Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin. – Proverbs 21:4
In this Proverb, pride and arrogance is compared to an “unplowed field” that produces sin. When I take the time to stop and think through the imagery of scripture, the truths sink deeper into my soul and my understanding grows as I am better able to see it fleshed out.
The meaning of this verse is pretty straightforward. Pride leads to sin.
However, there is a reason that the verse is much more descriptive than just simply stating that pride leads to sin. We can learn more about pride and how it leads to sin through the imagery used in the verse. Of course we need to be careful not to read too much into imagery, but done with balance and in the light of the whole teaching of scripture it can be beneficial.
“Haughty eyes and a proud heart”
Two ways that pride influences us is how we see others and how we see ourselves.
“Haughty eyes” would seem to me to indicate looking down on others in arrogant superiority. Seeing other people as small and belittling them in our view.
“A proud heart” would be viewing ourselves as better than we are. Feeling puffed up and without need of others, an inner pride.
In what ways does pride make us like an unplowed field?
Well, a field that has been plowed has been broken up, most likely the rocks have been removed and it is ready for planting. The soil has been made soft and receptive for the seeds. It is ready to be watered and tended.
A field that has not been plowed is hard. Most seeds would bounce off of it and be unable to put down roots. Rocks and other obstacles would be strewn about. The only type of vegetation that would do “well” is weeds. These weeds would be the sin that is produced.
A person that is prideful does not receive the seeds of the Word or wisdom from others. They can be described as “hard” and stubborn. A prideful person does not accept rebuke that would plow up the soil of their lives and remove the rocks. Continuing in their own way and paying no heed to the Word or to wisdom a prideful person easily gets wrapped up in the weeds of sin and indeed that is what their life produces.
Even when we stop to look a little deeper into the verse the insights gained are fairly obvious, but it is a helpful exercise. Scripture contains so much truth, but it isn’t hidden in such a way that we need anything more than the illumination of the Holy Spirit and to take God at His word to dig much of it out. We just need to slow down long enough to receive it.
Anything else contained in this verse that you see?