"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Curse of Plenty

Proverbs chapter 30:1-9(ESV quoted below) begins in a dark mood, with Agur Jakehson(son of Jakeh), the oracle, introducing this Proverb with, "The man declares, ..." But who was the man speaking the subsequent, despairing words? For one thing, he was obviously discouraged from fatigue, but what were his other issues?. Vs. 2 shows his sense of self-worth is dismal, in that he assumes his intelligence is less-than human. Vs. 3 confesses failing to learn about the Holy One. Yet, anyone smart enough to know their own stupidity isn't all that stupid. And only those who know something of the Holy One can know how little they actually know.
        Vs. 4 lists the type of wonders only God could perform. Yet, this man whom the oracle is quoting, though he knows enough to ask the questions, seems not to know the answers. And though he knows of God's son, he knows neither his name, nor the name of his father.
        These are obviously rhetorical questions, asked as from the mouth of a dimwit. The truly remarkable question is how, other than by specially-given divine knowledge, did the oracle know of God's Son? All Old Testament appearances of God's Son treated Him as the LORD, or the angel of the LORD.
        The rest of this passage begins with the oracle praising God by acclaiming some of His attributes. Then he makes two requests that demonstrate the depth of his wisdom. And vs. 9 clearly shows the oracle as one who has either seen or experienced the curse of plenty.

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

3 I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.

4 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!

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

6 Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

7 Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:

8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,

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.

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