility? Why is it that the humble heart is never jealous or envious of others? Give three specific ways you are working on humility today by concentrating on the person and work of Christ (Rom 12:3; 2 Cor 8:9; Phil 2:1-11; Eph 2:1-10; 4:17-5:2; Col 3:1-4; 1 Pet 2:21-25; Heb 12:1-2)?