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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 30:21-23: “For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: 22 For a servant when he reigns, A fool when he is filled with food, 23 A hateful woman when she is married, And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.”
These are trouble-makers in any society, for these demonstrate a lack of essential qualities of humanity.
1) “A servant when he reigns” will have too many scores to settle! Those souls who begin their journey at the bottom of the scale, and revolt themselves to the “ruling class,” become the most merciless tyrants history has ever seen. Do the names Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao tse-Tung, ad nauseum, come to mind? People who believe their ancestors suffered slavery, but they must exact revenge for it, will justify their own looting, killing, and hatred because of this attitude. Learn a lesson from Zimri in 1 Kings 16:8-20.
2) “A fool when he is filled with food” doesn’t realize from where his food has come! A “fool” doesn’t appreciate or obey God, and since God Almighty is the source of all blessings (James 1:17), humility and thanksgiving are left out of this person’s character. Aptly-named “Nabal” illustrates this when we read 1 Samuel 25:2-42.
3) “A hateful woman when she is married” will only use her marriage to accomplish her wicked ways. Jezebel comes to mind, for she married Ahab and used his power for her own purposes (1 Kings 16:29-34; 18:4, 16-19, 20-40; 19:1-3; 21:1-16). A woman with spiteful intent will be the same whether married or not!
4) “A maidservant who succeeds her mistress,” whether by the mistress’s death, divorce, or husband’s adultery with the maid, the mistress has suddenly achieved “success” without following the proper channels! Hagar (Genesis 16:1-6) illustrates this attitude, and her son, Ishmael, has marked the people who claim to have sprung from his family (Genesis 16:7-16).
The general command of God that will change these people for good is: “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.