Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Humility Versus Pride
A Song of degrees of David
“LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.” (Psalm 131:1-3)
Huughty is a word we don’t use much but it refers to being proud and showing disdain, scorn or contempt for others. In our modern world, pride is considered a good thing, Proverbs 16:5 warns, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” God finds pride disgusting, and will punish it, as Isaiah 10:33 makes very clear. “Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.” As a result, Proverbs 16:19 tells us, “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
David makes it clear he does not think he is better or smarter than other. Foolish people become proud and think they have all the answers. Proverbs 14:3 tells us, “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride…” Rather than considering what others think they get angry when their ideas are questioned. Proverbs 14:16-17 advises, “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly…” Their pride will not let them consider any other opinion, and it is a waste of time arguing with them, as Proverbs 29:9 says. “If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.” Proverbs 26:12 warns, that there is little hope for a person with so much pride. “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.” There is nothing one can do to force such a person to change his mind. Proverbs 27;22 tells us, “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.”
Made a point of not trying to fix things until he fully understood them and what was needed. He realized how arrogant and foolish it was to try to solve a problem without adequate information. Proverbs 18:13 warns, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” David was like a little child who had just grown enough o not need the bottle any more. Knowing he didn’t know everything he sought to learn as much as possible, experimenting to see what happened when he took an action, rather than committing to something that wouldn’t work. He respected God’s knowledge and wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Because he understood that God made things to work in a particular manner, he tried to find out what God planned. As Proverbs 15:14 tells us, “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” The humble wise person doesn’t just depend on their own ideas. Proverbs 28:26 advises, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” David trusted in the Lord, and wanted Israel to do the same.
The difference between a great leader such as David and most politicians is his trust in God rather than in his pride.