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Proverbs teaches wisdom and humility

Columbia Biblical Studies: Monday, July 21
Columbia Biblical Studies: Monday, July 21
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Many of us have heard the saying, “Pride goeth before a fall.” Our parents may have reminded us of it whenever we celebrated an accomplishment by bragging or showing off a bit. It’s very hard for young children, to understand the problems associated with pride and the beauty of humility. Now, as adults, it still may be difficult to understand.

None of us likes people who are prideful. We do not enjoy listening to their achievements and hearing time and time again how wonderful talented, beautiful, wealthy or popular they are. Whether there is any truth in it or not, it does not a loving person make.

Yet humility is a virtue that can be learned and, with humility, often wisdom does come. Many of us are familiar with the words: None is as brave as he who stoops to conquer. How true this is! Sometimes the greatest acts are most significant if we stoop in humility.

Today’s verse is in a section of Proverbs believed by biblical scholars and commentators, to be from Solomon. This large section contains 375 of Solomon’s individual proverbs. They are in no apparent order, with only occasional grouping by subject, and are often without a context to quality their application.

Further study shows that the word pride is from a root meaning to boil or to run over, indicating an overwhelming arrogant attitude or behavior. It is used again of ordinary men in Deuteronomy, of kings in Nebuchadnezzar, of false prophets in Deuteronomy, and even of murderers in Exodus. This powerful phrase also appears in Micah: Walk humbly with your God.

This humble and teachable spirit is, first of all, directed toward God. Humility was the way of the disciples and the way of Jesus. Let it be our way as well, teaching us always to live with humility so that we might gain wisdom of the ways of God the Holy Spirit. Help us, ever, to not be prideful but to trust in the grace of God to grant us humility.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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