We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.”
“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.”
Tell me if you’ve heard any of these quotes before:
“What comes around goes around.”
“You get what you pay for.”
“Do good things and good things will come your way.”
Or my favorite: “You started it.” -Karma
When we approach the Bible we often come to it with expectations that it’s some sort of cosmic rulebook that promises to deliver the “good life”. Where the Bible doesn’t promise us the good life, it does point us to the Good Life Giver. In our own efforts to define the rules of the Bible and to get it to do what we want it to do, we create our own understanding of who God is rather than what he has meant for us to understand about Himself. In our best attempt at being a “good person” we can still fall short of what God actually desires for the good of our lives.
Our presumption that the Bible is a book of do’s and don’t’s often comes from the book of Proverbs because of its list of moral one-liners. Usually we can identify a morally good and morally bad choice in each of the sayings in Proverbs when we read them. In Proverbs 11:2, we can clearly see two opposing actions, pride and humility. Obviously we don’t want the disgrace that comes with pride so we would naturally lean more into humility to be the good and noble choice in this quote. Unfortunately, when we consider ourselves on the positive end of the proverbs as we often do, we misinterpret what the benefits actually holds for those who choose good.
It says that, “with humility comes wisdom.”
In the Hebrew that word for wisdom often gets translated as ḥāḵmâ (pronounced khok-maw). It’s as much the intellectual knowledge that we have as well as our artistry and craft. Wisdom is proven when it is put to work in developing the skills of making a good life. However, before we think to just operate in the wisdom of our own opinion, we must know that wisdom isn’t just an impersonal force. Wisdom is an attribute of God Himself. The true benefit in following the wisdom of humility is to follow in the wisdom of God.
Proverbs 22:4 tells us that humility is ‘the fear of the Lord’ in which the ancient writers of the Bible knew as the healthy respect for God’s definition of good and evil. Humility reveals it’s fruit when our lives reflect a trusting relationship with God and the boundary lines he has placed in our lives. We can humbly look to the Bible to learn more about the Giver of Life because his wisdom leads to true riches. Where we can surely benefit from the wisdom of humility outside of God we’ll never be fulfilled in the true benefit of knowing Him.
God, thank you for revealing your wisdom to me through your word. I want to trust that the boundary lines of your ways will lead to my good. Give me the humility to let go of my own expectations of what life should be and to learn what true life can be living for you. Amen.
How have you interpreted the Bible? Here’s a great video on how to read the Bible as it was meant to be as a unifying story that leads to Jesus: https://youtu.be/7_CGP-12AE0
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