4 Humility is the fear of the Lord;
its wages are riches and honor and life.
Why is it that we are repelled by vanity? That our natural response is to humble those whom we see as arrogant? Perhaps one reason is that we know such pride is false. The proud man thinks himself better than he is, he is out of touch with reality. We want only, unless we ourselves are proud, for him to take his proper place. This is the place of humility. If this is true between people, though we are equal in many ways, how much more is humility our proper attitude towards God?
We have elsewhere observed the connection between the fear of the Lord and wisdom, as one way to see wisdom is as knowledge in harmony with reality. If, in reality, we are accountable to a higher authority – it would be quite unwise to disregard him. While wisdom entreats us to acknowledge him, it is through humility that we come to know him. And “[the Lord] wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble – delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life.“
What is the outcome of relating properly to the Lord? Riches and honor and life. Are the proud ever content with what they have? Yet the humble are rich, though they may have less money than others, they have an abundance of satisfaction. While the proud demand our honor, they earn our contempt. It the selfless acts of the humility which we honor, we cannot help but admire such people. Finally, humility is rewarded with life. While the delusions of the proud must come to an end, those who know God have eternal life.