Coping with Life 33 – Arrogance/Haughtiness

Coping with Life 33 – Arrogance/Haughtiness

Mike Willis


Solomon wrote that there seven things that the Lord abhors; at the top of the list is “haughty eyes” (Prov. 6:17). The Hebrew word (rûm) has many legitimate uses to describe things raised up, but it is used metaphorically to describe “arrogance”: haughty (2 Sam. 22:28); haughty eyes (Psa. 18:28; Prov. 6:17); upraised arm (Job 38:15). A willful and defiant sinful act is one committed “with upraised hand” meaning “deliberately, a conscious and willed transgression of the law” (HALOT, 1203).


“But the person who does anything WITH A HIGH HAND, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people” (Num. 15:30). This pictures man as a defiant sinner who doubles his fist in the face of God and “NO! I will do not what you command!”


“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Prov. 16:5).


“The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate” (Prov. 8:13).


“‘Scoffer’ is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride” (Prov. 21:24).


Speaking of the proud king of Babylon, Isaiah wrote, “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless” (Isa. 13:11).


A proud man will not bend his will, to submit himself, to the will of God. Whereas Jesus said to God, “not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39), the proud man shouts, “I am going to do it my way!” James instructed Christians saying, “Submit yourselves therefore to God” (Jas. 4:7).


A proud person will have trouble admitting his need of God’s grace. To admit his need of grace, the proud person has to admit that he has sinned and is unable to save himself. One of the first things listed by Matthew in Jesus’s teaching is this: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is he kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).


Solomon wrote, “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor” (Prov. 3:34). The verse was quoted twice in the New Testament: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5). What can you expect to receive from God—opposition or grace?