Proverbs 3:34 (God Scorns the Scorners)

  • By Pastor Chad Wagner
  • on Tuesday, November 9, 2021
If you like this blog, then you will like Get Wisdom, Get Understanding which is Pastor Wagner's commentary series on the book of Proverbs which is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Find out more here. For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary. Proverbs 3:34 "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." (Pro 3:34)
God shows mercy to those who have a low opinion of themselves, but He derides those who proudly scoff at Him. Surely he scorneth the scorners. To scorn is "to speak or behave contemptuously; to use derisive language, jeer" (OED). A scorner is "one who scorns, derides, mocks or contemns; esp. one who scoffs at religion" (OED). God scorneth the scorners: in other words He is contemptuous of those that are contemptuous of Him. Skeptics may laugh at God, but He will always get the last laugh, just as He did when the wicked conspired to murder the Son of God, as it is written, "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision" (Psa 2:4). Lest a scoffer think that he will evade God's scorning sneer, let him remember that the scripture says that the Almighty surely scorneth the scorner: it is a guarantee. The LORD responds to sinners in kind: with the froward He shows Himself froward.

Psa 18:26 - With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

As an example, Eli's sons had corrupted the priesthood by taking part of the sacrifices, including the fat, for themselves (1Sa 2:12-16), fornicating with the women of Israel who came to worship at the tabernacle (1Sa 2:22), and making themselves vile (1Sa 3:13). So corrupt were they that "men abhorred the offering of the LORD" (1Sa 2:17). The sons of Eli mocked the religion of God, and therefore God lightly esteemed them and later killed them (1Sa 2:34).

1Sa 2:30 - Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

When men scorn at God's reproof and disregard His commandments, He mocks them when trouble comes.

Pro 1:22-26 - How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

James and Peter quoted the verse under consideration (Pro 3:34) and rendered it, "God resisteth the proud" (Jam 4:6; 1Pe 5:5). One can see why the Holy Spirit inspired the apostles to render the verse the way they did, since it is well known that scorners are proud people.

Pro 21:24 - Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath. Psa 123:4 - Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

God both resists and scorns such sinners who think highly of themselves and speak contemptuously of Him. But he giveth grace unto the lowly. Whereas God resists and scorns proud scorners, He gives grace to the lowly and humble (Pro 3:34 c/w Jam 4:6). A lowly man is one who is "humble in feeling or demeanour; not proud or ambitious" (OED). Humble is "having a low estimate of one's importance, worthiness, or merits; marked by the absence of self-assertion or self-exaltation; lowly: the opposite of proud" (OED). And grace is "favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation (now only on the part of a superior); favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession" (OED). God shows favour and goodwill to the those who have a low estimation of their own worthiness and importance, and He lifts up those that humble themselves.

Jas 4:10 - Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 1Pe 5:6 - Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

The path to exaltation is not found in self-promotion and self-centeredness, but in humility and faith in God.
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