Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
There is a generation of lowly afflicted ones, having their spirit lowered and brought down to their lot, whose case, in that respect, is better than that of the proud getting their will, and carrying all to their mind.
1. There is a generation of lowly afflicted ones in the world, as bad as the world is. They are in this world, where the state of trial is.
2. If it were not so, Christ, as He was in the world, would have no followers in it.
3. Nevertheless, they are very rare in this world. Many a high-bonded spirit keeps on the bend in spite of lowering circumstances.
4. They can be no more in number than the truly godly. To bring the spirit truly to a low and crossed lot must be the effect of humbling grace.
5. A lowly disposition of soul, and habitual aim and bent of the heart that way, has a very favourable construction put upon it in heaven. Enter into particulars of the character of the lowly. There is a yoke of affliction, of one kind or other, oftentimes upon them. There is a particular yoke of affliction, which God has chosen for them, that hangs about them, and is seldom, if ever, off them. That is their special trial, the crook in their lot. They think soberly and meanly of themselves, but highly and honourably of God. They think favourably of others, as far as in justice they may. They are sunk down into a state of subordination to God's will. They are not bent on high things, but disposed to stoop to low things. They are apt to magnify mercies bestowed on them.Consider the generation of the proud, getting their will, and carrying all to their mind.
1. There are crosses in their lot. Sin has turned the world from a paradise to a thicket; there is no getting through without being scratched. The pride of the heart exposes them particularly to crosses. They have an over-value for themselves. Men are bigger in their own conceit than they are indeed. They have an unmortified self-will. They have a crowd of unsubdued passions taking part with the self-will. But a holy God crosses the self-will of the proud creatures by His providence, over-ruling and disposing of things contrary to their inclination. Getting their will, and carrying all to their mind, tells of holy Providence yielding to the man's unmortified self-will, and letting it go according to his mind; it tells also of the lust remaining in its strength and vigour; of the cross removed; and of the man's pleasure in having carried his point.Confirm the doctrine of the text, that the case of the former is better than that of the latter.
1. Humility is a piece of the image of God. Pride is the masterpiece of the image of the devil.
2. Humility and lowliness of spirit qualify us for friendly communion and intercourse with God in Christ. Pride makes God our enemy.
3. Humility is a duty pleasing to God, pride a sin pleasing to the devil. Those whose spirits are brought down to their afflicted lot have quiet and repose of mind. This is a great blessing, upon which the comfort of life depends. Our whole trouble in our lot ariseth from the disagreement of our mind therewith. The proud can but make a better condition in outward things; but humility makes a better man; and the man is more valuable than all external conveniences that attend him.
Parallel VersesKJV: Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.