Proverbs Chapter 30

Sayings of Agur

1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.   This man’s utterance to Ithiel:  “I am weary, God, but I can prevail.
2 Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding.
3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son? Surely you know!

5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

7 “Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

10 “Do not slander a servant to their master, or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.

11 “There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers;
12 those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful;
14 those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among mankind.

15 “The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
16 the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

17 “The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.

18 “There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.

20 “This is the way of an adulterous woman:  She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’

21 “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up:
22 a servant who becomes king, a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
23 a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.

24 “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
26 hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,    yet they advance together in ranks;
28 a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

29 “There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:
30 a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;
31 a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt.

32 “If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth!
33 For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.”

There’s a ton to unpack here in Proverbs 30, I’m going to focus on one major theme throughout the chapter – Humility

Verse 3-4
“I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One”
“Who has established all the ends of the earth?”
What’s interesting to me about these two verses is the stark contrast to many statements made in the world today – even by those who claim to follow Christ. We have Gods word, and it reveals what we believe his heart to be like – but we are also reminded that God the Father is completely set apart from us. To have complete knowledge of Him can never be attained. We’re reminded here to take a humble approach in our road to understanding him

Verse 8
“Keep falsehood and lies far from me”
I’ve always loved this verse because it speaks to the heart of a man who is aware of the insidious temptation around him. The very soul of a man doesn’t desire falsehood, but with our whack choices we fall into the very lies and ugliness we hate. Agur is pleading for God to keep all that is false at a distance from his heart – he knows it is good.
“Give me neither poverty nor riches”
Let’s be honest, he could have just said “Don’t give me poverty, Lord”. But, he also said “Don’t give me riches”. That’s humble for sure! For many seasons of my own life, I was consumed with materialism. I knew I didn’t want to be poor, but never gave a second thought to the “things” in my life and the emptiness they created within my soul. Through many life lessons, God has pruned that desire for empty materialism – He’s still pruning! This verse was presented to me by a dear friend about four years ago and I instantly connected with the “nor riches” piece because it’s a statement that cries out for balance – and Agur puts an exclamation point on his request for balance next….
“But give me only my daily bread”
Essentially – Give me only what I need to survive. That’s hard to absorb given the abundance that we live in every day in our culture. We may think we don’t have as much as the next person – but when I look at my life, there are so many “things” I could live without. Last year, I read “Way of the Heart” by Henri Nouwen. It’s essentially about learning to integrate these three essentials – Solitude (learning not to be alone, but to be alone with God); Silence (the discipline by which the inner fire of God is tended and kept alive); and Prayer (standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart). Really, isn’t that all we need? Why do we complicate life with stuff? Even as I write this, I have three different devices at my disposal for accomplishing the same function.
Let us approach our King with a humble heart, mindful of His sovereignty, and seek the wisdom of Christ. Meditating on Proverbs 30 is a good start.

JustinFallsis a listener, writer, photographer, and advocate for the abused and neglected. He writes from the perspective of the brokenhearted, and communicates hope through still images. Justin, his wife, Lynnette, and their two sons live in beautiful Northern California.  Follow Justin on Twitter @justinfalls  and check out his blog Justin Falls


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

One response to “Proverbs Chapter 30

  • Moe

    Great thoughts Justin. I always loved that verse (don’t give me neither poverty, so I won’t curse you nor riches, so I forsake you). Two extremes. What a humble approach to God.

    Give us this day our daily bread! This is a daily petition of mine.

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