The First Will Be Last

“Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.”— Proverbs 18:12 (NLT)

Did you ever watch Marvel Studios’ Thor? It’s a story about a prince from the fictional realm of Asgard who is stripped of his powers, cast out of Asgard, and sent to earth because his father, King Odin, believed he was an arrogant prince, unworthy of being king—he decided this after Thor basically started a war due to his pride. So he sent him to earth in order to learn humility and be worthy of his title and power.

I’ve said it before, but I love comic books because there are so many powerful truths beneath the capes, cowls, and magical hammers. The story of Thor is almost like an illustrated version of today’s verse. The word for haughtiness in the Hebrew is gabahh, which in the context used by Solomon here means to exalt yourself, to make yourself higher, to lift yourself up. It’s an act of pride, whereby one puts himself above everybody else. Proverbs is full of statements like this one (11:2, 15:33, 16:18, 29:23). I like to think Solomon would totally get Thor.

A heart full of pride reaps destruction. It reaps isolation, pain, and humiliation. Why? Because when you elevate yourself above others and put yourself on a high platform, everyone sees you fall! But when you lower yourself, when you put others first, when you become poor in spirit, honor will come to you . . . because a heart full of humility reaps glory and honor.

We see this principle in Thor’s story. When he finally learned to humbly sacrifice himself for the good of others, he became worthy of his title and power. We also find this in the teachings of Jesus. From "the last will be first, and the first will be last," to “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted,” to “whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (John the Baptist),” we can clearly see that humility is the distinguishing mark of the citizens of God’s kingdom.

I have written on this topic a lot in the past. And the reason is because it is something I constantly need to remind myself of! I have always struggled with this, and still do! I want to be worthy of the title “child of God,” which means I need to learn to put on the humility of Christ every single day. As Andrew Murray said, “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”

DIG: Can you think of a time where pride has led you to a fall? What happened? How did you feel in that time?

DISCOVER: Why does God honor humility so much?

DISPLAY: Pray and ask the Lord to root out the areas of pride in your life so that His humility can dwell in you

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.