Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 16:19: “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”
The way “up” is “down.” No one will ever enter Heaven by self-elevation, but by lowliness of heart in serving the Lord. Jesus warned of seeking the best seats without earning the respect of others: “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: ‘When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, “Give place to this man,” and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, “Friend, go up higher.” Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:7-11).
“Dividing the spoil” is what is done by the proud, following a victory. Serving with the lowly means more than only counting the victories. Many World War II military veterans seem to recount more memories of their shared struggles with fellow-soldiers than they do the campaigns and victories.
Going to Heaven is not for the “proud,” and there will be no “spoil” to share. We must serve God on Earth before we can enjoy the blessedness of Heaven. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4). “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Being of “a humble spirit” will put one in the best company on Earth. The lowly Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in the last week of His life on earth (Matthew 21:1-9) in complete fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus invites all who will become lowly in heart to follow Him: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Christians are those who will follow the lowly Jesus: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). As Christians, we must conduct ourselves with the attitude of our Master: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.