December 12, 2017


Proverbs 30:1–9

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The Words of Agur

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.1

  The man declares, I am weary, O God;
    I am weary, O God, and worn out.2
  Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
    I have not the understanding of a man.
  I have not learned wisdom,
    nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
  Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
    Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
  Who has wrapped up 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?
    Surely you know!
  Every word of God proves true;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
  Do not add to his words,
    lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
  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.


[1] 30:1 Or Jakeh, the man of Massa
[2] 30:1 Revocalization; Hebrew The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal


Key Verse | Proverbs 30:5

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
(Proverbs 30:5)

Central Truth

Through difficult seasons, we can be reminded not to rely on ourselves but to rest in the strength of God and the truth of His Word.

Devotional | Proverbs 30:1–9

My four-year-old, Hudson, is ahigh-energy little boy. He loves to run, sweat,chase, wrestle, hit, jump, throw, and dance; and he does it all at an 11on the intensity meter. But when his big gas tankeventually runs...

My four-year-old, Hudson, is a high-energy little boy. He loves to run, sweat, chase, wrestle, hit, jump, throw, and dance; and he does it all at an 11 on the intensity meter. But when his big gas tank eventually runs out, he hits the wall hard and needs rest ASAP.

In Proverbs 30, we're introduced to a new author, Agur, who seems to have hit a wall himself. I picture a frustrated man with his head in his hands, weary and disheveled from the race of life that he has been running alone and in desperate need of a nap. Though Agur knows the answers to the foundational questions in verse 4, he is still deeply frustrated at his lack of faith and knowledge.

How easy is it to fall into the trap that we know better than the creator of the universe? It seems as though the first lie ever told—to Eve in the garden (Genesis 3)—was alive and well in God's people more than 2,000 years ago just as much as in the church today. Too often, I am like Eve or Agur, needing the reminder that God is sovereign, all knowing, and wants an intimate relationship with me.

In verse 5, our friend Agur is snapped back to his faith and reminds himself God is the all-powerful protector when he takes refuge in Him. All of His words are true and there to teach and encourage us when the going gets tough. This idea of rest applies in the New Testament as well. Matthew 11:28-30 encourages those who labor and are heavy laden to seek Christ and find rest in Him. 

​Agur recognizes his need for a changed heart and prays the only prayer in all of Proverbs—to live a life of trust with a basic income, in case he is tempted to lose faith or defame God through stealing. John 16:16-24 also reminds us there will be strife in our lives, but through prayer and faith, He will provide the things we need.

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Bio | James Unthank

My name is James Unthank . . . that usually leads to questions about this crazy last name. It's pronounced like unthankful without the "ful." We have an English coat of arms and everything. Apparently my ancestors had some farmland go south, and they were thought to be unthankful.

Despite the name, I have so much to be thankful for! I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Lauren, for eight years, and you can find us chasing Ella (5), Hudson (4), and Norah (2) around Plano!

Discussion Questions

1. The boundaries between poverty and wealth are difficult to see at times. How does the prayer Agur offers in verses 8-9 help you to know when you are becoming perilously rich or poor?

2. In what area of your life do you rely on something or someone other than the Lord?

3. What defenses can you put in your life to ensure your rest is in Him and not yourself?

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