Proverbs 22:4: By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
Pride leads to shame and destruction, but righteous humility receives honour from the Almighty. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Don’t think you “know it all,” for you need God.
Only the LORD can give so much wisdom with such great promises in fourteen words. Praise His glorious name! And thank Him for the opportunity of learning this secret of the living and true God. The world stumbles on in educated ignorance, wondering why they are so poor, despised, and dysfunctional! They will never know this wisdom. Glory!
Here are two conditions for three blessings. A wise man will grasp each of the five aspects of this simple and direct proverb. Neglecting an inspired jewel like this is self-deceit and self-hate, for the blessings are great and the conditions easy. Humble yourself before your Creator, and reject every idea you have contrary to the wisdom before you.
Humility is the first condition. It is thinking lowly of yourself. It admits you are a sinner, do not have all the answers, and without God’s help cannot do anything well or right. It is proven by taking correction, saying you are sorry, avoiding public praise, serving others quietly, being reserved publicly, never talking about yourself, and praising others.
The fear of the LORD is the other condition. This is reverently seeking to honour God in all you do. Such a man does everything possible to obey and please the LORD, and He avoids anything to dishonour Him as much as possible. You can recognize it by the desire a man has for preaching, the Bible, and righteousness, and how much he hates sin (Pr 8:13).
Riches are the first blessing. Sometimes these are financial blessings, but they are often other things as well. There are many natural things greater than money in the bank to everyone but greedy misers (Pr 15:17; 16:8; 17:1). Spiritual blessings here and hereafter are also included. If you are disappointed or unmoved by heavenly riches, you have neither humility nor the fear of the Lord, and you do not understand real wealth (Luke 16:11).
Honour is the second blessing. A humble man who fears the LORD will grow in favour with God and men (Luke 2:52). The blessed God honours those who honour Him (I Sam 2:30; Jas 4:10). A man who fears the LORD will be honoured by others, for his conduct will be gracious and righteous (Pr 18:12; 22:11). Men will want to be his friend, and he will be lifted up from among other men by these two excellent and exceptional traits.
Life is the third blessing. The senses in which life is meant here include things that cannot be described (I Cor 2:9). But Scripture does mention an abundant life, a good life, a joyful life, a peaceful life, a productive life, an extended life, and eternal life. And both here and hereafter will be spent with God Himself as your friend (Gen 15:1; Ex 33:11).