Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:25
"An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper"
This is the Hebrew word rachab which means wide or broad, arrogant, proud, spacious. This word carries the idea of big and wide and, when it is used to modify the world soul or heart, it is bad in Psalm 101:5 and here in Proverbs 28:25. This is the person who has the expectation that their expectations and thoughts and ideas should control or spread over a huge area. They do not want to fit in. They do not want to be a part of something. They want to be on top. They want their ideas to dominate.
This is the person who just internally has come to believe that they must always get their own way. This is an interesting way to describe arrogance. The English definition of arrogance is exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance in an overbearing manner. Merriam-Webster, I. (1996, c1993). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (10th ed.). Springfield, Mass., USA
Solomon is speaking to the arrogant man and to those around him. This person will cause a lot of anger. Because they cannot be reasonable about what should happen, they have to get their own way. They need to win in every situation.
This is the Hebrew word garah which means to stir up, engage in, to contend, conflict, strife, wage war. The stirring up here is not neutral; it is stirring up anger, conflict, and war between persons. The person who just must have their way causes feelings of hostility. There is often such a strong feeling of "I must have my way" in the arrogant person that it draws out anger in others over the lack of wisdom and process. If the person who is arrogant does not get their way, then they are angry because their self-estimate does not allow them to see other people's priorities and ideas as wise or more important than theirs. They cannot embrace the idea that other people's needs and thoughts are more important than their own.
There is a danger of thinking that your needs, your wants, and your expectations always need to be done. It means that you are proud. If you have not learned to follow, to fit in, and to adapt to others, then your whole life will be a giant injection of anger.
This is the Hebrew word madon which means strife, contention. Anger begins and builds when one's expectations are not met. In the case of the arrogant person, they have strong expectations about everything and this causes them to be constantly upset or to upset others in driving to get what they want.
This is the Hebrew word batah which means trust in, confident, reliance upon. This is an Old Testament word for the New Testament concept of faith. When a person has faith in God, they trust that His way of living, His specific counsel is best, His way of forgiveness works, His promises of life after death are true. Some have tried to make faith a decision but it is not; it is ongoing trust in God. To make a decision to believe in God does not save a person. To begin trusting God for how to live life, what to say no to, how to prepare for eternity – this brings a person into right relationship with God and saves the person.
This is the Hebrew word dashen which means to be made fat or grow fat. The idea literally is that one who has so much that they would need to store it. In this case it is fat on the body. This was considered a very prosperous thing since most people had to work constantly just to get the meals for the day and the week. So to have enough to eat that you actually became fat meant that you were prosperous.
Living life God's way means saying no to a lot of things that you think are fun, rewarding, and beneficial. But what you don't realize is that those selfish temptations that seek to seduce you will also drain you and damage your "prosperity" if you follow their advice.
In this “prosperity” Solomon says that the person who trusts in God's way of life, God's way of forgiveness, and God Himself will prosper. It does not necessarily mean that they will prosper materially with more stuff or more money. They will, however, prosper with more relationships, with depth, with more success in what they are called to do, with more emotional settledness and peace.
Be very careful of feeling the need that you must get your way all the time. You should really be pushing for God's way, not your way. Sometimes in God's way you are in the background playing a small part. Sometimes in God's way you are out front, leading. Sometimes in God's way you are one of the players but not the one who is noticed. Accept your God-given role and assignment and do not be arrogant. Trust in the Lord.