Archive for the ‘Proverbs 30’ Category

Proverbs 30:32 “If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth!

Do not speak, unless you have something peaceful and righteous to say, for words of either pride or sin will produce greater evil and harm. If you are guilty for anything, let your words come out very carefully and very slowly. Let every word count for good.

If your conscience or others correct you for arrogance or wickedness, do not attempt to excuse or justify your sins. Humble yourself, confess your error, and thank the reprover. Do not add to your guilt or shame by opening your mouth and making matters worse.

Your mouth is the vent of your heart and mind. If you have not ruled your thoughts, at least rule your mouth by keeping your folly or wickedness to yourself, lest it harm those around you and spread your sin further. This rule is so valuable that even fools can be thought wise by restraining their words and remaining silent (Pr 17:27-28).

Your tongue can be a flame that fires the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell (Jas 3:6). Words can be deadly poison (Jas 3:8). You hold the power of death and life in your mouth (Pr 18:21). Much talking always includes sin (Pr 10:19). You will give an account for every idle word (Matt 12:36), including filthy, foolish, and jesting words (Eph 5:3-7).

Doing foolishly in lifting up yourself is to be puffed up with pride and vaunting yourself against authority or over others. When you have foolishly gone this far, the best choice is to stop talking, otherwise provocative things will be said leading to a greater conflict. Pride is the cause of all fights (Pr 13:10), so the fewer arrogant words spoken the better.

Thinking evil is your imagination fantasizing or lusting for forbidden things, assuming evil motives for another person’s actions, purposing to rebel against authority, or related sins of the mind. Even the thought of foolishness is sin (Pr 24:9). If you have failed to rule your thoughts, you can still rule your mouth to keep your evil from spreading.

Laying your hand over your mouth is a Biblical expression for ending your speech and being silent. Job told his three friends to do this rather than continue their accusations against him (Job 21:5). Job did this himself when confronted by God (Job 40:4). It is what you should do when you feel pride welling up inside or sinful thoughts at work.

The context describes a great king’s authority (Pr 30:31). Wise men will not provoke him with fighting words, for he has the power to destroy (Pr 16:14; 19:12; 20:2; Ec 8:2-5; 10:4). This warning even includes thoughts or private conversations in your bedroom (Ec 10:20). Retorting against authority is folly, but especially against civil rulers (Tit 2:9).

The context also describes the certainty of a fight or war if wrath is pressed (Pr 30:33). A wise man is quick to hear and slow to speak, for he knows that anger does not work the righteousness of God (Jas 1:19-20). He knows that strife in the heart leads to confusion and every evil work, so he refuses to add grievous words to the fire (Pr 15:1; Ja 3:14-18).

The general lesson is valuable. Words take pride and evil imaginations further than intended, provoke others to respond in kind, are impossible to retract, and the damage is difficult to repair, as with offended brothers (Pr 18:19). Therefore, your tongue should be silent in your mouth until and unless there is something peaceful and godly to say.

When pride or evil whet the tongue, its sharp words pierce others, cutting them needlessly and/or starting a fight. It is so much better to choose the tongue of the wise, dealing grace and health to all who hear (Pr 12:18; 10:20-21; 16:24; Col 4:6; Eph 4:29).

What a peacemaker you could be, if you were always first to lay your hand over your mouth (Pr 15:1; 25:15). But alas, the fire that burns inside often forces release and causes damage (Ps 39:1-3). Be quick to hear and slow to speak to make peace (Jas 1:19-20).

Instead of conceited or corrupt speech, choose the gracious and learned tongue of Jesus Christ, Who spoke better than any man ever (Ps 45:2; Is 50:4; Lu 4:22; Jn 7:46). It is gracious and humble words that win the hearts even of kings (Pr 11:16; 22:11; Ec 10:12).

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 30:10 “Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it.

Accusations must be just and merciful, especially against the afflicted or oppressed, who cannot easily defend themselves. Unnecessary harshness could cause them to curse you, which will then bring God’s hard judgment on you. God’s religion under both testaments includes much compassion and mercy for the lowly, poor, weak, or oppressed.

The Bible throughout allows for servitude or slavery, though it protects servants or slaves by commanding just and kind treatment by masters. The Bible approves and governs both bond servants and hired servants. While legal servitude disturbs some, the confusion is usually due to one’s cultural upbringing, ignorance of the Bible and history, ignorance of servitude in other societies, and/or ignorance of the possible mutual economic benefits.

The God of the Bible, Jehovah by name, protects the lowly, poor, weak, and oppressed, and He commands that all others do the same. He protects orphans and widows (Ps 68:5; 82:1-4). He protects animals (Pr 12:10; Deut 22:6; 25:4). He demands that men speak up when they are able to help those who cannot defend themselves (Pr 24:11-12; 31:8-9).

Servants or slaves were a low class of men, easily afflicted or oppressed by masters, and with little protection by ordinary means of justice or redress. They depended on fairness and kindness from their masters, so God protected them by a variety of duties required of their masters (Lev 25:39-46; Deut 15:12-15; 23:15-16; 24:14-15; Col 4:1; etc.).

This proverb protects servants or slaves from those other than their masters or owners. False or harsh accusations from others in the household or those outside it could provoke their masters and lead to deprivation or punishment. The proverb condemns accusations that were slanderous (a false accusation), trivial (unnecessary), or harsh (unmerciful).

A servant or slave’s lowly status did not stop accusations of wrongdoing that were given honestly, for a major offence, and without prejudice or revenge. Respect of persons in judgment, either low or high, is wrong (Ex 23:3; Lev 19:15). The lowly do not deserve sympathy when guilty of crimes (Pr 6:30-31; Gen 21:25-26; Lev 19:17; I Sam 26:19).

How important is this matter? God defends and judges those with no power to protect themselves, so beware (Pr 22:22-23; 28:27; Deut 10:18; 15:9; Ps 10:14,18; 146:9). Deal carefully, judge lightly, and choose to err on the side of liberality and mercy, and God will bless you (Pr 19:17; 21:13; 22:16; Is 58:6-11). Do justly and love mercy (Mic 6:8).

Consider an example. Jacob moved his family to Egypt, where through a succession of kings they became servants of the Egyptians. The accusation was made that unless they were oppressed, they would become too numerous for the Egyptians (Ex 1:8-14). Israel cried unto the Lord, and He heard them (Ex 2:23-25). Think ten plagues, dead firstborn, a drowned army, and a plundered and ravaged nation! Be careful about accusing a servant!

Consider another example. The scribes and Pharisees, religious elite of the Jews, accused the lowly apostles to their Master Jesus (Matt 15:1-2). It had been better for them not to have left their homes that day. Jesus promptly and publicly took them to task for their hypocrisy and vain religion, shaming them before the multitude (Matt 15:3-11). When informed that the Pharisees were offended, He condemned them further (Matt 15:12-14)!

Consider another example. Judas Iscariot was a thief (John 12:6), and he conspired with the Jews against the Servant Jesus for the price of a servant (Matt 26:15; Ex 21:32). Jesus cursed Judas (Ps 109:6-20; Matt 18:7; 26:24), and he ended up without the money, swallowed up with guilt and grief, and a disemboweled suicide in a worthless field (Matt 27:3-10; Acts 1:16-20). Be careful about accusing a servant, especially the Son of God!

Consider another example. The Jews hated Jesus, and they despised and rejected Him, hid their faces from Him, and accused Him of horrible crimes before God (Is 53:3-4; Matt 9:34; 12:24; 26:65; John 8:48). But Almighty God leveled the city of Jerusalem to the ground because they so treated their holy Servant and Visitor (Luke 19:43-44). Be careful about accusing a servant, especially the Son of God! Kiss Him instead (Ps 2:12)!

To be sure of godliness, speak evil of no man (Tit 3:2). Worry more about the beam in your own eye than the mote in another’s (Matt 7:3-5). Love mercy over judgment (Jas 2:13; Matt 7:1-2). Remember the ten thousand talents God forgave you when considering the hundred pence owed you (Mat 18:21-35). Let love cover what it can (Pr 10:12; 17:9).

Do you understand Christian liberty? God has left many incidental matters of life to each believer’s choice or preference. You have no right to criticize or accuse about these choices. Paul wrote, “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand” (Rom 14:4). Does Solomon’s proverb extend beyond what you first thought? Amen!

Let every man or woman in a position of authority practice fairness and gentleness to fully keep the righteousness of God indicated by this proverb. Let no civil ruler oppress any under him (Eccl 5:8). Let every employer deal fairly (Col 4:1). Let every father avoid discouraging his children (Col 3:21). Let every husband honor his wife (I Pet 3:7). Let every pastor despise partiality or respect of persons (I Tim 5:21).

Christian reader, you are a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you live godly in Christ Jesus, you will be persecuted (II Tim 3:12), and some will think they are pleasing God (Is 66:5). Hear your Master, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD” (Is 54:17).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 30:4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and the name of his son?  Tell me if you know know!

Who can find wisdom? No man can! No man will! God must reveal wisdom to any man. Paul said, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (I Cor 2:11).

Rationalization or the scientific method is worthless for wisdom or truth. True knowledge and understanding are only by inspired revelation. Man knows nothing of importance without God revealing it to him. Do not trust men. Put all your trust in the LORD. Go to Him and His word for the hidden wisdom and mysteries of the universe (I Cor 2:6-10).

Proverbs 30 is an appendix to Solomon’s proverbs. Agur, a wise man, taught Ithiel and Ucal (Pr 30:1). His lessons are inspired wisdom, for they are called “the prophecy” (Pr 30:1; 31:1). He introduced his lessons by first confessing his great natural ignorance (Pr 30:2-3), then by proving man’s inability to find out God and wisdom (Pr 30:4), and finally by defining the absolute necessity and sufficiency of Scripture (Pr 30:5-6).

The seven rhetorical questions in this proverb prove no man can find out God or wisdom by human effort. The answer to each question is an obvious negative. No man has gone to heaven, or come back, or conquered the elements to learn the ways and wisdom of God. Agur forced Ithiel and Ucal to admit by force of reason there was no man. They could not name any man who had done such a thing, and they could not name his son.

Agur proceeded to teach that every inspired word of God is pure and necessary (Pr 30:5). Not a single word was to be deleted or degraded. Putting trust in God and His words was the surest defense against dangers in this world or the next. Furthermore, man’s words were not to be added, for this would corrupt God’s words, and He would be angry (Pr 30:6). If you do not have confidence in a word-perfect Bible, you are truly blind and lost.

The seven rhetorical questions are a device teaching man’s inability to discover the real truth and wisdom of the universe. Since knowledge and understanding are with God, what man has ascended up into heaven to learn them, or returned back to earth to teach them? No man! Having confessed his own ignorance (Pr 30:2-3), he used these questions to condemn all men as ignorant (Pr 30:4). Wisdom is beyond the reach of mortal men.

Consider three very similar questions. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36).

The seven questions are not simply answered with “God.” The first two questions are in the perfect tense, which precludes them from being a prophecy of Christ. Neither can they refer to God, for He fills heaven and earth (Jer 23:24). He had neither ascended nor descended, for He is altogether present in both places simultaneously. And what would His ascent or descent have to do with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom? Nothing!

The first two questions are also connected by the coordinating conjunction “or,” which positively indicates a hypothetical alternative. Did God ascend? Or did He descend? Applying the questions to God creates confusion. The questioning is rather rhetorical about man. No man had gone to heaven to get wisdom, nor had any man come from heaven with it. Agur taught Ithiel and Ucal man’s great dependence on God for wisdom.

He proceeded further to humiliate man in the face of God’s glorious creation. Who, like God, has the wisdom and power to control and harness the wind in his fists? No man! God proved Job’s inferior wisdom and power by a consideration of the wind (Job 37:14-27). And David and Jeremiah used the same impossibility (Ps 135:5-7; Jer 10:13; 51:16).

Who, like God, has the wisdom and power to gather large amounts of water in the clouds? No man! God proved Job’s inferior wisdom and power by a consideration of the water in clouds (Job 36:24-33; 37:11-24; 38:33-37). And David and Jeremiah used the same impossibility to leave man short of wisdom (Ps 135:5-7; 147:7-8; Jer 10:13; 51:16).

Who, like God, has the wisdom and power to establish all the ends of earth, to lay the foundation and build upon it? No man! God proved Job’s inferior wisdom and power by these very considerations (Job 38:4-7). And Solomon reasoned about wisdom’s great value through God’s use of it to create the world and settle the mountains (Pr 8:25-26).

Is there any such man? No, not one! Agur pressed further. If there is such a man, what is his son’s name? If a man had ascended to heaven and found wisdom, then surely it would be with his son. They had to answer in the negative. There is neither man nor son that knows or understands these things. They are too high and wonderful for man (Ps 131:1).

The seven questions are not simply answered with “God.” The middle three questions are true of God, but that is not his argument. You can see above that the first two questions create a hypothetical alternative. The last two questions create an unanswerable dilemma. What is learned by supplying “God” and “Jesus”? Nothing! Agur taught there is no man or son that has the wisdom of the blessed God, Who created all things by understanding.

Man has no knowledge or wisdom of his own, and he cannot find out God’s knowledge or wisdom by himself (Is 8:20). Agur knew it to be true of himself and all men, so he convinced his students by these rhetorical questions. Wisdom is a matter of revelation: God must give it by inspiration (Deut 29:29). And Agur will conclude his introduction by identifying that perfect wisdom in the inspired words of God’s scriptures (Pr 30:5-6)!

The wisdom of God is too high for man to reach (Job 11:5-12). Though he might look and search in many places, he will not find it by any natural means (Job 28:12-28). The wisdom of God is revealed supernaturally through inspiration, and then men have no need for trips to heaven or across the sea for it (Deut 30:11-14; Rom 10:6-8). No wonder David considered God’s word so very delightful and precious to him (Ps 19:7-11).

Those who see an allusion to eternal generation here have found only an illusion. Their desperate efforts to support Origen’s hallucination are again found wanting. God did not yet have a son, for the Word had not yet been made flesh (Luke 1:35; Jn 1:14). David and Isaiah knew God’s Son was future (Ps 89:19-37; Is 7:14; 9:6). As in the personification of wisdom (Pr 8:22-31), many seek mystical allusions where there are none.

The rhetorical questions are nonsensical, if they are merely answered with “God.” God and His name of Jehovah were well known by all three men (Pr 30:5,9). Agur did not teach Ithiel and Ucal that God had created the wind, clouds, and earth. They already knew that. He taught them that no man had wisdom close to that of the Creator God. It is our privilege and duty to see a dark saying here (Pr 1:6), not childish questioning.

Since only God has the infinite wisdom implied by our proverb, prudent men will value and treasure every word of His inspired Scriptures (Pr 30:5-6; Matt 4:4). Since every word is pure, you cannot take any away (Pr 30:5). And you are told not to add your words (Pr 30:6). Do not take away from them nor add to them (Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18-19). Hold fast to a Bible that is word-perfect and keep every precept in it (Ps 119:128).

No mere man can ascend up to heaven, nor descend from it, to obtain wisdom. But Jesus descended and then ascended to sit at God’s right hand (John 3:13; Eph 4:9). He made all things by His power; by Him all things consist; and He upholds all things by the word of His power (John 1:3; Col 1:17; Heb 1:3). In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and He has been made wisdom for each of the elect (Col 2:3; I Cor 1:30-31).

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.