“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”
This Proverb uses a different Hebrew word for “pride.” It is ga’awah, and it means to be prideful, arrogant, and enraged. The word was used to describe the ocean when it is agitated by a storm and the waters are raging.
Arrogant pride, then, is like an out-of-control ego growing in our hearts, and it can cause us to be resentful and angry at others who do not seem to see us the way we want to be seen. The danger, of course, is that when we embrace this kind of over-inflated view of ourselves, we are on the verge of being knocked down by reality. That is the warning of this proverb.
The idea of being “brought low” is taken from a Hebrew word that means to humiliate or to bring down. It speaks of something that is sinking down. The word was used to describe the felling of trees. That paints quite a vivid picture, does it not? If you have ever seen a tree come crashing down, that is what this verse means by being brought low.
Chapter 16 of the book of Proverbs also gives us instruction and warning about pride: “The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; whoever guards his way preserves his life. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16.17-18)
This is the principle of two paths: one path leading to life and the other path leading to destruction. This verse uses the metaphor of “the highway.” The wise person is humble and pays attention to the path he is on. He is careful to “guard his way,” thereby preserving his life. He takes the highway that bypasses evil.
The foolish person is arrogant and careless about what path he takes. He travels a highway that leads to wrong places and associates with people who do wrong things. But because the fool is arrogant and self-centered, he doesn’t see the danger of the path he is on. He is blinded by his arrogance. Destruction is coming, but he doesn’t see it. He is self-deceived.
A few verses later, Solomon says this: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 16.25). When we arrogantly and pridefully reject God’s truth, when we insist on going our own way, we are actually headed toward death.
Be humble and trust God. Walk on the good path.
The Lord is calling.