Archive for the ‘Proverbs 30’ Category

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.

Ants are wise. You think they are one of the weakest creatures, but they have wisdom that many men do not have. They save part of all income to use later in life. They work hard when the getting is good, and with an eye to the future, they save for harder times.

Solomon also used the ant to illustrate economic wisdom, when he exhorted his son to consider their diligence, their initiative without supervision, and their foresight to prepare and save for the future (Pr 6:6-8). Are you as wise as the ant, or can you learn a lesson from them? Do you have a regular savings program? Do you leave it untouched to grow?

Though ants are very weak – you may crush hundreds of them with a single foot – they use wisdom to preserve and protect themselves. In fact, they prosper by their wisdom. In the summer, they work diligently to accumulate as much food as possible, which they eat during the fall and spring, when underground. They generally hibernate in the winter.

Wise men do not spend all income; only fools spend it all (Pr 21:20). Saving some of your income is not an option or suggestion – it is God’s commandment. You are to learn from the ants (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25); savings protects you from unforeseen danger in the future (Pr 27:12). Not saving some of your income is sinful presumption (Pr 12:27; 27:24).

Savings must be a priority in life, not an option for money left over after expenses. If a commitment to savings is not made before spending occurs, it will not be done. Paying bills is paying others; saving money is paying yourself. Godly economics is simple: pay God first (tithes and offerings), pay yourself second (consistent savings), and live on the rest. There is no need for fancy budgets or financial models – live on whatever is left.

What you save is what you pay yourself. What you spend is what you pay others. How much do you have for all the years of sweat, toil, difficulty, and frustration of working? You have nothing left from all those years, except your savings account and net assets. Is paying yourself – saving some of your income – starting to make sense? Thank you, ants!

Saving less than 10% of gross income is playing games. Wise men will save at least 10%. The change in lifestyle to save 10% is insignificant, if prudence is practiced elsewhere. Many employers today will match your savings in a 401(k) plan. A simple savings program is easy. You pay God first (10%+), yourself second (10%+), and live on the rest. By living on 80% of your income, you will appreciate things more (Pr 27:7). Try it!

Savings creates another benefit – capital! See the important comments on Proverbs 14:4. Every man will have a few opportunities in his life – called time and chance in the Bible – to make big money (Ec 9:11). But you must have capital – savings – to take advantage of these opportunities. Some call this investment capital seed corn, for it is the seed that is planted for a future harvest. The ant’s wisdom has taught you savings and investment.

You never touch savings. It is for the future – dire emergencies and opportunities. If the ants took vacations and ate their food stores, they would die in the fall and spring, when they need those food stores. If you need extra cash for unusual expenses during the year, it comes from cash management and other reserve funds; it does not come from savings. Your saved capital is not to be touched; your seed corn is not to be eaten!

If you invest your capital conservatively and wisely, it will grow during all the hours of the day and night. If you buy bonds, you are earning interest every second of every day and night (Matt 25:26-27). If you buy stocks, you have many people in many companies around the earth working for you every day and night. You are leveraging your limited ability and effort by the multiplied abilities and efforts of many others. Thank you, ants!

Financial success requires diligence, discipline, sacrifice, consistency, and time. The ants do all five well (Pr 6:6-8; 30:25). Diligence is working hard to maximize your income. Discipline is paying the Lord first and yourself second, before spending even a dime. Sacrifice is doing without a few toys and luxuries you want. Consistency is doing it without interruption during your productive years. Time is what allows savings to grow.

If your estate is small and your savings negligible, reader, it is because you have ignored the ants and Solomon’s wisdom. Have you never heard that you ought to save at least 10% of your income for the future – for emergencies and opportunities? Have you never heard? Or are you more foolish than the ants, which save without a ruler or guide?

Preparing for your eternal future is far better than preparing for your financial future. Here is wisdom in its brightest and purest form. As the unjust steward protected himself from unemployment, Jesus exhorted His children to protect themselves from that great accounting to take place in the last day (Luke 16:1-16). Have you looked to the future and laid up a good foundation against the time to come (I Tim 6:17-19)? The Lord Jesus Christ will come soon, and you will face an emergency like no other. Save up for it!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:15 The leech has two daughter. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry,
“There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’

Leeches, or blood-suckers, can teach you wisdom. Leeches are never content or satisfied. They always want more. No matter what is given, it is never enough. Leeches will gladly suck the lifeblood out of a host. How content and satisfied are you? Or are you a leech?

Proverbs can be dark sayings (Pr 1:6). They are often not plain (Jn 16:25,29). They are to make you think, to enjoy interpreting them correctly, and to remember the lesson. The inspired prophet Agur used a creative metaphor to teach an important lesson. God created leeches, or blood-suckers, and He can perfectly apply their most unique trait to your life.

Why is it common to call discontent or greedy people leeches, or blood-suckers? Because that is what God called them in the Bible! Agur wrote these words at least 3,000 years ago, and the Bible has carried this lesson to most languages and nations. Lady Wisdom’s offer of wisdom is very available to men (Pr 1:20-21; 8:1-5; 9:1-6). Will you learn it?

You know the lesson of this proverb by its words and context. Its words introduce four things in life that are never satisfied or content, four things that always want more. Its context lists the four things – the grave, a barren womb, dry ground, and fire. You can easily know the lesson is about things that are never content, full, pacified, or satiated.

What is a Leech? It is a blood-sucking leech. It is an aquatic sucking worm larger than common leeches, and it fastens on the tongues and nostrils of horses when they drink stagnant water from marshes or pools in the Middle East. Some of them can store blood of their victims up to five times their body mass! When fully tanked, they fall off.

God and Agur are not teaching veterinary science here, so you know they are introducing never-satisfied, always-wanting-more, and never-content persons and things. Agur is starting one of his lists of four things, which occupy much of this chapter (Pr 30:11-31). The bloodsucker is a great introduction, for men still use it to describe insatiable people.

What are the two daughters? They are more things or people of the same character, which the Bible indicates by references to children (Ezek 16:44-45; Matt 23:31; John 8:44; Acts 7:51). The two means no more than does the three, though Agur plans a list of four! Unless the noun or context requires its importance, the number is irrelevant (II Kgs 9:32).

This obscure proverb teaches a powerful rule for life. Here is fabulous wisdom from God. If you learn this lesson, you can be happy and thankful from today forward, you can avoid the world’s advertising traps, you can keep yourself from many sins, you can rise above the world’s rich and famous, and you can be satisfied with life day and night.

Contentment is a choice and a command (I Tim 6:6; Heb 13:5). It is a choice to trust God that you have what He wants you to have and to be thankful. He commands it because He wants you happy with His plan for you. No one can take contentment from you, once you choose it; and it has nothing to do with circumstances, because it is a chosen mindset.

Hear Paul’s instruction to Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim 6:6). Do you want great gain in your life? You can achieve it right now, this very minute. Choose to be content with your height, your parents, your job, your spouse, your looks, your nation of birth, your children, what’s in your refrigerator, your car, and so forth.

Contentment is learned behavior. It is a mindset that you choose and then work at making a habit. Paul learned to consider himself full, even when hungry (Phil 4:11-13). Instead of wishing you had a different house, make the house you have the most happy and pleasant home you can. Instead of wishing you had a different spouse, love the one you have.

Covetousness is the opposite of contentment. It desires what you do not have so much that it upsets your heart and mind and/or leads to considering sin to get those things. The sins of greed and lust will never let you be happy, because they make you think about things you do not have to the hatred of things you do have that could make you happy.

A man fantasizing of sex with the neighbor or porn models he looks at is a masochistic fool! He cannot have the women of his lusts (they would not have him either!), so he is perpetually frustrated. This causes dislike and irritation with the woman God gave him, who is more than enough to satisfy him, if he would but choose to love and invest in her.

Your sinful nature from Adam covets and lusts for everything you do not have so that you lose enjoying what you do have. Young children rip into one present after another hardly grasping what they received, only asking, “What’s next?” Advertising and mass marketing is designed to enflame those lusts, and peer pressure in school only adds to it.

Your flesh has many lustful daughters with insatiable greed, which you must put to death (Job 15:16; Eph 4:17-19; Col 3:5-7). Riches will not satisfy the man who desires them, until it has destroyed him (Eccl 5:10; I Tim 6:7-10). Women will not satisfy the man who craves them, until they destroy him (Judges 16:16-17; I Kings 11:1-11; Eccl 7:26-28). Hate all complaining in yourself and others, and learn contentment with thanksgiving.

The only insatiable appetite you should have is for God’s glory and spiritual blessings (Gen 32:26; Mat 5:6; Rom 9:1-3; 10:1; I Cor 12:31). If God Himself is your desire and portion in life, He will cure your lustful cravings and bring contentment and satisfaction like nothing else in the whole world (Ps 73:25-26; Pr 3:13-18; Phil 3:8; Heb 11:24-26).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:2 Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.

These harsh and critical words are the key to wisdom. Can you humble yourself like this for God’s blessings? He knows you are foolish, so the sooner you admit it, the sooner He will bless you with wisdom. This is exactly how Solomon became wise.

When God offered young Solomon anything he wanted, he humbly said he was a child in understanding and asked for wisdom (I Kgs 3:5-9). God blessed this perfect request with very great blessings of understanding and much, much more as well (I Kgs 3:10-13).

The fastest way to wisdom is to be a fool; God resists the proud, but He will give grace to the lowly (I Cor 3:18-20; Jas 4:6,10). The fastest way to folly is to think yourself wise, for God will destroy the proud (Pr 26:12; Is 5:21; Ro 1:20-25; I Cor 1:19-21; Gal 6:3).

This proverb is the words of the prophet Agur (Pr 30:1), revealing his humble spirit and modest thoughts about teaching two students, Ithiel and Ucal. He used “surely” to strengthen his admission of his own ignorance, but what does “brutish” mean?

Brutish. Of or pertaining to the brutes, or lower animals, as opposed to man. In want of intelligence or in failure to use reason: dull, irrational, uncultured, stupid.

He opened instruction to his pupils by claiming to be more ignorant than any man, like a brute beast; and there is no false humility here, for he wrote by prophetic inspiration.

The prophet Agur and King Solomon are not alone, for the same spirit was also in Moses (Num 12:3), Elihu (Job 32:6-7), David (I Sam 18:23; Ps 131:1), Asaph (Ps 73:21-22), Jeremiah (Jer 1:6), Daniel (Dan 2:30), Amos (Amos 7:14-15), and Paul (Eph 3:8).

Do you detect a pattern? Great men of God do not claim to be wise, for their secret to success lies in their total humility before their Creator and Lord. This is God’s order for your thinking (Ro 12:16), as this brings Him the greater glory (I Cor 1:27). The great God of heaven respects the man poor in spirit and having a contrite heart (Is 57:15; 66:1-2).

Men today cannot grasp Agur’s words, and they would never say them. They are drunk on the lies of self-esteem and self-love, so they cannot and will not see themselves as they truly are. Let God by His Spirit and word humble you today and save you from such narcissistic folly and heresy. Man at his best state is altogether vanity (Ps 39:5)

Pride is a terrible crime and sin. God hates it, but He will give wisdom to the humble. “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Pr 11:2). “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom” (Pr 13:10). The great king Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that God will abase the proud (Dan 4:37).

But God will bless the poor in spirit with riches of wisdom and other spiritual blessings (Matt 5:3; Luke 6:24). The man who says, “I do not know what to do,” can stand still and see God work for him (II Chr 20:12,17). Go to Him this way today and become wise! The crucial ingredient for you to become wise is to first be humble. God loves humility.

Many dream of hearing an offer like God gave Solomon, but they fail to realize that they have the offer in writing, in James 1:5, where God says to you, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (Jas 1:5). What a promise! Do you want wisdom? Ask for it! Now!

Humility about wisdom has its limits. No man knows anything as perfectly as he should (I Cor 8:2), but you should respond with confidence when answering questions or confronting enemies (Pr 22:17-21; Job 32:6-14; 33:1-3; 36:1-4; Luke 1:3; I Cor 14:20; II Tim 3:17). The truth and wisdom of inspired scripture is your confidence, not yourself.

Has there ever been a more humble or meek man than Jesus Christ? Never! Yet He had all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). He was lowly in heart, forbid promotional efforts, and never raised his voice in the street (Matt 11:29; 12:15-20). Where is He now? Exalted in glorious majesty and power at the right hand of God! Love Him and praise Him today, and follow His perfect example of humility unto honor.