“The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.”
Here we have an example of two opposites: the proud who takes care of everything himself, and the poor, defenseless widow.
What Does God Think?
Well, first of all, God doesn’t think too highly of the proud, nor does He care too much for his mansion on the lake. God hates pride (Prov. 6: 16-17a), and He has holds no respect for what man builds in arrogance. Speaking of a man who built impressive new barns thought to guarantee his retirement, Jesus said, “Thou fool” (Luke 12:20).
“Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the LORD will be exalted…” – Isaiah 2:11 NLT
On the other hand, God cares about the widow. Actually, He cares a whole lot about widows, orphans, the helpless, and especially those who are taken advantage of. Don’t believe me? Read what He told Moses…
“Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” – Exodus 22:22-24
What Makes them Opposites?
What we have here in this verse is a comparison between the one who thinks nobody can touch his stuff and the one who does her best to keep what she has. The proud sits all snug in his castle, while the widow goes to sleep wondering if her property line will be the same in the morning.
The proud is the self-sufficient one who has everything in control and doesn’t need God. His house is secure, along with the inheritance he plans to pass on to his proud, snotty children.
The widow is the helpless woman whose land, left to her by her loving husband, is at risk of being stolen. All she has as proof of her property line are the stone markers set in the ground. Now that her husband is gone, she struggles with those who try to move them when she’s not looking.
What Does the Lord Have to Say?
The Lord has a message for both the widow and the proud. To the widow he says, “Don’t worry, dear. I will take the stones that mark your boundaries and “establish” them (natsab, to set firmly in place). Not even dynamite will budge them.”
To the proud the Lord says, “I will be exalted, not the idol of a house you have built for yourself. You think you have everything figured out, don’t you? Well, guess what? I am going to pluck your house out of the ground (“destroy” is the Hebrew word nacach, meaning “to pluck out”) like you tried to do to that poor widow’s property line.”
We should never forget that God is always watching, examining our motives, and able to intervene at any time.
The proud are the most vulnerable, while the humble are protected.
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