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Proverbs 29:23 – 30:10

Sunday Morning Bible Study

April 29, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm


Bellers –

Kim and the kids are back on May 24, and we’d like their house to be ready to go
Items needed
Kitchen table & 6 chairs
4 twin bedframes
1 king bedframe
3 floor lights
1 floor light
Vacuum cleaner
Coffee pot
Can opener
Pantry items – see list in back

Coordinate with Lisa or Daniel if you want to donate any items

Money – “Beller Fund”

For 5 new mattresses (4 twins & 1 King)

For vehicles

The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.

Wisdom is not about knowing facts.

Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
Wisdom is knowing when to do it.
Wisdom is knowing how to do it.

Proverbs are sayings, typically short, that give wisdom and insight into everyday things.

They are intended to help you lead a better life.

They are not absolute promises, as in “if you do x,y, then z will always happen and your life will be perfect”.

They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be generally better than if you didn’t do them.

I want to encourage you to have a pencil or pen ready as we work through each chapter.

Though we will read the entire chapter, I won’t be taking time to unpack every single proverb.

God may want to use one of the proverbs that we simply pass over to speak to you, so be ready to mark up your Bible or write down a verse.

It’s going to be a little like drinking from a fire hydrant.

The Proverbs are Hebrew poetry…

Hebrew poetry is about ideas, not sounds.

Most of these proverbs are in two lines.

Sometimes the second line is a parallel of the first. It expresses the same idea with different words.
Sometimes the second line is an opposite idea, still clarifying the first, but by way of contrast.
Be careful that you don’t look at one phrase without looking at the other.

We are now in a section of that dates to 250 years after Solomon. King Hezekiah had a group of scholars collect an additional group of 100 of Solomon’s proverbs.

Proverbs 29

:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

:23 the humble in spirit will retain honor



honorkabowd – glory, honor, riches, heaviness
I think there’s something inside of each of us that longs to be considered of value. I think there’s a built-in need for a healthy kind of honor.
The problem is that we often seek “honor” in the wrong places.
We want to be valued by the wrong kinds of people.
We want to be thought of as valuable by the “stuff” we’ve accumulated.
We might seek “honor” by ruling or exercising authority over others.
We seek “honor” through pride – puffing ourselves up.

We’re like those “puffer” fish that seem bigger than they really are.

We ought to be seeking “honor” or “value” from God.
God doesn’t give “honor” to the proud, but to the humble.

(James 4:6 NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

God resists our pride because our pride makes us think we can get along without Him, when we really can’t.

God doesn’t give “grace” to people who don’t think they need Him.

Grace is all about the wonderful things that God does for us that we don’t deserve – like when he saved us, or when He gives us strength in times of weakness.

(2 Timothy 2:1 NKJV) You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever thought about what kinds of things give you “strength”?

Paul challenged Timothy to find strength in what God does for him, despite what he deserves.

When we get all caught up in pride at who we are or what we’re doing, we’re going to trip and fall.
There’s always somebody bigger, stronger, or faster than we are.
I’m going to let Airforce Major Brian Shul tell his story.

Video:  LA Speed Check.

If you’re that little guy flying the Cessna 150, just learn to be humble.

When you cultivate humility, you’ll find God’s grace more than enough to help you experience true “value” in your life.

Pride demands, “Pay me what I’m worth”.

If you broke down your body into it’s basic elements, you could sell it all for about $1.

Grace cries, “I’ll give you more than you deserve”.

God loves you so much that He gave His own Son to pay for you.

His grace makes you priceless.

Here’s the bottom line – if you really want to know what it is to be valued, then get rid of your pride and cultivate humility.
Pride is at the root of our sin nature.

Our sin nature is like the old Wicked Witch of the West, and it doesn’t like it when someone throws cold water on it.  It will be sure to complain and make a lot of noise, and tell you that you’re dying if you don’t do something to keep it alive and strong.

Video:  Wizard of Oz – I’m Melting

You will know what real honor is when you learn to throw a little cold water on your pride, and humbly walk in the love that God has for you.

:24 Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.

:24 a partner with a thief

partnerchalaq – to divide, share, plunder

I think this verse is talking about the day that the thief is caught and put on trial…and you’re his partner.

(Proverbs 29:24 NLT) If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself. You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.
You might not have been the one to steal, but if you’re a “partner”, you are reaping the benefits of the guy who did steal, and when you are faced with telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you are in a quandary.

If you lie or hold back the truth, the victims of the crime won’t see justice.

Keep your business dealings ethical.

:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

:25 The fear of man brings a snare

fearcharadah – fear, anxiety, quaking, trembling, (extreme) anxiety

This is not the same as the “fear” of the Lord
This is not the word for “reverence” (yare)

If someone is causing you great fear or anxiety, then they have control over you.  They have you “trapped”.

:25 whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe

When we “trust” or put our confidence in the Lord, we are “safe”.

trustsbatach – to trust; to have confidence

This is what “faith” is all about.
You have confidence in Him.

shall be safesagab – to be high, be inaccessibly high; (Pual) to be set (securely) on high

He puts you above the fears, above where they can get to you.

Isaiah wrote,

(Isaiah 12:2a NKJV) Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid
You have a choice – to be afraid, or to trust.
If you really understood who God was and what He can do, you would have no need to be afraid.

David put it this way:

(Psalm 34:4 NKJV) I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.

:26 Many seek the ruler’s favor, But justice for man comes from the Lord.

:26 justice for man comes from the Lord

justicemishpat – judgment, justice, ordinance

In the ancient judiciary process, the ruler or king was like the supreme court.

It makes sense that if you want justice for the thing you are facing, you would want to be asking the ruler to be “favorable” to you.
favorpaniym – face
You would look for “justice” by getting yourself in the ruler’s “face”, in his presence.

Some people spend their whole lives trying to get “justice”.

That’s not a bad thing.
But if that search for “justice” robs your life of the joy God wants for you, then you need to consider counting on getting justice from somebody who will give true justice – God.
Judges, jurors, lawsuits may fail you.
God will always have the last say and do what is right.

:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.

abominationtow’ebah – a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable

(Proverbs 29:27 The Message) Good people can’t stand the sight of deliberate evil; the wicked can’t stand the sight of well-chosen goodness.

If you are a good person who finds wicked people disgusting, you can find a little solace in knowing that they probably find you disgusting as well.

Proverbs 30

:1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel—to Ithiel and Ucal:

:1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh

In most of our translations, you see four different names here: Agur, Jakeh, Ithiel, and Ucal.

Agur‘Aguwr – “gathered”
JakehYaqeh – “blameless”
Ithiel‘Iythiy’el – God is with me"
Ucal ‘Ukal – “devoured”

In English, we don’t think of names carrying any real meaning.

In Hebrew, names were words that meant something.
Some translations of this verse don’t translate the words as names, but as words that should be translated.
Two hundred years before Christ, the Greek scholars in Alexandria (LXX – The Septuagint) translated this verse without a single name:

(Proverbs 24:24 LES) Fear my words, son, and when you receive them, repent. This is what the man says to those who trust in God: “And I cease.”

Yet most scholars choose to look at Proverbs 30 as a chapter written by a man named Agur.

:2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man.

stupidba‘ar – brutishness (being like an animal), stupidity

understandingbiynah – understanding, discernment

:3 I neither learned wisdom Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.

Agur has come to the place in his life where he feels like he really doesn’t know much at all.

He feels like he doesn’t even really know God (the Holy One).

I can see someone in the Old Testament days feeling like this – the more he learns about God, the more he realizes he doesn’t know.

:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound 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, If you know?

:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?

How can mankind know a God who dwells in heaven unless someone goes up to heaven, or someone from heaven comes down?

Jesus said,

(John 3:13 NKJV) No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

:4 the wind … the waters…

Though we think of God as having control over the elements, Jesus did a bit of this as well.

Jesus and the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee at night when a storm arose and the disciples panicked.  Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and sea, and the storm stopped.
(Mark 4:41 NKJV) And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

:4 His name … His Son’s name

The Jews of Agur’s day knew God’s name, Yahweh.  It roughly translates as “The Existing One” or “I Am”.


About the Son

The One True God was known by several names in the Old Testament: The God Who Sees, The Lord our Righteousness, The Lord our Healer.
Yet the one Name God shared with Moses was “Yahweh”, which roughly translates as “The Existing One” or “I Am”.
We know His Son’s name as well.
Jesus, or “Yashua” (Hebrew) means “Yahweh is salvation”.
He is salvation because He died in our place, paying for our sins
In Agur’s day, these were confusing questions.
Jesus came to answer those questions.
John wrote,

(John 1:18 NLT) No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

(John 1:18 NKJV) No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Jesus Himself said,

(John 14:6–7 NKJV) —6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

Let me tell you a little more about the Son in the form of a fairy tale love story…
Once upon a time a Princess named Buttercup fell in love with a simple farm boy named Wesley.  Wesley used to do all sorts of things for Buttercup and was famous for saying “As you wish” as he did them.  One day they got separated, and Buttercup thought that Wesley had been killed by pirates.  Buttercup is about to marry a horrible prince when Wesley shows up disguised as the “Dread Pirate Roberts”.

Video:  Princess Bride – As You Wish

Now that’s just a fairy tale.

Let me tell you the real story.

Some of you may have some wrong ideas about Jesus, maybe you even think he’s “dead”, killed by Romans (not pirates).

I’ve got news for you, He’s alive, He loves you, and He wants you to know Him.

:5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

:5 Every word of God is pure


Tested and True

puretsaraph – (Qal) to smelt, refine; to test (and prove true)
Silver and gold are refined in the fire.  Refining not only removes the impurities, but it shows the metal to be what it is, silver is silver, gold is gold.
God’s Word is the real deal.  You can count on it.
People have been saying for thousands of years that you can’t trust the Bible.
The philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) once said, “The Bible will be a short-lived book.” The years proved Voltaire to be wrong and the very house in which he lived was used to store Bibles.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) once stated, “Within 50 years the Bible will be a forgotten Book.” But years later, the very press he used to print this statement was being used to print Bibles.
The Communist dictionary issued by the Soviet State Publishing house described the Bible as a “Collection of fantastic legends without scientific support.”
Lenin once declared, “I expect to live long enough to attend the funeral of all religion.” Lenin has long since been dead, the Soviet Union is gone, and the Bible has never been more alive.
The Waldenses were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church in the middle ages because they held strictly to the teaching of the Bible. They considered the Bible like an anvil. They had a saying:

Hammer away

Ye hostile hands!

Your hammers break;

God’s anvil stands.

Every year archaeologists dig up new evidence to show that the Bible is true.
Agur is quoting one of David’s songs:
(2 Samuel 22:31 NKJV) As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

This song is also found in Psalm 18.

The word “proven” is our text’s word for “pure”.

(Psalm 119:140 NKJV) Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.
Because God’s Word is “tested and true”, we can love it. 
If we love it, we should obey it.
God’s Word is tested and found to be true.

I have a friend who used to work for UPS.  We’d often meet for lunch and he’d tell me about how the company was cooking up ways to “improve” things.  While some of the ideas worked, others were obviously thought up by guys in a back office who had never delivered a box in their life.

God’s Word isn’t just a bunch of new-fangled ideas that have no basis in reality.  God’s Word is pure, true, tested, proved.

When God says, “It’s time to give up that sin”, He’s serious.

You can tell yourself that it’s really not that important, but God’s Word is tested and works.

You aren’t going to have any peace until you do what God says.

When God says, “You can trust in me and not be afraid”, He’s serious.

Trusting in Him will not only remove fear, it will give you peace.

This is the life of faith, trusting God and doing what His Word says.

(Philippians 4:6–7 NLT) —6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

:5 He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him

that put their trustchacah – (Qal) to seek refuge, flee for protection

The ancient Israelites lived in a day of blood feuds. 
If you accidentally killed another person (like in an auto accident), the family of the dead person was obligated to hunt you down and kill you. 
When the Israelites entered into their Promised Land, God did something to put an end to the feuds.  They were to set up six cities of “refuge” scattered equidistantly around the country.  When a person accidentally committed manslaughter, they could run to the city and find shelter, protection.
God is a shield to those who run to Him

:6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

:6 Do not add to His words


No Additives

Be careful not to make up things about God, or claim to know what God has said when He didn’t speak to you.
The prophet Jeremiah lived in a day when there were false prophets telling the people of Jerusalem that everything was going to be okay and Jerusalem wasn’t going to fall to the Babylonians.

Their promises made the people feel good about themselves, but it was a false comfort because it wasn’t true, and Jerusalem was about to be wiped out.

God said to Jeremiah,

(Jeremiah 23:21 NLT) “I have not sent these prophets, yet they run around claiming to speak for me. I have given them no message, yet they go on prophesying.

Today there are people who will make all sorts of claims about God, claims that mislead people and give them a false hope.
Some people will say things like, “Well I don’t believe in a God who sends people to hell.”

Hell may not be a pleasant thought, and the devil has done a good job of making us think that the idea of “hell” is old and outdated, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Bible says it’s real, and that people will be judged and sent there.

Jesus spoke more about hell than any other person in the Bible.

Jesus did everything He could to keep you from hell.  He died on a cross to pay for your sin.  You need to respond by accepting His forgiveness and following Him.

Is there a hell?  Yes.

Does God want you to go there?  No.

What must I do to avoid hell?  Be willing to turn from your sins and open your heart to Jesus Christ.

:7 Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die):

Agur has two prayer requests for God.

:8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me;

Here’s the first request.

:8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me



falsehoodshav’ – emptiness, vanity, falsehood
lieskazab – a lie, untruth, falsehood, deceptive thing
Agur might be talking about people who are telling him lies, but he can just as much be talking about his own life – that he isn’t the one telling the lies.
Truth is so important in our maturity.
(Ephesians 4:15 NKJV) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

Growing up is tied to “truth”.

I need to be paying attention to the “truth”.

I came across a news article the other day about an Art Museum in Southern France that has just discovered that more than half of it’s art collection is made up of forgeries.

Paintings supposedly by Etienne Terrus were purchased for around $200,000 by local cities.  People have paid money to see these paintings.

They discovered the fraud when they realized some of the buildings in the pictures were built after the death of the painter.

Don’t you just love spending money on fakes?

While the world’s standards of “truth” are changing, God’s standards of truth stay the same.

We need to invest our lives in God’s Word, which is truth.

I need to be careful that I am learning to be truthful about myself and recognize things as they really are.
Sometimes we don’t want to face the “truth”, because it’s not very pleasant.
In twelve step programs, they have a catch phrase, “rigorous honesty”

You don’t progress in life until you learn the importance of being honest with yourself and honest with those around you.

Agur prays for truth.

:8 Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me;

:9 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.

:8 Give me neither poverty nor riches

Here’s the second prayer request.



Agur doesn’t want to have too little or too much in life.
If he has too much, he might start thinking that he doesn’t need God in his life.
That’s why Jesus said it was so difficult for a rich person to become a believer.  Difficult but not impossible.
If Agur has too little, he might resort to becoming a thief or bringing shame on God’s name.
The secret of life is finding contentment with what you have.
Paul wrote,
(Philippians 4:11–13 HCSB) —11 I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. 13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.

:10 Do not malign a servant to his master, Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

:10 Do not malign a servant to his master

malignlashan – to use the tongue, slander; to accuse


Proper Confrontation

When we have problems with people, it’s not uncommon for us to wish we had someone to take care of the problem for us.
Video:  Trunk Monkey

or this…

Video:  Trunk Monkey Theft Retrieval System
From time to time people will want to talk to me or one of the other pastors about some person at our church that they are having problems with.
Though they rarely admit it, I’m pretty sure their whole idea is to have us be their “Trunk Monkey”, and go rebuke the person and take care of the mess for them.
Jesus said we ought to do things differently.
(Matthew 18:15–17 NKJV) —15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

If you have a problem with another person, you need to be doing the harder thing and talk to that person yourself.

Don’t be going to their boss or their friends or their pastor and expect them to take care of the issue.

Don’t write “anonymous” letters.
Talk in person.
A few weeks ago I received an “anonymous” letter from someone criticizing someone on my staff.

I don’t mind helpful criticism, but when it’s anonymous, there’s no way you can dialog over their questions or accusations. 

There’s no way you can correct their misperceptions.

It is neither loving nor helpful.

Learn to talk to the person you’re having trouble with.  That’s usually the best place to start.  Then call the Trunk Monkey.