“I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.” – Proverbs 30:1-3 NLT
In reading the book of Proverbs it would be easy to focus on what appear to be the main themes or topics of the book: Wisdom, knowledge and understanding. There is a natural tendency to make the gaining of these three things are sole or primary objective. After all, no one wants to be a fool, so it would only make sense to make the gaining of wisdom, knowledge and understanding our goal. But if we do that we miss the real objective of this book. If you recall, in the very first chapter of Solomon reminds us that “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7 NLT). In other words, while wisdom, knowledge and understanding are worthy objectives, they are only available through a right relationship with God. The Message paraphrases Proverbs 1:7 this way: “Start with God — the first step in learning is bowing down to God.” We must start with God. It all begins with Him. In Proverbs 30, we read the words of Agur, who says, “I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One” (Proverbs 30:2-3 NLT). When we fail to start with God, and we neglect getting to truly know Him for who He is, we end up worn out, and lacking in the very things we need to survive and thrive in this world: wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
When we make getting to know God our objective, we discover the true source of all wisdom. He is the creator of all things. His wisdom and knowledge are beyond our comprehension, yet He makes Himself known to us when we seek Him. He gives us His Word and it is completely reliable and true. Growing in our knowledge of God gives us a greater understanding of ourselves – our weaknesses, limitations, sinful tendencies and our total dependence on Him. Getting to know God gives us a new perspective on life. It changes our priorities, which is why Agur could say, “O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me nether poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord!’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name” (Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT). Growing in our knowledge of who God is refocuses our priorities and puts Him at the center of our lives. When we begin to understand just how much God hates pride, we will no longer desire to see it in our own lives. When we see it in others, we are turned off by it. We understand the danger of pride, arrogance, and over-inflated self-worth in our children. A growing knowledge of God will expose the ever-present danger of gluttony in our lives – in all its forms. We are prone to discontentment and incessantly desire more and more of just about everything, including pleasure, food, attention, accolades, money, power, etc. Like the leech, we cry out, “More, more!” A person who has an intimate understanding of God is able to see through the facade of temptation and spot the dangers that lurk behind the lure. The fool is simply that person who doesn’t know God and, as a result, lacks in wisdom, knowledge, understanding and basic common sense. Like Agur, they end up weary from trying to live life in this world with nothing but their own human understanding to rely on. That’s why it pays to start with God. The first step in learning is bowing down to God. He is the key to life.
Father, I want to start with You. I want to bow down to You and make You my goal, not wisdom, knowledge and understanding. They are byproducts of a growing relationship with You. Don’t let me make them my focus. Instead, help me keep my eyes on You. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men