Proverbs 15:33 (ESV), “The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
Solomon gives two important principles in today’s proverb with their positive outcomes. First, he mentions that, “the fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom.” The “fear of the Lord” means to, “honor and respect God as the Judge of all the earth, knowing that everyone will give an account of their life before Him.” When a person truly fears God they will have the instruction of wisdom in all that they do. Wisdom is, “the application of knowledge.” As a result, when we fear the Lord, God promises that we’ll have all the wisdom we need to be successful.
Second, Solomon writes, “humility comes before honor.” Humility means, “to be respectful and aware of one’s position in life.” In other words, when a person understands their place with God is as a child with a Father and respectfully follows God’s ways, he or she will be honored in life. Honor is what other people give you when they see something in your life worthy of respect. God desires you to be respected and looked up to by people in your life not because you’re rich and famous, but because you’re humble before God and man.
Humility is crucial in your walk with God. Without humility you cannot fear the Lord because pride will not let you. And without the fear of the Lord you cannot operate in God’s wisdom. If a disciple doesn’t have humility their pride will cause them to fall from the grace of God just like Satan and Adam did. Yet, when we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand there is no devil that can cast us down.
Peter said, “‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6). As Christ’s disciples, we must ask God to remove any pride from our lives so that we can humbly be led by the Holy Spirit.
Augustine wrote, “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” Therefore, the choice is yours; if you desire to be given wisdom and honor from God, then humbly walk in the fear of the Lord.
- Ask God to reveal any pride that may be in your life.
- Walk humbly before the Lord as a child with his or her father.
- When God honors you before people, never forget how you got there.