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Blog - Proverbs 3:8



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Proverbs 3:8

"It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." (Pro 3:8)


Being humble and "not wise in thine own eyes" (Pro 3:7) is good not only for the soul, but for the body as well. Pride, which is the opposite of humility, is detrimental to a man's inward man comprised of his soul and spirit. The following verses show the destructive nature of pride.

Pro 16:18 - Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Pro 18:12 - Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

Pro 29:23 - A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

When a man's spirit is wounded, it takes a toll on his physical health. The scripture says that "by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken" (Pro 15:13), and "a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Pro 17:22), and "heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop" (Pro 12:25). Thus, working through a broken spirit, pride can indirectly cause bodily maladies. David experienced this when he sinned against God and was too proud to confess it. Only after he acknowledged his sin to God was his health restored.

Psa 32:3-5 - When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

In addition to indirectly causing health trouble through a broken spirit, pride can also directly cause bodily affliction and even death through God's judgment of it. Nebuchadnezzar's pride caused him to lose his mind and be driven from civilization into the field to grovel around like a beast for seven times over until he was humbled (Dan 4:28-37). Haman's pride led to his own execution on a seventy-five foot gallows that he built to hang a man that refused to bow down to him (Est 7:9-10).

Conversely, just as pride can cause physical problems in a man, humility can foster good physical heath, which is the crux of the teaching of the verse under consideration. Humility will bring a man to honor (Pro 18:12) which shall uphold him (Pro 29:23). The Lord "giveth grace unto the humble" (Jam 4:6) and will "exalt [them] in due time" (1Pe 5:6). Being lifted up and brought to honour will cause a merry heart which "maketh a cheerful countenance" (Pro 15:13) and "doeth good like a medicine" (Pro 17:22). Whereas the broken spirit caused by pride "drieth the bones" (Pro 17:22), humility is "health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones" (Pro 3:8). Even when the humble man gets sick, his uplifted spirit "will sustain his infirmity" (Pro 18:14). While the haughty heart of the proud man is heading for destruction (Pro 18:12), the "sound heart" of the humble man "is the life of [his] flesh" (Pro 14:30).


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For the previous blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 3:7.
For the next blog in this series, click here: Proverbs 3:9.

For all the blogs in this series, click here: Proverbs Commentary.