The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility. – Proverbs 15:33
Here we have another nugget of wisdom from the son of David, blessed by God with great wisdom and understanding. He tells us to revere God, which instructs us in wisdom. However, he notes that humility must be the first thing we learn before God can ever honor us.
The apostle Peter teaches us the same thing from the NT and confirms this witness of God as a second voice to Solomon. In his first letter that we have in the canon of scripture, Peter says, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).
When Peter tells the younger men to be respectful of their elders, he tells them to be wise in learning from the aged, who have been there and done that. We know it by a more modern phrase, “learn from others mistakes.” Why? Because another modern axiom states that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Isn’t there wisdom in learning from others’ past mistakes in order to avoid our repeating them and suffering from them likewise?
Notice, too, that Peter tells us to humble ourselves under the hand of God, so that in due time he will raise us up. This is identical to Solomon’s teaching that “before honor comes humility.” You will never experience God’s honoring you if you live in pride and walk according to your understanding. Solomon teaches elsewhere that pride comes before destruction and arrogance before a fall. You will fall walking in pride. It is the very same trap that caused Lucifer to abdicate his elevated position as the head angel of heaven. If the once mighty archangel can fall because of prided, how much more us less powerful humans? Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever we sow, we will reap.
Father, thank you for being who you are. You are mightier than the mightiest, stronger than the strongest, greater than the greatest, and Lord of all! You teach us through the prophet Micah to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before you. These are the things you require of your people. When we do what’s right, we show our love for you. When we show mercy to those in need, we demonstrate your love in action. When we humble ourselves before you, we imitate Jesus’ obedience even to the death of the cross. You raised him from the dead at the proper time after three days and later seated him at your right hand, the place of power and honor. I, too, want to walk in meekness before you that you may raise me up into heaven at the right time or even to a place of honor in this life if that is your choosing. I am learning to be content in all things and wherever you send me. I Love you and want only your will to be done in my life, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.