Chapter 16 has a lot of from the Lord; but the Lord; to the Lord; or in the Lord. The rich, the poor, the wicked, the just, fools, wise, truth, or false — all are spoken of here. Lots of living is covered. The lazy sleep so soundly they go hungry (Prov. 19:15) and some are so lazy they won't lift a finger to feed themselves (19:24). We're told if we stop listening to instruction we've turned our back on knowledge (19:20,27).
No one is naturally humble. Our human nature is permeated with pride passed down from Adam; only the indwelling Christ can develop true humility in our lives. This will manifest itself in kindness toward the unkind, long-suffering toward those who annoy us, and love toward our enemies. How inconsistent it is to think we have "humbly given ourselves to Christ" if we snub or react harshly to anyone.
The Lord leads us to see the end result of pride and false humility: Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud (Prov. 16:18-19).
It is natural to think of ourselves as humble, at least more humble than others. But humility, or a lack of it, is apparent by our attitude when we are with someone who irritates us. If our replies are expressed in an unkind way, either outwardly in our words or actions or inwardly in our thoughts, then our "humility" is not real; it is merely a pious mask.
Knowing the destructive power of pride, let us look upon people who seem difficult to love as those chosen by God to provide us the opportunity to rid ourselves of self-righteousness, to express Christlike humility and the love of God.
Humble people will feel no jealousy or envy when they are ignored while others are praised. God reminds us: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (pride, empty conceit); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Phil. 2:3).
The Christlike nature of a Christian moves him to not respond with a sharp, unfriendly attitude when differences of opinion exist. Personal views often create ill will. We are admonished: Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (opinions) (Rom. 12:16).
To be Christlike is to see others through the eyes of Jesus and to consider all people equally, regardless of their race, position, abilities, or wealth, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
Thought for Today:
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is His delight (Prov. 15:8).
As the One who punishes the proud (Prov. 16:5). Jesus said: Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased (humbled); and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11). As the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24), Jesus is our Friend (John 15:14-15) and will never leave (us), nor forsake (us) (Heb. 13:5).
16:2 spirits =b> motives; 16:8 without right =b> dishonestly gained; 17:18 striketh hands . . . surety =b> gives a pledge to be responsible for his neighbor's debts; 18:2 discover itself =b> express itself; 18:3 with ignominy reproach =b> with dishonor and disgrace; 19:3 fretteth =b> is resentful; 19:7 they are wanting to him =b> they abandon him; 19:13 a continual dropping =b> an unending irritation.
Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Charlie Crist (FL) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO) • Country: Spain (39.6 million) in southwestern Europe • Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan • Limited religious freedom • 85% Roman Catholicism; 1% Islam; .5% Protestant; .5% Jehovah's Witness; 13% Other (Mormon, Jewish, Secular Humanist) • Prayer Suggestion: Glorify God who is able to use national leaders to accomplish His purposes (Ezra 7:27-28).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 1
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:9