Everyone knows that the book of Proverbs is full of wisdom and when I am not doing a specific devotional, I often read the chapter that corresponds to the date. As such, today I read Proverbs 30 and I have printed it below with my comments interwoven.
I would love to hear your thoughts and how God ministered to you through this chapter.
The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle. The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
2Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man.
3Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
4Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!
Isn’t God’s power amazing! I love the images that this conjures up – gathered the wind in His fists. Go ahead, make a fist with your hand and imagine, if you are like me you surely didn’t have all of the wind in there, now did you? Awesome, magnificent and mighty is our God!!!
5Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
I am thankful for the periods in my life when my faith was tested because I know that God is truly a shield and while the tests may come, He is right there with me helping me to stand firm. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus!!
6Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
I help lead an inductive BIble study and I am always stressing that God does not need us to add to His word. This passage makes me think of the many false teachers/preachers that are in our midst right now and when the day of judgement comes, they will be proved liars for having added to God’s words.
7Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
8Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.
Most days we are not satisfied with our portion as we want someone else’s portion. God knows exactly what we need and He doesn’t give us too little or too much because He knows the selfish nature of our heart and we will either deny Him and think that we have it all by our own will or we will curse Him because we do not feel that we have what we deserve. What we deserve is death but thank goodness for grace and mercy.
10Do not slander a slave to his master,
Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
11There is a kind of man who curses his father
And does not bless his mother.
As a parent, it is important to instill respect in our children. God clearly states in Exodus 20:12 that if we want our days on the earth to be long that we must honor our father and our mother.
12There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
This was once me! I didn’t feel that I was as bad a sinner as such and such; however God considers sin SIN!!! We often see ourselves in our own mirrors and our mirrors tell us what we want to hear and let us see what we want to see when the truth of the matter is that we are filthy and only God can cleanse us of our filth!
13There is a kind–oh how lofty are his eyes!
And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
14There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords
And his jaw teeth like knives,
To devour the afflicted from the earth
And the needy from among men.
Arrogance and pride can really hamper one’s walk with the Lord. On a daily basis, we must not think more of ourselves and we must be on guard against that one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy.
15The leech has two daughters,
There are three things that will not be satisfied,
Four that will not say, “Enough”:
16Sheol, and the barren womb,
Earth that is never satisfied with water,
And fire that never says, “Enough.”
17The eye that mocks a father
And scorns a mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.
Are you the daughter of a leech? You are if your hand is always out waiting in anticipation for people to give you what you think you are owe. The Earth never asks for it to stop raining thus it is never satisfied with water as it could use more. What fire do you know that stops before it has consumed all that it can consume? Once again another parenting reference and this time we are told that if there is an eye that mocks and scorns it will be plucked out and eaten. That’s serious!! From a study perspective, there are a series of 3things/4 things in the upcoming verses. I plan to research further to find out the meaning behind the the 3things/4 things.
18There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
19The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.
20This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, “I have done no wrong.”
The fourth thing is not understood by many of us – the ways of an adulterous woman. You have to love the imagery of her eating and having a look of total innonence regarding her behavior. Yes, I know it takes two to tango, but women need to own up to their piece of the dance. Suggestive clothing, total disregard for the sanctity and boundaries of marriage, and a sense of entitlement that just because you see it with enough work it can be yours. For some it is a game, just to see if the man will bite from the tree. That question was answered a long time ago in the Garden of Eden.
21Under three things the earth quakes,
And under four, it cannot bear up:
22Under a slave when he becomes king,
And a fool when he is satisfied with food,
23Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.
24Four things are small on the earth,
But they are exceedingly wise:
25The ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer;
26The shephanim are not mighty people,
Yet they make their houses in the rocks;
27The locusts have no king,
Yet all of them go out in ranks;
28The lizard you may grasp with the hands,
Yet it is in kings’ palaces.
Oh, to be like the ant and be prepared. I do not want to be a sluggard, Lord help me, help me, help me!
29There are three things which are stately in their march,
Even four which are stately when they walk:
30The lion which is mighty among beasts
And does not retreat before any,
31The strutting rooster, the male goat also,
And a king when his army is with him.
32If you have been foolish in exalting yourself
Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.
33For the churning of milk produces butter,
And pressing the nose brings forth blood;
So the churning of anger produces strife.
There is much more to be gleaned from the words in this passage.