Proverbs 30:7-14

In Proverbs 30:7-14 Agur shares his prayer request to God. These verses contain a wise and humble prayer from Agur. He earnestly asked God for two things, and he wanted to receive them on this side of eternity, not after he was gone. “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.” He asks two simple things:

  1. Remove falsehood and lying
  2. Have neither poverty or riches

Agur first asked for personal integrity. He wanted to be a man marked by truth, and not by falsehood and lies. Knowing God is a God of truth he didn’t want such deception anywhere near him. Agur’s second request was to have neither great poverty nor great riches. He wanted to be satisfied with God’s provision in his life. He wants to have enough. But the request is about more than merely food. It includes love and fellowship and relationship. Agur wanted neither poverty nor riches out of concern that either extreme might lead him to profane the name of God. He did not want to arrogantly deny God because he felt he was so rich he didn’t need God. He did not want to be so poor that he would use poverty as an excuse to sin.

He goes on to remind us that we should not speak poorly of others. This proverb has to do with harsh, unfair criticism (malign) spoken to another about a third party not present. It shouldn’t be done, and doing it without the knowledge of the one spoken against makes it even worse. If it is wrong to do this in regard to a servant, it is even worse to do it against someone else. “Do not slander a servant to his master, lest he curse you and you be held guilty.” The one spoken against may rightfully speak a curse against the one who secretly talks about others. The curse may in fact come to pass if the one who maligns is found guilty of the offense.

Agur then reminds us of the importance of honoring our parents. It’s not an option, but rather a command. “There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers. There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth. There are those – how lofty are their eyes, how high their eyelids lift! There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.” He defines generations with common actions:

  1. Those who curse their fathers and mothers – disobeys God’s command and sows seeds of conflict that will grow into a bitter harvest of personal and community strife.
  2. Those who are clean in their own eyes – blind to their own sinful need will never be washed from its filthiness. When we ignore or cover our sin, it never gets resolved.
  3. Those who are lofty in their own eyes – walks in pride and arrogance will experience God’s resistance, because God resists the proud.
  4. Those who have teeth like swords – filled with greed devours everything as if their teeth were swords and their fangs like knives. They devour the poor from off the earth and can never be satisfied.

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