The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
Pride will ruin you. Thinking you are special is self-destructive. It does not matter if you are rich or strong, God Himself will take you down. You cannot resist or slow His judgment. But He will bless and protect the humble, even if they are widows or orphans.
Think proud Pharaoh. He mocked Moses, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go” (Ex 5:2). Where did he end up? At the bottom of the Red Sea. How about his oldest son? Lower than that. Where did the wealth of Egypt end up? In Israel’s pockets to build the LORD a temple.
Two midwives served Israel, Shiphrah and Puah. Pharaoh ordered them to kill all Hebrew boy babies. But they feared God, and did not kill the newborns, and lied to Pharaoh about it. What did the LORD do? Blessed them and built them houses (Ex 1:15-21). Who had his house destroyed? Pharaoh. Who had their houses established? The midwives.
Who is the LORD? This word with all capital letters stands for Jehovah, the living and true God of the Bible (Ex 6:3). Jehovah means I AM THAT I AM (Ex 3:14). There is no other being, real or imagined, that is anything in comparison to Him. If you are proud, thinking you are something, when you are nothing but His creature, you offend Him.
The LORD Jehovah will destroy the proud, so Solomon’s lesson by this proverb is to hate pride and choose humility instead. His proverb teaches you a character trait of the living God and a lesson for your success. No matter how many join your proud cause, this God will destroy you. Solomon wrote, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” (Pr 16:5). Believe it.
Think Alexander the Great. Was he one of the best military commanders in history? Yes. Did he defeat all enemies by his early thirties and conquer the world? Yes. Did he have the means and many decades to live to implement his plans? Yes. But what happened? His pride caused God Jehovah to destroy him at 33 and his entire family. He should have thought more carefully about his title of great, since it was God that had blessed him so.
Pride brings the LORD’s destruction, regardless of popularity, strength, or wealth. Humility brings His blessing, regardless of disrespect, poverty, or weakness. God loves to rescue the helpless, and He loves to destroy those who take confidence in themselves and their own power (Deut 10:17-18; Job 40:9-14; Ps 18:27; 146:9; Luke 1:51-53). This basic rule about humility or pride is repeated in Proverbs (Pr 16:18; 17:19; 18:12; 29:23). If you voluntarily get down, the great God Jehovah will lift you up (I Pet 5:6; Jas 4:10).
The LORD hates pride. He cannot stand a man thinking he is something, when he is nothing. A man lies to himself with such thoughts (Gal 6:3). Anything a man is or has was God’s gift; and he should not glory in it, as if he accomplished anything himself (I Cor 4:7). Not only will God destroy the proud man, but He will also destroy his house – his family and estate, which he vainly thought would endure to all generations (Ps 49:11).
God cast Lucifer out of heaven for pride (Is 14:14; I Tim 3:6; Jude 1:6). He crushed the great King Nebuchadnezzar and left him crawling for seven years (Dan 4:25; 5:20); He had Haman and his ten sons hung on his own gallows (Esth 7:10; 9:14). Where is Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich that would last a thousand years? What happened to Mao Zedong and his Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution? God will not be mocked.
The LORD loves humility. He will bless the man who trembles before Him (Is 57:15; 66:2). He loves to take a beggar from a dunghill and set him among princes to inherit the throne of glory, as Hannah gloriously described in her exceptional prayer (I Sam 2:1-10). He is the Protector of all orphans and widows (Ps 10:14,18; 68:5). The very idea of altering a widow’s property boundaries is fatal folly (Pr 22:22-23; 23:10-11).
Hear David write about this defender of widows and orphans, “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation” (Ps 68:4-5). You better be humble and kind to widows to survive yourself.
God sent Elijah to preserve the starving widow of Zarephath (I Kgs 17:8-16; Luke 4:25-26). He sent Elisha to save another widow from her creditor (II Kgs 4:1-7). Consider Naomi, whose borders were confirmed and male descendants included David and Jesus (Ruth 4:14-17). Consider the short history of the Shunamite’s borders (II Kgs 8:1-6).
The LORD says, “Let thy widows trust in me” (Jer 49:11). The New Testament, with its doctrine and strictness, takes special notice and care of widows (Matt 23:14; Luke 2:36-38; 7:11-18; 21:1-4; Jn 19:26-27; Acts 6:1-7; 9:36-41; I Tim 5:3-10; Jas 1:27). Wisdom for your success and honor by this proverb is to be humble and modest like a widow.
Christian, your situation is never bleak. Let the world mock you for your humble and modest approach to life and blessings. Your Deliverer and Friend is mighty to save (Is 63:1-6). He will never forsake you; what can man do to you (Heb 13:5-6)? Your borders will soon be as sure and evident as those of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:22-26).
The proud Roman Church boasts of great antiquity and that she will sit a queen forever, with no fear of widowhood or sorrow. But God shall destroy her with death, mourning, famine, and fire in a day (Rev 18:1-8). At the same time the little flock of Jesus, to which the Father gave the kingdom, had her borders established securely against Rome’s attacks (Luke 12:32; Rev 12:14-17). The LORD is with her to the end of the world (Matt 28:20).