April 4: Proverbs 30:1-6

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

 Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And do not have the understanding of a man.
 I neither learned wisdom
Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.

 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?

 Every word of God is pure;
He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Do not add to His words,
Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

I usually use the New King James version, but what brought my attention to this passage was the ESV. In the ESV  “this man declared to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal” is translated as “I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out.”

Since I have the special convenience of being related by marriage to a Hebrew scholar, I texted him asking him to explain this oddity. Apparently in the Hebrew names are sometimes regular vocabulary words and aren’t capitalized. And then sometimes there aren’t spaces between them, and in general it can be hard to tell if you are talking about being weary and worn out or if you are talking about Ithiel and Ucal. He thought without looking too deeply that he would side with the NKJV, but I like the ESV for the fact that the thought progression is very familiar to me.

So let us just imagine for a moment that this chapter, instead of being written by Agur son of Jakeh was a little something thrown out by a tired woman somewhere. All the sudden the progression from being tired and worn out to feeling stupid makes more sense to me. That is a little something that many of us do every day. Or at least bi-weekly.

This foundation of weariness is a common one. We are busy, we are tired, we are stretched out. We are wanting to throw in the towel. We wonder why we are doing all this stuff anyways. I like verse 3 especially. “Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.” Does this sound familiar at all? Have you ever felt too stupid to be a mom? Too stupid to be a wife? Too stupid to be a person?

When we are working hard and being faithful, there will be times when we are so flat out tired and exhausted. And that is good. Being tired to the point of stupidity is not a sin. In fact, it is often a component of faithfulness. What I love about this passage is that it gives us an example of how to respond to that low down feeling. Look to God. The passage turns to  repeating  a number of the mighty works God. We might be tired and stupid, but He is not.

“Who has gathered the wind in his fists?… What is His name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” But the real centerpiece of this passage is what comes at the end

“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Take refuge in the word of God, because He is a shield for you. A shield from all of the tired, all of the worry, all of the stress, all of the indifference. Every word proves true. Take refuge in it. It is our shield. Proverbs 18:10 also reflects this sentiment,”The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”

Right after this reminder is a warning: Do not add to it. His word is sufficient to shield you. Do not try to protect yourself, or build a shield out of your own smarts. The word of God is sufficient, and do not add to it. Who is it who made you with His words? Who threw the stars into the heavens with His words? Who has established the ends of the earth with His words? Take refuge in His words, and it will always prove sufficient.

 

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6 thoughts on “April 4: Proverbs 30:1-6

  1. Believe it or not, verse 2 is our family motto of sorts. Whenever my husband or I are feeling particularly dumb (which happens more as we’re more sanctified!), one of us will say, “Surely I am too stupid to be a man.” It’s always true and it helps to keep us from thinking too highly of ourselves. And it’s kinda funny too. : )

    Thank you for tracking the course of the chapter and what we should do when feeling tired and stupid. Baby #2 was born a few months ago and I’ve been wondering if I’ll ever feel not-tired or not-stupid, so this was very helpful!

  2. Good afternoon!
    Off the topic (although the topic was a jolly useful one), I have been wondering if the recent Femina Conference was videotaped, and if so, what the possibilities were in relation to it being available on the Canonwired website?
    Many blessings,
    Alison

  3. So I can claim deep spirituality that this week I lost my keys twice and my purse once out of sheer exhaustion that led to my stupidity?

    I love that this passage reminds us that wisdom is found in God. He’ll help me sort out my decisions and priorities that led to my overextending myself and help me figure out if it is an inevitable part of this stage of parenting/schooling/life, or whether I need to make some hard choices to prevent wearing myself so thin again.

  4. So Mommy brain is a good thing then? haha. I love how you take verses that I would have overlooked or not read that much in to and find practical application to a Mom’s life. Thanks!

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