Proverbs 30

Proverbs 30:1-7

30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die: (ESV)

Proverbs 30

Proverbs 30

30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

10 Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.

11 There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are those who are clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
13 There are those—how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
14 There are those whose teeth are swords,
whose fangs are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.

15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
16 Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

17 The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.

18 Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.

20 This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”

21 Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

24 Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.

29 Three things are stately in their tread;
four are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and does not turn back before any;
31 the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.

32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife. (ESV)

Going Deeper

Going Deeper

Proverbs 29 (8-19-17)

Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

The word “spirit” here means anger, emotions, feelings.

This is much needed counsel from Solomon that blesses us in so many situations. When we can exercise control of our emotions and not just unleash and lash out or rage when we are stirred up or bothered, we can prevent extra turmoil or hurt from happening. Solomon says, “It is wisdom to check our emotions and anger and act with restraint.” This is a good practice to constantly do. Whenever we are stirred up or angered, it is good to take that to the Lord in prayer and to His word and even sometimes to a brother or sister to be checked first before letting it have its way. WHY? Because our flesh is sinful and self-serving and self-preserving. It doesn’t like to be offended and/or hurt, so our fleshly habit is just to lash out in an effort to cope or justify.

James gives great New Testament counsel in James 1:19 when he says,Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

When we are only thinking of ourselves, we will be quick to speak out regarding whatever injustice or offense has been made.

But when I am thinking of others, I will long to slow down and listen longer and consider how I might better understand their perspective and/or how the gospel applies to this situation. Think about it: How many fights have you had with a spouse, loved one, or close friend simply because you chose to fire back in your emotions before you gave them the benefit of the doubt or really tried to understand where they were coming from first? Empathetic listening is not just listening with the intent to understand what is being said, but it goes deeper; it is listening with the intent to understand why the person feels the way they do about what is being said. In my 20 years of pastoral ministry, I have seen this make some of the most significant differences in struggling relationships. Simply put, an other-centered, loving practice to be slow to speak and longing to really listen and understand where the other person is coming from really shows respect, care, and interest in the other person instead of you just spouting out what you think or feel with no real regard for them.

Hear me clearly: this is not just a practice for marriages or families. The counsel of Solomon and James is for all of us and any relationship. They are saying, “It will go better for you if you will slow down, hold back your immediate emotions and anger, and listen longer, empathize, and really try to hear them.”

Second, slowing down to really listen and give the benefit of the doubt gives you opportunity to prayerfully apply the gospel to the situation and to speak with a Christ-centered, loving disposition. What the gospel does in situations like this is gives us a renewed perspective: while the other party might have messed up or offended, the gospel reminds us that we are no better than them; without the grace of God and His power at work in us, we are just as capable of the kinds of things that are said or done to us. This keeps us from a self-righteous, self-justified response that looks to correct or condemn the other person in the wake of our anger and emotion. Not to say that you still don’t say “ouch” or speak honestly about the hurt or offense, but you speak after you have forgiven them and been reminded of just how desperate you both are for the cross to do anything that honors God or each other.

Let us be better at slowing down and avoiding emotional responses charged with anger and lacking grace of giving the benefit of the doubt. Let us go to prayer and to the word and, if needed, to a brother for accountability and counsel. In these things, we will be more ready to apply the counsel given for how we should act towards one another.

As I wrap up today’s study, I encourage you to meditate on Colossians 3:12-17, as it gives us great counsel as to how we should respond and act towards one another. May our God be honored and our testimony of Christ be bright as we fight our flesh and look to live in the Spirit, which made us new in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 3:12-17 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

By His grace and for His glory,

Joshua “Shepherd” Kirstine

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29:21-27

21 Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.
22 A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23 One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24 The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25 The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
26 Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.
27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked. (ESV)

Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29:15-20

15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart.
18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him. (ESV)