I really loved reading this passage of the Proverbs. I've read through the Proverbs before, but I've never read through them as one big group. I have gotten so much more out of them by reading them this way.
I especially loved verses five through nine. The part that has always spoken to me, not just here but in many other places in scripture, is the command to not add to (or take away from) God's Word.
There was a man (and his wife) who used to sit in front of us at the church we attended in Colorado. This man and his wife and my family developed a bit of a bond because, often, we were the only ones in the church sitting on that side of the room. Sometimes, this man would fill in for the pastor by preaching a sermon when the pastor was away. We had a great preacher/pastor, but I always looked forward to hearing this man's sermons. Not because they were eloquent or fiery, but because they were always amazingly profound. He could find meaning to scripture, especially when it came to tying in Old Testament scripture to Christ, that would just amaze me. One of the things this man said to me during a time of fellowship has always stuck with me. He said that he has never liked the practice of anyone saying, "So what God is saying in this passage is...". He felt that to say that is to add to God's Word. Who are we to determine for others what God is saying in that passage. God is not the author of confusion, any man who is seeking God through the prompting of the Holy Spirit should be able to read and understand what God is saying. (That last bit is probably more my personal opinion than the actual words of my friend.)
Now I know that there are a lot of passages in the Bible that are rather hard to understand, especially for younger Christians (and many would consider myself to be a pretty young Christian) and it is often helpful to listen to a more seasoned Christian's commentary on the more difficult passages. But I think, as my friend thinks, that we should always be careful with trying to paraphrase God; we should always be mindful of whether or not we are adding to God's word by our paraphrasing. Are we adding in our opinions? Is the idea that we're trying to convey actually found in the passage we're describing? And if so, can we prove it in scripture?
I've learned so much about my Lord in the few years that I've been following hard after Him and I'm thankful to have had wise teachers all along the way. I'm nowhere near finished either. I look forward to whoever else God will lead into my path to teach me future lessons and to enlighten me about the things that I don't yet know or understand. Because, one thing's for sure. I will never be able to learn everything there is to know about God. And that's what makes Him so fascinating and amazing!
Here is today's text:
1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
2 Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.
3 I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell?
5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
10 Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
15 The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
21 For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:
22 For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
23 For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
24 There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
26 The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;
27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
28 The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.
29 There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
30 A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.
32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.
33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
You can read the entire 31 daily Proverbs devotional series by clicking here.
Do you know, if you were to die today, whether or not you'll go to be with Christ after you die? Are you 100% and completely assured of your salvation? If not, please take the time to read this salvation message today. There is nothing more important than giving your life to Christ and securing your place in eternity. I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to a personal relationship with Christ today, and I pray that you follow where the Holy Spirit leads you.