Proverbs 30

1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle. The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal: 2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man. 3 Neither have I learned wisdom, nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who 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!

One aspect of wisdom involves realizing that God is in full control everywhere on the earth, and learning to read your surroundings to understand what God is trying to communicate. The wind and the waters represent the surroundings. Everywhere on earth (from end to end), God has established His dominion and control.

Another aspect of wisdom involves knowing what the Son of God between the time He descended to the earth and ascended back to heaven – namely, the atoning work of Jesus. The Old Testament only hints about it here, but now that the New Testament has come, we understand this better. When Agur wrote about it, only a few knew. Wisdom involves fathoming what God is doing, and what He will do in the future.

How do you see yourself? Agur considered himself as the least of all, and as someone who knew nothing of what God is doing and will do, and the next thing he says is regarding the atoning work of the Son of God – something that was mostly hidden in the Old Testament. It is to humble people that God gives revelation of Himself and His plans.

5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.

When God says something, He backs it with His Almighty power, and ensures that whatever He has said will not be broken. For this reason, when you begin to depend on His word, you will begin to see His Almighty power in action, ensuring that His word stands. Then you will also know that God truly exists.

Some people add to God’s word. God doesn’t stand by any additions. He only stands by what He said. If you add to His word, He will take you to task for that because He doesn’t want anyone adding to His word and confusing others.

Learn to trust God and to take His word seriously. It will be a shield to you and protect you.

For example, God tells us not to marry an unbeliever. Unmarried believers seeking to get married should take that very seriously. Too many don’t and find their lives ruined down the road.

7 Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, 9 That 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.

10 Do not slander a slave to his master, or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.

Here is some practical advice for the workplace – don’t falsely speak badly about people to their boss. Now if the boss asks you for feedback about a person you can give it, respectfully and carefully. But don’t arbitrarily put people down.

11 There is a kind of man who curses his father and does not bless his mother. 12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, yet is not washed from his filthiness. 13 There is a kind – oh how lofty are his eyes! And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.

Here is some practical advice for the home – don’t wish evil for your father, and don’t hesitate to wish good for your mother. They may have not been perfect, and in fact, they may have thoroughly messed up your life. Yet, you have to forgive them, and believe that God will make all things work for your good.

It is very possible that you are a better person than your parents, and better off too. You don’t have to let yourself be manipulated by your parents, and you don’t have to obey them after you leave their home, but let your thoughts towards them be thoughts of peace and goodwill.

14 There 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.

People are imperfect, and therefore, it is easy to find fault with them. Further, life is difficult for most of us, partly because of our limitations, and partly because of our imperfections and foolishness.

Wisdom behooves us to not pounce on others when they mess up, and to help lift those who are in need.

15 The leech has two daughters, “Give,” “Give.” There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say, “Enough “:16 Sheol, and the barren womb, earth that is never satisfied with water, and fire that never says, “Enough.”

Are you a giver or a taker? If you have the habit of always wanting the best out of every deal, always taking more than you give, then you like the leech described above.

A wise person gives more than he takes. Generosity accompanies wisdom.

17 The 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.

When you laugh at your father’s missteps, and make fun of your mother’s limitations, you get into trouble with God. He will put you in situations where people will tear you apart (figuratively) and make your life miserable.

18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: 19 The 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.

You will never be an expert at everything. There will always be things that you don’t know, and things that you don’t understand. Know what those things are, and learn to compensate for you lack. That is a part of wisdom.

20 This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, “I have done no wrong.”

Understand that you will fall and that you will do wrong. Another aspect of wisdom is to acknowledge when you mess up. Don’t justify yourself.

21 Under three things the earth quakes, and under four, it cannot bear up: 22 Under a slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is satisfied with food, 23 Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.

Understand that in your lifetime you will see things that are hard to believe and horrors that will turn your stomach. These are your ‘O my goodness– how on earth did that happen?’ moments. A wise person will learn to handle such things, and survive and adapt.

24 Four things are small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: 25 The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer; 26 The shephanim are not mighty people, yet they make their houses in the rocks; 27 The locusts have no king, yet all of them go out in ranks; 28 The lizard you may grasp with the hands, yet it is in kings' palaces.

A wise person is an expert problem solver. Some problems can be solved by storing resources in advance. Others can be solved by getting multiple people with the same goal to work on it. Others can be solved by putting yourselves out of the reach of the problem makers. Yet others can be solved by knowing the right people.

A wise person is an observer and learner, who is always learning how to solve different kinds of problems.

29 There are three things which are stately in their march, even four which are stately when they walk: 30 The lion which is mighty among beasts and does not retreat before any, 31 The strutting rooster, the male goat also, and a king when his army is with him.

Don’t discount the value of good posture and dressing well, and presenting yourself well. Some problems can be solved easier by exhibiting class.

32 If you have been foolish in exalting yourself or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth. 33 For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife.

When you mess up, and people are upset with you, don’t make things worse by opening your mouth and trying to attack others.

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