Posted By Nan

The saying of Agur.
I love these sayings. I am grateful that in the book of Proverbs we can read the words of many wise lovers of God. Agur’s saying are particularly beautiful and I will endeavour to fit my thoughts about them into one blog.
This wise man opened his sayings by expressing his humility. This world we live in has low regard for humility, but it is the most important gift to have. Within humility lies wisdom and the wisest person realises how little he or she knows. This is the message of Agur’s opening words.
He acknowledges his ignorance before God. His lack of understanding of Almighty God. His lowly position as a created man. Here this created man pays homage to God, the one who has all knowledge and wisdom. The one who can move from heaven to earth and back again. The one who created everything. The one whose word is always flawless. The provider of refuge and a mighty shield to those who seek him. The one whose words are final and cannot be added to. The punishment for adding to them is eventual rebuke and being shown up as a liar. But how much we try to add to God’s words!
Agur is very touched by the last words. He asks God to keep falsehood and lies far away from him. He wants to be a true servant of God. He also asks God not to give him too much so that he will not think he doesn’t need God and will become poor in faith and dishonour God. These two verses (8-9) are a wonderful prayer of humility to God. I have made them my daily prayer.
Agur then reminds his readers to not slander others because you will not get away with that. He always reminds us that, though we may think we are righteous and ‘good people’ we often are not. In our eyes we are good, but we are full of the filth of sin and therefore not clean. He mentions those who do not honour their good parents, those who think themselves better than others, those who delight in negative speech and putting others down. Those who destroy the poor and those who are greedy. The greedy he describes as leeches with two daughters constantly crying to him to give.
He then notes down a series of lists.
The first is that there are 4 things that are never satisfied, never stop wanting. They are the grave, a barren womb, land desiring water and fire. This is compared to a child who disdains and despises his parents because he is never satisfied. His punishment will be to die alone and unburied.
The next are 4 things he does not understand. They are how an eagle flies so high, how a snake climbs a rock, how a ship navigates the endless ocean and how a man and woman fall in love. This is compared to a prostitute who has sex with a client, bathes and then asks for the next client. Agur wonders how she can do that.
The next are 4 things that the earth cannot support. They are the servant who becomes a king, a fool who has had ample to eat, an unloved woman in marriage and a servant who displaces her mistress.
The next are 4 things that are small but wise. Ants, Marmots, locusts and lizards. They seem so insignificant but they can achieve mighty things.
The next are 4 things that are stately in their bearing. The lion, the rooster, a male goat and a King leading his army.
To end his words, Agur reminds his reader that if he has played the fool by exalting himself in order to get attention, that if he has planned evil, he must stop what he is doing. This person is stirring up anger through his actions. Our actions lead to consequences. In this case, anger will produce strife for him. So be careful what your actions stir up in other people. As the Message puts it: “riled emotions turn into fist fights.”

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