Humility Goes Before Honor


Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. (Proverbs 18:12)

What Does Proverbs Say About Honor?

Honor first belongs to Yahweh (Prov. 3:9). One honors Yahweh by giving to His service from one’s wealth (Prov. 3:9), and by being gracious to the needy (Prov. 14:31). The general result of honoring Yahweh is God-given prosperity—filled barns and overflowing vats (Prov. 3:10) and repayment from Yahweh of what was loaned to Him in giving to the poor (Prov. 19:17).

Those who receive honor are wise men (Prov. 3:35), ones who embrace wisdom (Prov. 4:8), a gracious woman (Prov. 11:16), ones who heed reproof (Prov. 13:18), the humble (Prov. 15:33; 18:12), the ones who fear Yahweh (Prov. 22:4), one who guards his master (Prov. 27:18), and one who is lowly in spirit (Prov. 29:23).

Honor is obtained by embracing wisdom (Prov. 3:16; 4:8), through humility (Prov. 15:13; 18:12; 29:23), by avoiding strife (Prov. 20:3), by pursuing righteousness and kindness (Prov. 21:21), and by fearing Yahweh (Prov. 22:4). Those who would retain honor keep far from the immoral woman (5:9 KJV).

The concomitant rewards of honor are life (Prov. 21:21), long life (Prov. 3:16; 22:4), riches (Prov. 3:16; 22:4), and wealth (Prov. 8:18).

Honor comes from Yahweh (Prov. 22:4) and personified wisdom (Prov. 3:16; 4:8; 8:18).

What Does This Mean For Me?

The pursuit of honor as enjoined by Proverbs is the antithesis of the pathway laid down by the world: conquest, power, influence, name recognition. The path to honor runs down first through a humility which recognizes that all I have belongs to Yahweh and that He is the judge of all I do. It clings close to the stream of consciousness that Yahweh is ever-present, and turn hard away from all evil. The righteous drumbeat of Yahweh’s word defines the march of those in pursuit of honor on Yahweh’s way.

The path to honor runs down first through a humility which recognizes that all I have belongs to Yahweh and that He is the judge of all I do.

Lord Jesus, you are the ultimate example of humility going before honor. You had the glory of heaven—the honor deserved by the Trinity—but you humbled yourself for 33 years. Now you have been exalted above every name that is named. I worship you this morning! I gladly declare your worthiness—worthy to receive power, glory, wisdom and strength, honor, and blessing. Guard me from haughtiness and strengthen humility in me.

You want your children to desire honor, so you show us its pathway: humility, righteousness, and loyalty (Prov. 21:21). The chief honor that You want us to desire is Yours. Yahweh, I desire to honor You today and pursue the honor which comes from You in all I think, say and do. I purpose to follow hard after wisdom, righteousness, humility and fearing You. Thank you for the encouragements that You offer in the path of righteousness.



Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.

Philip Brown
Philip Brown
Dr. Philip Brown is Graduate Program Director and Professor at God's Bible School & College. He holds a PhD in Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University and is the author of A Reader's Hebrew Bible (Zondervan Academic, 2008).