“Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4
What things do you always carry with you? My stock answer has always been: my Bible, my ball, and my best playing shoes. 😉 Today’s text introduces two more ‘must adds’. They’re so simple but crucial. They’re small but they don’t always fit so easily. In fact, some think they won’t fit, don’t fit, can’t fit, so they often stay left behind. But without them God says it’s about impossible to experience what we really hope for in life.
God says that there are just two things that bring the big things we all look for: wealth, honor and life. Only one pair can deliver this trifecta. Nothing else can…for very long.
What brings real wealth, honor, and life is humility and the fear of the LORD. Humility keeps our powerful urges for control, approval and comfort from taking over and messing things up. Humility helps us trust the process, trust God. Then ‘Fear of the LORD’ brings us to where our needs for control, approval and comfort are best met. Without humility and the fear of the Lord our pursuit of wealth, honor and life can never bring us the control, approval and comfort we really long for. Only two things, humility and the fear of the Lord can.
LORD, make it very clear to us that the only real, sustainable way to wealth, honor and life is found through humility and the fear of the Lord. Don’t let us look for it any other way. Only two things deliver.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Bonus Coverage: 5 extending footnotes
that define this verse’s 5 terms:
• WEALTH brings power and control. Thats why we want it. That’s the endgame. True wealth brings freedom from control and freedom to control. True wealth never brings slavery. Wealth = Control
• HONOR signals approval, recognition, the feeling of accomplishment we get when others believe we’re great, have value or make a real difference. Audience matters. ‘Audience of One’ matters more. Honor = Approval
• LIFE seeks satisfaction, a sense of contentment and fulfillment that a life well lived brings. Life = Satisfaction
• HUMILITY brings a correct view of self. It’s not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less. Gotta have this to live on well. Humility = Seeing Self Straight
• FEAR OF THE LORD’ simply means a proper view of God, seeing God for who He really is. Fear of the LORD = Seeing God Straight