Proverbs 30:1. 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.
The last two chapters of the Book of Proverbs are considered to be appendices because they are wise sayings by someone other than Solomon. Who are Agur, Ithiel and Ucal? No one knows, but we are presented with an instructor, Agur, teaching his two students, even if we don’t know their precise relationship.
The surprising thing is that the instructor claims to have no wisdom or knowledge or understanding. But this is what qualifies one to be a teacher! What could he possibly mean? In fact, he compares himself to brute beasts, implying that he is not capable of being instructed either. This beastliness was discussed somewhat in Proverbs 12:1.
We seem (to me) to have a situation where a teacher, even a wise man, has been brought low. Perhaps he has been made aware of his own moral failures before the face of a holy God, like Isaiah.
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)
Or perhaps he has been brought low by distressing circumstances, and struggles to understand God’s ways and purposes, like Job. Here is how God responds to Job’s questioning spirit.
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” (Job 38:1-4)
God goes on for another 65 verses asking Job these “who do you think you are?” and “what do you know?” kinds of questions (very similar to Proverbs 30:4) and finally concludes with this.
“Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:2)
And Job answers in a manner similar to Isaiah.
“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5)
There are times when we are brought low due to our sins or circumstances or both, and we are emptied of any sense of our value or worth or that we have anything to show for our time spent on earth. All our hopes and dreams are shattered and the world is crumbling down around us. When that happens we have to do what Agur, Isaiah, Job and David did.
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (the text is similar in Psalm 42:5,11 and 43:5)
Many of the Psalms are written this way. The Psalmist begins with distress and complaints and through the process of his praying by the end of the Psalm he is strengthened in his faith and hope in God.
And this is how this helps us in building a Family Legacy. Perhaps you think that none of what has been written on this blog for the past month applies to you. You feel your Family Legacy has been destroyed even to the point that everyone close to you hates you.
Do not despair! There still can be a Family Legacy for you.
Hope in God! He is the God of covenant promises, of hope and of new beginnings, because he is the God of resurrection. He brings life back from the dead by the work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
Believe it and act on that belief!