Category Archives: The Words of Agur (Pro. 30)

The Words of Agur

Welcome!

Progressive Devotions was born out of one preacher’s passion to build believers in the body of Christ. I am very thankful for what Keith Gardner is doing for God’s people through this site. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a guest writer this week. I am new at writing for the internet, so please bear with me as I begin this new type of ministry!

Bible Reading for Today

Proverbs 30

A Chapter About Your Life?

If God devoted one chapter of His Word to describing your life, thoughts, and words, how would that chapter read? Well, the chapter about this man called Agur reads beautifully! It is my prayer that we will “improve our chapters” by studying the example and teachings found here in Proverbs 30.

Learning From the Example of Agur

His Humility (verses 2-4)

As you will see in our study this week, Agur was a smart man and obviously a wise man. However, in verse 2, he calls himself the most stupid man on earth (“brutish”)! He also said that he does not have the “understanding of a man.” In other words, Agur considered his level of intelligence to that of an animal’s. I personally believe that these are confessions of humility. While Agur knew a lot, he did not know everything! In verse 3 he confessed that he did not know all that there is to know about God. In verse 4 he asked 6 questions about God.

  1. Who went up to heaven and came down?
  2. Who can hold the wind in his hands?
  3. Who can wrap the waters in his clothes?
  4. Who established all the ends of the earth?
  5. What is His name?
  6. What is His Son’s name?

Let me give you some homework. See if you can answer these questions about God. If you can answer these questions, are there some questions about God that you cannot answer? Of course there are. Our finite minds will never fully understand everything about the nature of God. This is not cause for discouragement, but it is cause for humility. Job was certainly humbled. Agur was humble.

Remember That God Blesses Humility

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. (Proverbs 29:23)

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6)

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:10)

Remember That God Condemns Pride

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. (Proverbs 29:23)

His Faith In The Word of God (verses 5-6)

Agur believed in the purity of the Word of God. Psalm 119:140 says, “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” Because God’s Word is pure, Agur believed the Bible could be trusted. God protects those that trust Him! Think of some verses that teach this truth. If you can’t think of some, search for them.

Agur believed in the inerrancy of God’s Word and understood the dangers of editing the Bible with words that are not from God.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (Revelation 22:18)

Conclusion

Agur was a great example of humility and faithfulness to the Word of God. If our lives could be described in a beautiful chapter, these virtues must be a part of our lives.

The Words of Agur (2)

Continuing to Learn From the Example of Agur

Welcome back to Progressive Devotions! I trust that you were able to benefit from our study of the example of Agur. Today we will look at an example of Agur’s prayer life.

Text For Today

Please read Proverbs 30:7-17

An Example From Agur’s Prayer Life (verses 7-9)

When is the last time you gave serious consideration to what is important in life? Agur mentioned two things that are important in life.

Separation from vanity and lies is important.

Agur understood that our lives can be consumed with meaningless and empty works that have no eternal value. Let us not forget the words of the Apostle Paul regarding that day in the future when God will judge all our works.

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13-15)

Agur understood the terrible impact that lying has upon our lives.

  • Speaking a lie is a sin against God (Proverbs 6:17).
  • Believing a lie is a sin against God (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
  • Unrepentant liars will be condemned to an eternity in hell (Revelation 21:8).
Provision of necessities is important.

Agur understood that poverty presents the temptations of stealing and becoming angry at God. He also understood that wealth can tempt a man to deny God. So, Agur simply asked the Lord to provide his daily needs.

  • God wants us to ask Him to meet our daily needs: “Give us this day our daily bread…” (Matthew 6:11).
  • God has promised to meet our daily needs: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
  • We need to be satisfied with God’s provision of our daily needs: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-9).

Challenge

Take some time today to reflect on your prayer life. Are you praying? Are you seeking the Lord for things that are truly important? May God help us to please Him in our prayer lives.

The Words of Agur (3)

Learning From The Teachings Of Agur

Welcome back to Progressive Pevotions! For the past two days, we have learned some lessons from the example of Agur. Today, we will begin to learn some lessons from the teachings of Agur. Matter of fact, we will spend the rest of the week studying his teachings. It will be a rewarding experience, so let’s get to work.

Text For Today

Proverbs 30:10-17

His Teachings About The Unrighteous (verses 10-17)

The Troublemakers (verse 10).

This verse speaks about slandering a servant. The slanderer creates trouble for the servant and the servant reacts by cursing. The slanderer not only creates trouble for the servant, but for himself. When his lies about the servant are uncovered, he is found guilty. He is the one with the problem!

God’s people are reminded to “lay aside” the sin of evil speaking in 1 Peter 2:1. In Titus 3:2 and James 4:11 we are commanded to refrain from speaking evil about others.

The Disrespectful (verses 11, 17).
  • They disrespect their fathers. They are not afraid to curse their dads and they have no problem mocking them.
  • They disrespect their mothers. They refuse to bless their moms and they despise obedience.
  • Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) – Ephesians 6:2
  • If you are a parent, do you enforce respect and obedience in your home?
  • If you are a young person, do you honor and obey your parents?
  • Their judgment will be severe (verse 17b)!
  • The picture of the beast plucking out the mocking eye should put the fear of God in our hearts regarding the area of honoring and obeying our parents!
  • The Self-righteous (verse 12).

    So many people see themselves as good. They fail to accept God’s truth that all “have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23. The Pharisees were self-righteous and Christ strongly condemned them for this throughout His ministry. Remember that we must “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” if we are to be “exalted in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:6

    The Prideful (verse 13).

    Pride is an abomination to God according to Proverbs 6.

    The Greedy (verse 14).

    The sin of greed is not just prevalent with men in the business world. It is present throughout the professing church. God’s people seem to fail to understand the difference between needy and greedy. I get very few letters from Pastors who have small churches, torn up buildings, and small bank accounts asking for funds. I get many letters from multi-million dollar religious empires always seeking more funds for new buildings, bigger rainy day funds and many other things. Are we accommodating greed or meeting needs? It is worth some thought and prayer!

    I am out of time for today. I will see you tomorrow.

    The Words of Agur (4)

    Welcome Back!

    I hope that you have had a good day. My prayer is that the example and teachings of Agur will help us in our walk with Christ.

    Today’s Reading

    Proverbs 30:18-20

    His Teachings About Things That Are Unsearchable

    In verse 18, Agur mentions three things that are “too wonderful” for him. He is amazed by some things that can’t be fully understood, or searched out. After mentioning these four things, he then confesses that he cannot understand the adulterous person. In our day of sexual promiscuity, adultery is a normal activity accepted by many. In Agur’s mind, he cannot understand that way of an adulterer. Such foolish behavior is beyond his comprehension.

    The way of an eagle in the air.

    The eagle does not leave a path behind her in the air. There is no smoke or, feather trail. The way of the eagle in the air is unsearchable.

    The way of a serpent upon a rock.

    When a serpent is in the sand, we can follow his trail. When a serpent is on a rock, there is no trail unless he is shedding. The way of the serpent on the rock is unsearchable.

    The way of a ship in the midst of the sea.

    When a ship passes through the sea, the trail quickly disappears. When there is no radar present, one cannot know the complete path the ship has taken. The way of the ship way out in the sea is unsearchable.

    The way of a man with a maid.

    The word “maid” often speaks of a virgin in the Bible and I believe this text is speaking about a man’s immoral relationship with a young virgin. Why would a man forsake his marriage covenant to commit fornication with another woman? We know that the problem is our deceitful and desperately wicked hearts (Jeremiah 17:9). We know that the problem is that men are not to look on the strange woman (any woman who is not your wife! – see Proverbs 5-6). At the same time, we do experience surprise when someone we know is caught in his sin of adulterous behavior. We know the heart is sinful, but we still sense shock when someone close to us ruins their lives and marriage because of the foolish act of adultery.

    Not only is the act of fornication unsearchable, but so is the defense of fornication. Verse 20 describes the woman who commits adultery, acts like nothing wrong happened, and refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing.

    Several years ago, a Christian worker disappeared one day. His wife and children searched high and low and could not find him. Days later he called from another state to tell his wife that he had ran off with another woman. He then told her that she should not be too upset with him. He assured his wife that he and his new mistress were having daily devotions! This is unsearchable! It is difficult to understand why anyone would defend this sin in this way.

    While we may understand the evil within our hearts, may we never come to the place where we accept such wicked behavior as normal.

    Here are some verses for you to ponder:

    • Proverbs 5-6
    • Colossians 3:5
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

    May God held us to see this sin as He sees it.

    The Words of Agur (5)

    Welcome Back

    Greetings once again from Albany, NY!

    Reading For Today

    Proverbs 30: 21-23

    His Teachings About Unbearable Things

    In verse 21, Agur recognized that there are three things that disquiet the earth. In other world, the people of this world cannot be at peace when these items are present. Agur also mentioned that there was a fourth item, that along with these three items, was unbearable.

    Unqualified people in positions of leadership are unbearable (verse 22, 23b).

    In verse 22, Agur offered the example of a servant reigning as king. Throughout history, there have been people in positions of leadership who began their lives with very humble surroundings. This is not unbearable. What is unbearable is to have someone lead who is not qualified to lead.

    In verse 23, Agur mentioned the handmaid that inherits the fortune of her mistress. Not every handmaid can handle a great inheritance. When an unqualified handmaid assumes such a great inheritance, those around her suffer by her conceited, self-centered, greedy spirit.

    In the political realm, we have witnessed the tragedy of unqualified people being placed in public office. Some of the world’s most brutal dictators are simply unqualified men surrounded by henchmen who wreak havoc on the people of their country. In these places, the people cry for deliverance. When our soldiers liberated the Iraqi people from the rule of Sadaam Hussein, the people rejoiced in their deliverance from this man’s rule. He was not qualified to lead that country.

    In the spiritual realm, nothing hurts a church more than an unqualified man leading the people of God. In 1Timothy 3 and Titus 2, the Bible sets forth qualifications for spiritual leadership in the church. When unqualified men are given those positions of leadership, God’s church suffers.

    Rich fools are unbearable

    Note that the word “fool” is the Hebrew word “nabal.” This word comes from the foolish man given this name in 1 Samuel 25. This well-fed, wealthy but churlish and mean spirited man was unbearable to be around, and he was judged by God for his foolish behavior towards others.

    Odious Women who gets married make unbearable wives

    The odious woman is someone who was unloved most of her life. Throughout this time of loneliness, she became hardened, mean spirited, rough in her reactions to others. When this woman gets married, watch out!

    I know a lot of godly Christian women who have determined they will not marry just any man that comes across their path. They have determined that they will wait for a man who will be a spiritual leader to enter their lives before they will consider dating and marriage. Praise God for these women.

    If a women chooses to maintain a godly spirit during that waiting period, her marriage will be a great event and will lead to a wonderful life of love. If a woman chooses to grow bitter during that waiting period, marriage will not be a great experience unless she repents of that bitterness.

    Proverbs 31 speaks of the virtues of a Godly woman.

    Conclusion

    May God help each man and each woman reading this devotion to take some time to look up the virtues that we need in our lives to please God and be the people He wants us to be.

    The Words of Agur (6)

    Thanks!

    It has been a joy to be with you this week. I appreciate the opportunity given by Keith Gardner to write, and I appreciate all his labors to teach the word here. Let me invite you to stop in and visit Calvary Baptist Church if you are ever in our area?

    Reading For Today

    Proverbs 30:24-33

    Learning From The Little (verses 24-28)

    We can learn more about successful living from the following creatures than we could ever learn from Forbes, Trump, and Gates:

    The Wisdom of the Ant

    The ant is very small, but very wise. Ants work together to store up for the winter. These little things feast while larger animals sometimes starve. No wonder the writer of Proverbs said, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6)

    The Wisdom of the Badger

    The badger is a feeble creature, but he is wise enough to make his home in the rocks. By abiding in the place of protection, he prolongs his life. Psalm 94:22 says, “But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” Are we abiding in the place of safety?

    The wisdom of the locusts

    They do not have a King like bees, yet they go forth like and army and bring about great destruction. God used these creatures to battle the heart-hearted Pharoah in Exodus 10. As God’s people, we have a King. We also have a called to work together. May God help us to be unified.

    The wisdom of the spider

    When spider season comes to Albany, NY, we find them everywhere. These creatures with all their legs somehow find ways to get through seemingly impossible crevices into our homes to scare the ladies of the house. What obstacles are you facing in your life? Do you have the wisdom to understand that you can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

    Learning From the Stately (verses 29-31)

    The Stately Lion

    The lion is the feared King of the jungle. He is fast and he does not walk in fear. There is something powerful about that scene. In our lives, we do not have to walk in fear. The lion of the tribe of Judah is Jesus Christ and He is with us!

    The Stately Greyhound

    This quick animal is beautiful to watch. As we run the race set before us, we can be an example for others (see 1 Corinthians 9:24).

    The Stately He Goat

    The he goat cares for his family and leads in family in the right way. How are you fulfilling your responsibilities that God has given?

    The Stately King

    There have been Kings throughout history who have ruled well. Men so respected that no one rose up against them. When our ways please the Lord, He will even cause our enemies to be at peace with us (Proverbs 16:7).

    Agur’s Final Challenges (verses 32-33)
    • The call to repent of pride and evil thoughts.
    • The call to repent of uncontrolled anger.

    Conclusion

    Thank God for these words from Agur. May we learn from his example, and may we learn from his teachings.

    Prayer and Thanksgiving

    Introduction

    Thanksgiving is an important part of prayer. If you think about it, it only makes sense. How do you feel when someone takes and takes without ever saying thank you?

    Bible Reading

    Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. (1Ch 16:8)

    Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. (Psa 75:1)

    Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Dan 6:9-10)

    Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Phi 4:6)

    Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; (Col 4:2)

    I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1Ti 2:1-2)

    And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. (Luk 17:12-18)
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    Prayer with Thanksgiving

    This study won’t be deep or long. Just one simple point today – prayer is more effective with thanksgiving. People quickly tire of the person who takes without gratitude. It’s only right to express appreciation to God for His goodness to us. Notice in the various Bible texts that prayer and thanksgiving are linked.

    The cleansing of the ten lepers illustrates this principle. Christ healed ten lepers, but only one returned to give thanks. I wonder if that ratio hold true today – that we only thank God for a tenth of what He does for us?

    What About You?

    • Is thanksgiving a regular part of your prayer life? If not, why not try adding it consistently and see the impact it has on the effectiveness of your prayers.
    • If God decided to take back everything you hadn’t thanked Him for in the last 30 days, what would be left when you woke up tomorrow?