Proverbs 15:33

ESV The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
NIV Wisdom's instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor.
NASB The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.
CSB The fear of the Lord is what wisdom teaches, and humility comes before honor.
NLT Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
KJV The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

What does Proverbs 15:33 mean?

By reverencing the Lord, a person gains wisdom (Proverbs 1:7), but he must humble himself to gain that wisdom. He willingly acknowledges his reliance on the Lord for wisdom, and he humbly obeys the Lord's instructions (Proverbs 3:34; 11:2). A person cannot start from an attitude of arrogance and expect to earn honor.

James insists that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). When Jesus entered the home of Mary and Martha, Mary sat humbly at His feet and listened to His teaching (Luke 10:39). When her sister Martha complained that Mary wasn't helping her serve, Jesus said, "But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42).

Serving Jesus through our deeds is good, but humbly receiving His instruction is better and necessary. God will exalt everyone who humbles themselves before Him. Luke 18:14 promises that "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Jesus assured His disciples that prominence in His kingdom is based on humble service on behalf of others. He said, "Whoever would be first among you must be slave of all" (Mark 10:44). Jesus humbled Himself by becoming a man and dying on the cross for us (Philippians 2:7–8). "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name" (Philippians 2:9).
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