Context: 8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
NKJV - 9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.
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I would say that humility is necessary when dealing with God because God is infinitely greater in every respect than any human being. A proud person (that is, one who by virtue of his pride does not possess humility) is thus incapable of relating to God because, in the same way that he looks down on other people (which, on a human level, will cause those people to dislike him), he also refuses to acknowledge God's superiority, and thus (as noted in the verse cited in the question) does not believe that he has any need to be guided by anyone or anything, or that even God has anything to teach him. (He may address God in an outwardly pious manner, as the Pharisee did in Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14), but his heart is filled with pride in himself, rather than with genuine devotion and submission to God.) This is the same frame of mind (exemplified in Isaiah 14:13-14) that caused the devil (who was originally an angel) to rebel against God, and to be cast out of heaven and transformed into Satan. Many people think that, in order to be humble, they must possess a low opinion of themselves, but that is not what humility means. I like the way that C. S. Lewis put it when he said that humility does not mean thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Lewis also said, "Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.”
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