Pathways Through Proverbs
August 30, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 30
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Following Scripture Verses
- The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
- Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.
- I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
- 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?
- Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
- Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
- Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
- Remove far from me vanity and lies: 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.
- Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
- There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
- There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
- There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
- 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.
- The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
- The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
- 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.
- There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
- 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.
- Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
- For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:
- For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
- For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
- There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:
- The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
- The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;
- The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
- The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.
- There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
- A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
- A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.
- If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.
- 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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In verses 25-28 of this chapter we are given illustrations from the animal/insect kingdom to show us the kind of character that God expects from His children. In today's verse we receive instruction from the lowly ant. Agur states that the individual ant may not be very strong, but somehow he manages, with the help of his fellow ants, to provide enough food for himself in the summer that he can exist throughout the winter.
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There are several simple truths that we can see here. First of all, each ant by itself is not very strong. Ants can not lift huge amounts of weight, particularly when compared to other creatures, and they are easily crushed by the footsteps of humans. This reminds us that we as humans can be weak also. I may be able to lift weight, but there certainly are situations in this life that I will struggle to handle. In addition, there are things in this life that can easily crush my spirit. However, like the ant I must not give up.
Second, the Bible points out that ants function as a "people". This indicates that ants work together in their colonies providing for one another. When one finds food, it directs others to the food as well. Here we see the lesson that as Bible believers we need to work together to help one another and to see that the Lord's work is accomplished. Individually we may not accomplish much, but working together as a church we can do what God has called us to do.
Third, ants make up for their lack of strength by preparing in advance. On the first day of winter it would be impossible for ants to gather enough to carry them through until spring. But, when they start preparing immediately, they have plenty of time to get things done. This final lesson shows us the importance of not procrastinating when it comes to our service to the Lord, and that we must begin doing His will today.
So, are you as smart as an ant?
Pastor Mark J Montgomery