Morning Bible Study
Kim and the kids are back on May 24, and we’d like their house to be ready
Kitchen table & 6 chairs
4 twin bedframes
1 king bedframe
3 floor lights
1 floor light
Pantry items – see list in back
Lisa or Daniel if you want to donate any items
Money – “Beller Fund”
For 5 new mattresses (4 twins & 1 King)
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
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.
:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain
:23 the humble in spirit will retain honor
honor – kabowd – 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 ought to be seeking “honor” or “value” from God.
God doesn’t give “honor” to the proud, but to the humble.
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
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.
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.
: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
I think this verse is talking about the day that the thief is caught and
put on trial…and you’re his partner.
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
fear – charadah – fear,
anxiety, quaking, trembling, (extreme) anxiety
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”.
shall be safe – sagab – 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 12:2a NKJV)
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.
:27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an
abomination to the wicked.
(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.
: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.
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:
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.
: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?
(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
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.
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.
Let me tell you a little more about the Son in the form of a fairy tale
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
pure – tsaraph – (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
The Communist dictionary issued by the Soviet State Publishing house
described the Bible as a “Collection of fantastic legends without scientific
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:
Ye hostile hands!
Your hammers break;
God’s anvil stands.
Every year archaeologists dig up new evidence to show that the Bible is
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.
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
:6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
:6 Do not add to His words
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,
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
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?
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
Truth is so important in our maturity.
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
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
: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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.