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Scorn for the Scornful, Grace for the Humble

By Bob Hoekstra

      Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
      The scriptures emphasize the Lord's commitment to pour out grace upon those who walk in humility, while opposing the path of those who walk in pride. "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' . . . Be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' . . . Though the LORD is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar" (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; and Psalm 138:6). In our present verse we have another pointed example. "Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble."

      It is an absolute certainty that the Lord will scorn the scornful. "Surely He scorns the scornful." The scornful person shows arrogant disregard for the Lord and His righteous ways. He is a mocker of godliness and a boaster in wickedness. The Lord will assuredly scorn such people. He will treat them with a holy disdain. He will reject their path with holy contempt.

      For so many of us who have a heart for the Lord, walking scornfully before the Lord is not a likely threat. However, somewhat related attitudes may become a part of our walk (even inadvertently). Pride and haughtiness are two of the most common, and most deadly. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). These companion evils could both be summarized as self-exaltation. Such an approach to life always results in devastating downfalls. These attitudes and their consequences are most fully illustrated by the history of the devil himself. Before he became the ultimate rebel against God, he was a magnificent, privileged angelic being. "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God . . . You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." (Ezekiel 28:14-15). This iniquity that developed was self-exaltation. "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! . . . For you have said in your heart: . . . I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:12-14). This haughty exalting of self brought a disastrous fall, which will end up forever in hell itself.

      May we daily chose to walk with God's humble saints, refusing to join the ranks of the proud, with their self-advancing schemes. "Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud" (Proverbs 16:19).

      Lord God Most High, I repent of the times that I have exalted myself in word or deed or attitude. I renounce the prideful path of self-advancing humanity. I want to identify with Your humble saints, looking to You to shape and use our lives through Your abounding grace, Amen.

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