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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - July 23, 2007
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July 23, 2007

Proverbs 30-31
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Proverbs
Chapter 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.
  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.


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Proverbs
Chapter 31
  1. The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
  2. What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
  3. Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
  4. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
  5. Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
  6. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
  7. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
  8. Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
  9. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
  10. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
  11. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
  12. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
  13. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
  14. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
  15. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
  16. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
  17. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
  18. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
  19. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
  20. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
  21. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
  22. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
  23. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
  24. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
  25. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
  26. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
  27. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
  28. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
  29. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
  30. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
  31. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.


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Thought for the day:
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 An interesting thought is expressed in Proverbs 30:8-9. There Agur writes,

"give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 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]."
What a tremendous prayer request this is! Agur asks the Lord not to allow him to be materially impoverished, but he also asks Him not to allow him to become more wealthy than he can handle. He gives two good reasons for this. First, he asks not to be left in poverty because he might respond to that by stealing, which would harm his testimony as well as his relationship with God, or because he might speak evil of the Lord, also harming his testimony and relationship. Because he realizes that he has these weaknesses, he asks the Lord not to put him in a position where he might fall into sin. This is very similar to Christ's instructions in the model prayer that tell us to ask the Lord to "lead us not into temptation" (Matt. 6:13). I believe that it is a valid request when someone asks the Lord to keep him away from temptation. It shows a level of maturity on his part because it shows that he understands his spiritual inadequacies. Many Christians are filled with pride and assume that they can handle temptation. The wise believer understands how weak he is and begs God to protect him.

 Not only is Agur concerned about being poor, but he is also concerned about being rich. While many of us don't want to be poor, and even pray to that end, how many of us honestly would ask the Lord not to make us rich? I think that the number would be quite small. Agur prays this way because he understands another sinful tendency that he has. This one is that once he no longer needs to depend upon God on a daily basis because of his own prosperity, he knows that he might turn his back on the Lord and start trusting in himself. Agur is not the only one who has this problem. Many Christians go through life never giving the Lord much thought because they have so much of this world's goods that they think that they can get along without Him. They don't need to pray for their daily bread because the refrigerator, freezer and pantry are filled with food. They have a good-paying job that allows them to keep current with their bills. They have a comfortable home, reliable transportation, and a closet filled with clothes. Who needs God? Of course, they would never say that, but for all practical purposes they live like that. When the crisis comes they will call upon the Lord, but until that time they will rely on their own abilities and possessions. Agur understands how devastating that attitude would be to his relationship with the Lord, so he asks God to keep that problem from entering his life as well.

 Agur asks for neither poverty nor riches, but rather he asks that God would give him exactly what he needs to be the best follower of the Lord that he can be. This is the sign of a spiritual man. He knows that God knows what is best for him. Agur doesn't know what his response would be to either poverty or riches, but he knows that it might not be correct, so he asks for God to handle it. He trusts completely upon the Lord's will and wisdom to make the determination, and I think the implication here is that he chooses to be satisfied with whatever God decides. Would you and I be willing to pray that prayer concerning our finances? Would we be willing to trust that God would do want was right for us, and then not complain about His verdict? Agur did, and he serves as a great example to us.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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