Disclaimer: I read this verse as part of my quiet time this morning using a New King James Version of the Bible. Other versions and interpretations may use different phrasing. However, the Lord used this version and interpretation to make me dig deeper and learn. Feel free to share your knowledge, interpretation, and opinion in the comments section! I would love to hear from you.
“Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.” (NKJV)
I find this verse interesting because the way it is phrased makes it a contrast. The Lord is contrasting scornful and humble as if they are opposites. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of the opposite of humble, I think of prideful. However, the term “scornful” is used… let’s take a look:
“full of scorn” (www.Merriam-Webster.com)
Wow… enlightening, Merriam-Webster… thanks for that. Let’s check out “scorn” from the same website:
“open dislike and disrespect or derision often mixed with indignation; an expression of contempt or derision; an object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision: something contemptible”
Interesting. Basically, in my interpretation, God is saying that if you are the type of person who is constantly disrespecting other people and getting indignant and full of contempt over things that you deem not good enough, that stems from a heart filled with pride and, for that, you will be scorned by God (who is the only one who can truly, purely scorn others because He is perfect).
So it does go back to pride. But I love that the Bible takes it to a level of pride in action: scornfulness.
So then, it makes sense that God, in turn, says He will give “grace to the humble” because grace is the exact opposite of what scornful people give to others.
So there you have it: my two cents on Proverbs 3:34 from the New King James Version. By the way, y’all, if you haven’t read Proverbs 3 in a while, flip open to it ASAP. And just highlight the whole thing. And write it out on a piece of paper. And tape that paper to your bathroom mirror or something. Yeah, it is that good.