This might be one of my favorite Proverbs, simply because there are so many New Testament parallels that we can lift up. Let’s start at vss.6-7 where we find that a person should never put themselves too close to the seat of honor, but rather there is more dignity in being asked to move forward. We find the same message given to us in Luke 14:7-11 where Jesus tells us to always put ourselves in the back row so that we can be moved up, and not vice-versa. The opposite of this can be seen in James 2:3 where the wealthy person is asked to sit up front in worship. Yeah, that isn’t going to fly either.
This reminds me of this commercial which was popular so many years ago:
Basically Proverbs here is telling us: don’t be a Bob Uecker.
But there is also vs.22 which is picked up again by Paul in Romans 12 and especially verses 9-21 where we actually read in vs.20 a direct reference to treating your enemies with respect and assistance because by doing so you will be heaping coals upon their head. Who doesn’t want to heap coals on their enemies’ heads?