Search Eternally Blessed Archive

Search by passage (e.g., John 3:16), keyword (e.g., Jesus, prophet, etc.) or topic (e.g., salvation)

Proverbs Closing - Corps - June 2-1982

Format: mp3,pdf
Publication Date: June 9, 1982

Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962. 

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.

He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International  and served as assistant to the president. 


June 9, 1982 Proverbs - Proverbs 13, 16, 17
Rev. Cummins
Well, let’s take your Bibles and go to the Book of Proverbs tonight. This will be the final teaching of Proverbs for the year. We’re going to chapter 30. Now there’s a lot of things in Proverbs that we haven’t covered. A lot of it, again you can read and it’s understandable, just from the English. There are a few other difficult places that you’d have to work, some of the texts and so on, in order to clarify some of the verses. But the vast majority of it, like always, is very clear. But I wanted to move ahead to chapter 30, which is the second to last chapter of the Book of Proverbs. Because I think it’s very significant that after he’s covered all the proverbs, after he has the great introduction, what the purpose of the Book of Proverbs is, he lays out the whole curriculum for the students, then he goes into those short narrative, develop…things [didactic narratives] in the first nine chapters. And then from chapter 10 all the way through now to chapter 29 he’s handled individual proverbs. But every one of those is handled inside of a context. In other words, they’re not just disjointed proverbs, but each one sets in its context. They are related in one way or another. And so it all ties together. But then, we get to chapter 30 and it again takes on a new format. It doesn’t have those two parallel lines that are either antithetic or where they go together, where they say essentially the same thing. But we have another construction. It starts out:
Proverbs 30:1: The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,
Now, isn’t that terrific? [Laughter.] It’s one of those tremendously edifying verses as you read it through. First of all “the words of Agur”, whether or not Agur was the teacher at the time that spoke it or the one that was responsible for the students, he was like one of many of the wise men. Remember wise men, how they watched over and taught the students? They were the PhD’s of their times. They were the PhD’s spiritually though when it came to the wisdom of the Word. But Agur may have been one, but these are still the Proverbs of Solomon. Because Proverbs 1:1 starts out what? The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David. So they’re still Solomon’s proverbs. Bullinger and others have suggested that Agur might even be another name for Solomon. Regardless, his name that’s used here is significant. As a matter of fact, some have even thought that this name, as well as the name Jakeh and these other names, might have originally had an intended meaning; that they were actual words rather than proper names in the sentence. As a matter of fact, the Greek Septuagint version literally reads, the first part of this verse reads: “Reverence my words son and receiving them repent.” It does not use proper
names at all. Reverence my words son and receiving them repent ; that’s the first part of the verse in the Septuagint version. But the Septuagint version also places this entire chapter, as well as the first nine verses of chapter 31, someplace in chapter 24. So it’s pulled them out of here because they looked like they really didn’t belong at the end, they belonged someplace else. But I think they do belong here. And they are a tremen...this…both of these chapters, chapter 30 and 31, are tremendous summary chapters for the Book of Proverbs.
But the word “Agur” in the Hebrew, it’s a passive participle which means “gathered”. It comes from a verb which means “to gather or harvest”. Like you gather in the crops at the end of the season. It’s used in the sense here, I think it would be significant, as the teacher who gathers together the students, or as the one who has gathered together the sayings of the wise in order to present to the students. That’s the significance of this name Agur. Similarly “Jakeh” in the Hebrew means “obedient”. The Latin has an interesting reading; it like the Greek, it does not use proper names. It says, “the words of the assembler, the one who assembles [in other words, the teacher] the son of the vomiter.” In other words, the one who pours out instruction. Okay? “The words of the assembler, the son of the vomiter [the one who pours out the instruction].” That’s how the Latin reads, the Latin version. I think that’s neat in light of Ecclesiastes 12:11…12:11 says: The words of the wise—and that’s what we’re dealing with here in Proverbs.
Ecclesiastes 12:11a: The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened…
And the “goads and nails” were used to keep an animal in line as it was plowing in the field, so you wouldn’t have crooked furrows. So this keeps the student in line, in plowing in the field of life. They are:
Ecclesiastes 12:11b: …goads and nails, fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
The masters of assemblies. They were the teachers who taught the students, who assembled the students together. That’s why I thought that Latin was sort of neat. The words of the assembler, the teacher, the one who assembles the students. And he’s the son… son of the one who pours forth, who teaches the students the words of the wise. So the words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, have a very significant meaning; they’re like the words of the assembler or the gatherer, the one who gathers, who is the son of obedience. Or as the Latin puts it, the son of one who pours forth God’s Word.
Then you have, “even the prophecy”. This is not the normal word for “prophecy”. Before I tell you what it means, I know you’re acquainted with the…what do you call it? The
Englishman’s Greek concordance...what’s it a…The Word Study Concordance, [by Tyndale]. You’re acquainted with The Word Study Concordance. It uses Strong’s numbering system. Then you can look up the word…the Greek word in the New Testament. After you know Strong’s number, you can look it up in The Word Study Concordance, and then you can find every place that Greek word is used. Similarly, you could look it up in a couple of different lexicons and other things that are available, because it also uses that numbering system or gives the numbering system in The Word Study Concordance. But there’s a similar thing available for the Old Testament. And I brought these along tonight. First of all again, you need Strong’s Concordance. You’d look up this word “prophecy” for example, someplace in here. Oh I just happened to turn to it [Laughter]. You look up the word “prophecy” and look up Proverbs 30:1 and it tells you, it is the Hebrew word, now we’re dealing with Old Testament so it would a Hebrew word, number 4853. So you have 4-8-5-3; that’s the number. Now, you could go to the back of Strong’s and it would give you a brief definition for this word that’s translated “prophecy” here in Proverbs. However, there are two books, one is Gesenius’ Hebrew Chaldee the Lexicon to the Old Testament. Gesenius is spelled, G-E-S-E-N-I-U-S. Then it’s the Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament. This is a lexicon like Bauer’s Lexicon is to the New Testament. Bauer’s…I guess you call it by the translators Arndt and Gingrich; they were the ones that translated Bauer’s work, so it’s available in English. That’s the one that The Word Study Concordance has the numbers in, so you could look it up there. However this one, Gesenius’ Hebrew Chaldee the Lexicon...is a lexicon where you could look up this number, (what was it?) 4853 and it defines this particular Hebrew word. It…let’s see, right here. It says it gives seven different usages of the word. First of all, it’s a “verbal infinitive from the root” whatever. It’s “a bearing” or “a carrying”; a bearing or a carrying, that which is carried. Then, “a burden or load”, or “something uttered, as a sentence”. And then, other meanings to it. But the basic meaning is “something that’s carried” or “a burden”, it’s translated as a matter of fact. Now that gives you a definition of the word. Okay? A lexicon definition. You’ve worked this with the Greek before. And now, with this, you can work it easily with the Hebrew. Then you go to this other one, The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance to the Old Testament. The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance to the Old Testament and this is by Wigram (W-I-G-R-A-M). Then again you look up the number 4583…or 4853 and it gives you every place that that Hebrew word is used. Okay? Now you see how that would simplify your work if you’re doing something in the Old Testament? Then again, you wouldn’t have to look up every place in Strong’s or in Young’s where it’s translated differently, because all the words are given…or all the places that this word is used is given right here. So it’ll simplify the work. This is a lot like The Word Study Concordance in the New Testament. So you have 4853, you look up the word, and it gives you all the places that it’s used. Then you could run through here and you’d see that a lot of times it’s used of the burden that an animal cares…carries, when you put a burden on the back of an animal. But many, many times, it’s used of a message that’s delivered; as it said in our…our lexicon over here, just a little bit ago of a sentence or something that’s delivered. But it’s interesting that that word that’s used of a burden should be used of a message that’s communicated. Okay? Now you understand these two, how they work similar to
the Greek in the New Testament using The Word Study? Okay, I wanted you to see that to know that it’s available. Alright.
Now going back to this word “prophecy”. We’re not going to look up every place the word is used. But I want you to look up a few of them. In Exodus 23:5 is the first occurrence. Exodus 23, verse 5.
Exodus 23:5: If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden,…
Okay, now you see, here is an animal, and he has a load on his back. That’s the burden. Now this is the first occurrence. It defines the word for you, doesn’t it? It shows you…it’s that load on the back of the animal. That’s his burden. Alright. But, as I said, it’s also used of a message, and particularly a message of God. In Habakkuk chapter 1. Habakkuk. Micah, Nehum, Habbakuk or Habbakuk [pronounced differently]. Chapter 1, verse 1. See it in verse 1?
Habakkuk 1:1 and 2: 1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!...
The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. In other words, it was the message that God gave to Habakkuk to give to the people, to Israel. It’s that which is carried by the prophet in this case. Not that it’s a burden in the sense of weighting you down, but it’s a weighty matter, something of importance. That’s why the term…this term is used. It’s something that’s weighty, it’s something that’s of importance. Now if it was a negative situation, where Israel had gotten out of fellowship, it could be like what we think of a burden. But Jesus said (you know), My burden is what? Light, or something. Well, none of God’s words are a burden as long as you’re walking on the Word. But they are weighty in the sense that they are important. See the significance of it? Now look at Zechariah chapter 9, verse 1.
Zechariah 9:1: The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof:...
Here again is the burden or the weighty matter, the matter of importance of the word of the LORD. It’s another one. Malachi chapter 1, verse 1. It says essentially the same thing.
Malachi 1:1: The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. Was it…it might have been a
burden to him in the sense we think of it. If they weren’t in fellowship, which some of them weren’t, because they were robbing God, that type of thing. But it’s that it’s an important message, it’s a weighty matter that Malachi has to share. See how this is used? It’s a prophetic term. A term that’s used of delivering a message of vital importance that God wants carried to the people. And that’s why that term is used. Now back to Proverbs chapter 30.We have:
Proverbs 30:1a: The words of Agur the son of Jakeh,...
The burden, or the weighty matter, or the matter of importance from God to be carried to the people. Or in this case to the students, because we’re still in Proverbs. Proverbs is to the young people, to the students who are learning. This is the…the words which are of importance. They’re weighty to the student, something he has to commit to memory. Then it says:
Proverbs 30:1b: ...the man spake…
The word “spake” is used of different types of speaking. But it is used especially of the voice of God. When God spoke, this term is used. Genesis 22:16 is the first occurrence of the word. Genesis 22:16. Look at verse 15.
Genesis 22:15 and 16a: 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD,…
See the word “saith”? That’s this word “spake” that’s used in Proverbs.
Genesis 22:16 and 17: 16 …said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven,…
See, it’s an important message that he was giving to God…or God was giving to Abraham via this angel and it uses that special prophetic term that’s used here in Proverbs, where it says, he spake. The man spake. So, one translation gives it as “the inspired utterance of the man”, because this is a term used of the voice of God. This term is also used in Malachi 1:2. It’s used a lot of other places. But I thought it was neat that’s it used in Malachi 1:2, because we just read the burden in chapter 1, verse 1 of Malachi. These same two terms used together there. (Let me find it here…Zechariah, Malachi.) Verse 1.
Malachi 1:1 and 2:
1 The burden of the word of the LORD [or the weighty message, the message of importance of the word of the LORD] to Israel by Malachi, 2 I have loved you, saith the LORD:...
There is the word again, “saith”. That’s this word that’s used of prophetic utterance, the voice of God speaking. Inspired utterance. See it? So, back to Proverbs 30.
Proverbs 30:1b:
...the man spake…
In other words, the man spoke by divine inspiration, by inspired utterance. That is the beginning of this section of Proverbs. “The words of Agur”, who was the teacher, who taught the students, the wise man. And he was “the son of Jakeh”, which means obedience. Because he was obedient to God’s Word. “The message of importance, the weighty matter of the Word of God, the inspiration, or divine (what did I say?)…the inspired utterance of the man.” That’s how this opens. Then you have:
Proverbs 30:1c: …unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal.
Which again are proper names; nobody knows who they are or anything about them. And there’s quite a few ideas as to what these words originally were or what they originally meant in the Hebrew. And there are…there’s greater reason to believe that these words especially were not proper names, but rather they had a meaning in the original.
A man by the name of Torrey, who reconstructed the…what he believed to be the Aramaic original, said this should read as follows: “I am not God...” but this word “Ithiel” or “unto Ithiel”, it’s one word in the Hebrew that it means “I am not God”. And then it’s repeated “unto Ithiel.” So it’s “I am not God, I am not God...” And the word ‘Ucal” or “and Ucal”, that’s one word again, means “I should have power”. I should have power. So it literally would read, “I am not God, I am not God that I should have power”, which I think (as we’re going to see in a minute) fits very nicely with the context. And it’s similar to other situations in the Word. Because…now wait a minute. The words “Agur, the son of Jakeh, even the weighty message, the inspired utterance of the man...” Then you ought to have a colon because now here is the message. This is the message. Okay? All that was like introductory. Now here is the message, it starts with this…what was translated unto Ithiel, and so on. It should be: “I am not God, I am not God that I should have power, surely I am more brutish or stupid than a man and have not learned the understanding of a man.”
Because, there were people, just like in Job’s time, going around saying how much they knew about God. Remember Job’s (what do you call them) comforters? His miserable comforters, how they knew so much and they were there to tell Job what to do and how to really get it together. But they were miserable comforters. He says, well:
Proverbs 30:2: Surely I [must be] more [stupid] than any man,…[I] have not the understanding of a man.
I’m not much better than an animal.
Proverbs 30:3a: I neither learned wisdom,…
The wisdom of this world, the wisdom of men which you fellows seem to know so well
Proverbs 30:3b: …nor have the knowledge of the holy.
Why, some of you are so holy, that I can’t achieve that!Well, who hath measured or…
Proverbs 30:4: …ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
In other words, there was a lot of wisdom going on. Remember the strange woman of Proverbs, the idolatrous wisdom? All this wisdom was floating around, and boy, those people knew so much about God. But here’s the teacher, the wise man who’s been…who’s the teacher of these people and he says: I am not God, I am not God and I have not power. Why, it seems like I am more stupid than a man. I don’t have the understanding of men. I haven’t learned wisdom, I don’t have a knowledge of the holy. By the way who does? What? Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Which one of you has? Have any of you? See the situation? It’s similar to Isaiah, I want you to look at Isaiah, chapter 40. It’s similar to this cry here in Isaiah chapter 40, verse 12.
Isaiah 40:12 and 13: 12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span [which one of you did?], and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counseller hath taught him?
How many of you have taught God? This is the verse that’s quoted in I Corinthians 2:16. It says:
I Corinthians 2:16:
…who hath known the mind of the LORD, that he may instruct him? [Remember?] But we have [what?] the mind of Christ.
As we renew our minds, put it on, then we can put the mind of Christ up here. We have it spiritually, but we’ve got to put it on here in our minds; we’ve got to renew our minds. But in the Old Testament they didn’t have spirit born in them. They didn’t have that potential like we have it today. If a man had spirit upon him, he had the potential to walk and to know what God’s direction was, but he couldn’t know the Mystery; he couldn’t know a lot of other things. He certainly couldn’t make the heaven, he couldn’t weigh the mountains in the scales and so on. So, “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counseller hath taught him?” Who’s been the teacher of God?
Isaiah 40:14-22:
14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket [or in a bucket], and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 17 All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 19 The workman melteth a graven image [here’s the problem], and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. 20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. 21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
Haven’t you heard the Word? You can’t make God out of gold! Now which one of you wise men have been his instructor? Look at Romans, chapter 11, verse 33.
Romans 11:33:
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his [judgment], and his ways past finding out!
Or what? Do you remember? Have you ever heard the Book of Romans before? It’s untrackable. His ways past finding out. His ways untrackable. You can’t track God. How glorious are these things? How unsearchable are his judgment? His ways are untrackable. They can’t be traced. Then verse 34.
Romans 11:34:
…who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?
Again a quote from Isaiah, isn’t that something? God’s wisdom is way beyond what the human mind could comprehend, but we have the mind of Christ it says in Corinthians. So we have the potential latent within us. But there were those who were building their idols out of gold or wood or stone and they were saying, “Well, this is God, and this is what God says.” And this is what Isaiah was talking about. This is what Proverbs is talking about because there was so much of that strange wisdom available. The strange woman of Proverbs. See? And this is his second [to] last message to his students. The last message is in chapter 31. He says, “I am not God, I am not God that I should have such power as you proclaim to have or has some people proclaim to have. Surely I am more stupid than a man. Why, these men like Job’s counsellors, why they pretend to know so much, I’m not that smart. I have not the understanding of a man, I don’t have worldly wisdom. I neither learned wisdom, the wisdom of the world, nor have the knowledge of the holy. By the way who has ascended up into heaven or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists?Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and what is his son’s name if you can tell me?” It’s sort of a mocking of the worldly wisdom, the idolatry that was going on. Because God’s wisdom is much bigger. His ways are untrackable. And he’s playing down himself like Paul did in Ephesians 3:8, remember that one? I think we’ve covered that this year sometime, where it says, “unto me who am less than the least of all saints?” How can you be less than the least? Well it’s the figure oxymoron where you can’t be less than the least. If you’re least, you’re least. But if you’re less than the least, that’s got to be a figure. Paul was downplaying himself.
Ephesians 3:8: … I am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the [untrackable] riches of Christ.
Who can track God? You can’t. But we have Christ in us. We have the mind of Christ. And so Paul was teaching among the Gentiles the untrackable riches of Christ, the riches that couldn’t be tracked. Today it’s available to track those riches and to teach it, to show people it’s available. “But the natural man receiveth not...” what? “...the things of the Spirit of God... they’re foolishness to him.” You’ve got to know God and His Word and you’ve got to be born again. You’ve got to be tapped in spiritually if you’re going to understand the spiritual things. Back to Proverbs. I think you’re acquainted with Corinthians where it differentiates between world wisdom and the wisdom of God, which is a little bit smarter than the foolishness of this world. That really ties into this. By him playing himself down saying, “Well, I’m..I’m more stupid than a man.” Yet, the wisdom of God is higher than the foolishness of (how is that?)…the foolishness of God is higher than the wisdom of man. See? In Corinthians. So this is how he starts this to the students. Then he goes to verse 5 and he says…after he says (you know), “Who…which one you hath ascended or descended; which one of you really knows God.” In essence, “Which one of you has been God’s teacher?”...well, like they were trying to do. Then he clarifies, he says, “Every word of God is…” what? {Pure.}:
Proverbs 30:5a: Every word of God is pure:...
So if we want to know about God, it’s not what I think, it’s not what philosophy teaches, that I think up or somebody else has dreamt up. Or it’s not what’s behind some statue someplace. But it’s the Word of God that teaches us what God is, and what the student that studies Proverbs needs to know. He needs to know one thing and that’s the Word of God, because that’s what is pure.
Proverbs 30:5b: ...he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Hasn’t that been a theme in Proverbs? See? “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” See? Trust God. And He is a shield. Verse 6.
Proverbs 30:6a: Add thou not unto his [what?] {words},...
What happen when you add words to God’s Word, do you have the Word left? {No.} No Sir.
Proverbs 30:6b: ...lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
And that’s exactly what the world wisdom people did. They added words to God’s
Word. And when you add words to the Word, do you have the Word left? {No.} No. The Word of God is pure. But when you add to it or subtract from it or change it, you don’t have the Word left. So we can’t build on what people say about the Word. What does the Word say? That’s our criteria in this school of the proverbs for the young people. Verse 7 follows right upon it.
You know, the commentaries always say how disjointed this chapter is, how he moves from one thing to another so they were probably written at different times, and somebody pieced it together. A bunch of baloney! This all ties together and it’s focusing around the Word of God being pure as opposed to the worldly wisdom, because that’s been the theme of Proverbs. The strange woman as opposed to wisdom...she is more precious than…whatever…see? jewels, and so on.
Proverbs 30:7: Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
Two things I want out of life: A Cadillac, a new house, a mansion, a yacht, a harem [laughter], no. Two things. Number one: Remove far from me vanity and lies. That’s one. The second is: give me neither poverty nor riches.
Now, vanities and lies are similar but they’re not identical. Lie…a lie is simply not the truth. If something is not true it’s a lie. But a vanity is something that pretends to be true. A pretense of truth. It’s technically false but it has a pretense of being true.What were the idolaters teaching? A pretense of truth. They said, “Oh we know all about God, we’ll tell you all about Him. Well, we were even God’s teachers [laughter]. We made God. See the statue?” That’s vanity. And lies is simply not truth. The first usage of this word that’s translated “vanity” is in Exodus 20:7 where it says:
Exodus 20:7: Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;...
So it’s to use the name of God with a pretense of truth. Like, you know, you use the name of God and you said, “Boy, we’ve really worshiped God. We’re so...but it’s wrong. It’s a pretense of truth, but it’s not built on the Word. And that’s where a lot of people are today. They have a form of godliness, no power, see? No knowledge of the Word. Look at Ezekiel 13:1. It has a neat…some neat usages of the word there. Ezekiel, verse 1 of chapter 13.
Ezekiel 13:1 and 2a: 1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel...
Prophesy against the prophets? But the prophets are the men of God. Not these prophets.
He told Isaiah who was a prophet:
Ezekiel 13:2b: …[you] prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own [what? {hearts}] hearts,…
They’re not prophesying the truth of the Word, they’re not prophesying out of God’s heart. They’re prophesying out of where? Their own hearts. It sounds like the idolaters of Proverbs, doesn’t it? The world wisdom. Here ye the word of the LORD.
Ezekiel 13:3: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
They haven’t seen any revelation.
Ezekiel 13:4 and 5: 4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. 5 Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.
You’ve neglected to really protect Israel, to really speak the truth to Israel.
Ezekiel 13:6: They have seen [what?] vanity...
That’s this word. “A pretense of truth”. Have they seen truth? No they said, they saw truth. But it was only a what? Pretense of truth, vanity.
Ezekiel 13:6b: ...and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them:
They said, “The LORD saith…” but the LORD hasn’t sent them.
Ezekiel 13:6c and 7: 6 …and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. 7 Have ye not seen a [what?] vain vision,...
There is that word again. It’s a vision which has a pretense of truth. They say it’s true, but it’s not.
Ezekiel 13:7b and 8: 7 ...and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? 8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken [what?] vanity,...
A pretense of truth rather than the truth itself.
Ezekiel 13:8-10: 8 ...and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. 9 And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity [pretense of truth], and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD. 10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:
They were building a wall. Only they were using what? Untempered mortar. In other words it wasn’t the right kind of stuff that makes the wall to stand. They were building a so-called religious wall. It had poor mortar in it.
Ezekiel 13:11a:
Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall [what?] {fall}:...
Sure. When you build a building and you don’t have the right type of mortar, what’s going to happen? Way builders? Darlene? It gonna fall [laughter]. That’s right. It’s going to fall. Where were we? Verse 11.
Ezekiel 13:11b-15 11 ...there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. 12 Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. 14 So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and
ye shall know that I am the LORD. 15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it;
[Laughter.] Not only is the wall gone but the daubers are gone.
Ezekiel 13:16a: To wit [a little humor there], the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her,...
Isn’t it where he started out. They were preaching what? Peace.
Ezekiel 13:16b: …and there is no [what?] peace, saith the Lord GOD.
They were using the wrong kind of stuff to build the wall. It was vanity, a pretense of truth. They said it was true, but was it? No. That’s what this word for “vanity” is. Back to Proverbs. That’s quite a thing out of Ezekiel isn’t it? So he says:
Proverbs 30:8a: [You] Remove far from me [this pretense of truth] and lies:…
Just keep that out of my life. Now that’s a pretty good start. If you could keep the pretense of truth out of your life, and the lies out of your life, wouldn’t that be terrific? If you could just walk on the Word without ever being concerned about getting into something that might be the Word or might not be. Wouldn’t that be terrific? That’s the place we’ve got to get to. Keep me from a pretense of truth and from lies. Number one. And number two:
Proverbs 30:8b: …give me neither poverty nor riches;…
Don’t make me real poor, don’t make me real rich LORD. Somewhere in between is alright. But not real poor and not real rich.Why?
Proverbs 30:8c: …feed me with food convenient for me:
Just give me what I need. Supply my needs; not poverty, not riches, but what I need.
Proverbs 30:9a:
Lest I be full,…
You know, if I’ve got too much, too much riches.
Proverbs 30:9b: …and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?
See? I don’t need God, I’ve got my riches.
Proverbs 30:9c: …or lest I be poor, and [do what?] steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
If I’m poor, then I say, “Boy, there really is no God. If there was a God, well I wouldn’t be in this mess.” So I go out and steal. I help myself. But if I get real rich, then I say, “Boy, I don’t need God, I’ve got enough. But just let me have the right amount Lord, just supply my needs and we’ll go along. Alright?” Two things: Get rid of the vanity and lies (don’t let me ever get close to those); and just give me what I need, no…no a poverty and no riches. Okay? Just keep my needs supplied day by day. That’s the only two things that you have to ask for in life. That takes care of you, right? If you’ve got all your needs supplied, what do you need physically? Well, you’ve got them supplied, right? If you’ve got too much, then you might have some problems. If you’ve got too little, you might have some problems. Just let God supply your needs, you’re in good shape. And as long as you don’t have this pretense of truth. As long as you can stay put on what the Word says and not what man says. That’s where we’ve got to stay as students of the Word. Proverbs or whatever we’re studying. See? Then, again he goes back to this learner, the student. Verse 10.
Proverbs 30:10: Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
The servant of the master in this context is the teacher. The master is your father, so you’re the student. And you accuse your teacher to your father. What will your teacher do? He’ll go and tell your father, “Well, this student hasn’t been doing so good either.” See? So don’t accuse your teacher to your father, your…to his master. Because your father hired me to teach you. Right? That’s in essence what the Eastern culture was. “Lest the teacher, or the servant curse thee and thou be found guilty.”
Proverbs 30:11: There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
If they curse their teacher, or accuse their teacher, they’re usually in that category where
they curse their father, curse their mother (don’t bless their mother). “They are pure in their own eyes…”, verse 12.
Proverbs 30:12-14: 12 …not washed from their filthiness. 13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! [full of pride] and their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
You’re not to be that classification of students. Okay? As students of the Word, you must be obedient to your parents. When your father, mother teaches the Word, you as a young person, listen to that Word. And when the servant of your father teaches what do you do? Listen. Why did your father hire me? To teach. Because I’m a wise man, a master of Israel, because I have the wisdom of God...or you know, some of it. I know some Word, I know some proverbs, I know what they mean. I know the proverbs and their interpretation. The point of what’s being said. That’s why he hired me. So listen students. Isn’t this beautiful for a closing teaching to the students? I think it’s neat. Don’t listen to all this garbage...you know there are so many people out there that know God.Why, they’re smarter than God, you know…I mean, they ascended from heaven and descended and gathered the wind in their fists, and all those things. Now wait a minute! I must be stupider than any man. No. Every word of God is pure. And you don’t add to God’s Word, lest he reprove you and you be found a liar. And you don’t want to be found a liar, right? So two things you’ve got to have in life. Get rid of the vanity and lies, and neither riches nor poverty, but God supplies your need. Food convenient. You stay put as students of the Word on God’s Word. It’s addressed to young people learning the Word through the teacher, the assembler. Agur may have been one of them. Then, verse 15, he starts a number of illustration about children that are disobedient versus children or students that are obedient to the Word, as opposed to vanities, pretenses of the truth. Either you’re obedient to the truth or you’re obedient to lies, which fall in the category perhaps of a pretense of truth.
Proverbs 30:15: The horseleach [or leach, a blood sucker] hath two daughters, crying, Give, give....
What does a blood sucker do? He wants more, more blood. Give me blood, alright? [Laughter.] Then, he uses an interesting literary device here that you don’t see too many places. Says:
Proverbs 30:15b: ...There are three things that are never satisfied [now wait a minute, there are], yea, four things say not, It is enough [that say, it’s not enough]:
Isn’t that neat? I added, “now wait a minute”. But that’s essentially how the emphasis is on it. There’s three things that are never satisfied, no four, that say, it’s not enough...that always want more, not enough, I want more, I want more, I want more. Number one:
Proverbs 30:16a: The grave;...
People die every day yet the grave is never full, the grave always wants more people. Give me more, give me more. Alright? It sounds like one of those late night thrillers, doesn’t it? Blood suckers and the grave...give me more.
Proverbs 30:16b: ...and the barren womb....
The barren womb is never satisfied, it wants children. If you’ve had two, three, four, five, six or twenty children, maybe you’re satisfied, but that barren womb isn’t. Give me a child, give me a child, never satisfied, see?
Proverbs 30:16c:
...[or] the earth that is not filled with water;...
Why it rains all the time? It’s raining some place, right? I mean it rained today, it’s rained before, it’s going to rain tomorrow, and yet the earth still isn’t full of water, it wants more rain. Give me more.
Proverbs 30:16d: ...and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
Have you ever seen a fire that says, “It’s enough?” [Laughter] No. You always see fires, they never quit. As a matter of fact in Gehenna, you know the city dump, is where the fire never ceases in the Eastern culture. It just keeps burning. People are always throwing garbage on the thing. It keeps it going, so the fire keeps going. Those four things. And a disobedient son is just as greedy. That’s the context. A son who refuses to walk in the truth of the Word, he’s disobedient. Who disobeys his father, he’s not a blessing to his mother, he curses his father and so on, he’s always greedy for more and more. Just like the idolater always wants more and more gods. The wisdom of the world, it’s always greedy, wants more and more. Covetousness, right? We’ve covered that in Ephesians; we’ve covered it in Proverbs. Always wants more and more.
If you have a pretense of truth or lies instead of the truth, you’re always going to be wanting more and more, because it doesn’t satisfy your hunger. Does it? No. Then another one,
17.
Proverbs 30:17: The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother [and that’s what the context has been], the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
So, don’t mock your father. Don’t be greedy for more and more saying, “Give, Give, Give”, like a leach, a blood sucker or the grave or the barren womb or the earth or the fire. Then, he gives another illustration.
Proverbs 30:18: There be three things which are too wonderful for me,…
Not wonderful in the sense we think of wonderful, or wunderbar, but in the sense that we…it’s like..., “I can’t understand it”. There are three things that I can’t really comprehend, I can’t figure them out, I can’t understand it. Wait a minute, there’s four which I really don’t know. See again, he uses this literary device. Number one:
Proverbs 30:19a: The way of an eagle in the air;...
Have you ever followed an eagle? Have you ever seen an eagle up in the sky, closed your eyes, then you look up there and you can see just exactly where he’s been? Right? No. How about:
Proverbs 30:19b: ...the way of a serpent upon a rock....
If you’re a good tracker, you could follow him perhaps. It depends how dirty he was [laughter].
Proverbs 30:19c: ...the way of a ship in the midst of the sea....
You can never tell where a ship is going to go. If you’ve ever driven a boat, you know how they sort of slish slosh around and you know, you turn it…it doesn’t turn like a car, it goes [makes sound “zzzzz”]...sort of like an airplane. You have to make a wide turn, you never come into a dock like this [laughter]. If you’re coming into a dock you know [makes sound “zzzzz”], you gotta make a wide turn. And then, you can never see where it’s been.
Proverbs 30:19d: ...and the way of a man with a maid.
You can never tell where they’re going either. [Laughter.] Now that’s not in the negative sense, just an illustration that’s pointing out that there are certain things that are just untrackable. You cannot really understand, comprehend...you can’t fully fathom it.
Proverbs 30:20a: Such is the way of an adulterous woman;...
Now, what’s the adulterous woman of Proverbs, the strange woman? It’s idolatry. The wisdom of the world.
Proverbs 30:20b: ...she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
That, I really can’t understand...how people that are into idolatry that want to worship something other than the true God, who have a pretense of truth, who live by lies, who live by the wisdom of the world. I can’t understand it. What’s more! I really can’t understand why somebody that’s heard the Word, gets out of the Word. And what really has me puzzled is when a W.O.W. leaves the field. But what really puzzles me is why someone that’s in the Corps would leave with all the greatness of the Word that lives in your heart or that’s been taught. Why would you ever leave the Corps? Or if you’ve been through the Corps and then to cop out, that I can’t track. And say, “Well, I’ve done nothing wrong.” I really can’t comprehend that one and yet it has happened. To me I don’t know why anyone would want to go back to the things of the world, to the idolatrous ways of the world or to a pretense of truth once you’ve heard the Word.
You know, we in the Way Ministry don’t know everything. We don’t know all the Word, but I haven’t found a place that knows any more of it. You know, maybe some people know a few things we don’t know because we haven’t studied that yet. But as far as the overall thing, I don’t know of anyone that knows more. Boy, to be born again, know you’re heaven bound, to have the hope that we have, to have the great understanding of so many things in the Word. To see the Word fit without contradiction, which very few people believe to begin with. I mean some mouth it, pretense of truth again, but to get that Word to fit, where can you go? If I screwed up royally, I’d still have no place else to go. Because who has as much knowledge of the Word? I don’t know. At least I haven’t found any place. Maybe somebody else has, that’s why I can’t understand it. That’s why it’s untrackable to me. I just can’t understand why anyone would want to get away from the Word, like the idolatrous woman. She eats her meat, wipes her mouth and says, “I haven’t done anything wrong.” People into the Word, love the Word, live by the Word...then all of a sudden, a little pressure or something comes along...I don’t understand
it. They leave the Word and they say, “Well, I haven’t done anything wrong.” I can’t comprehend that.
So a disobedient child, or a disobedient student who follows the vanity instead of the truth, I can’t understand it; can’t comprehend that. Verse 21, here is another group.
Proverbs 30:21: For three things the earth is disquieted,…
Oh! There are four of them again that it cannot bear. Four things.
Proverbs 30:22a: For a servant when he reigneth;...
Have you ever seen a servant reign? It doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Proverbs 30:22b: …a fool when he is filled with meat;
Why a fool, too lazy to work.
Proverbs 30:23a:
For an odious [or a woman that arouses hatred] woman when she is married;…
Have you ever seen a hatred woman married?
Proverbs 30:23b: …an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
When those things happen the whole “earth is disquieted”, it’s upset. And so when a son is disobedient to the Word, it disquiets the earth. That’s the context. Verse 24.
Proverbs 30:24a:
There be four things which are little upon the earth…
Here he doesn’t say three, yea four, he just says, there’s four things that are very little upon the earth.
Proverbs 30:24b: …[and] they are exceeding wise:
Very little, but very wise.
Now you take “the ants”; now they are:
Proverbs 30:25: …a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
They always have plenty to eat. Very little animals.
Proverbs 30:26a: The conies…
This should be “hyrax” according to many of the sources. The hyrax was a little animal that lived in the crevasses of rocks.
Proverbs 30:26 and 27:
26 …are but a feeble folk [very small], yet make they their houses in the rocks [they still build their houses]; 27 The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
Have you ever seen a swarm of locusts? They come by bands.
Proverbs 30:28a: The spider taketh hold with her hands....
She goes to work. And where does she live?Why, some of them live:
Proverbs 30:28b: ...in kings’ palaces.
Spider webs everywhere? Right? Sure! Little but strong. And that’s like an obedient son. If you’re obedient and walk on the truth of the Word, you’re going to have plenty to eat, you’re gonna…you’re going to live in kings’ palaces, see? you’re going to be organized, go forth in bands and so on. You’re going to have your house, your shelter, because you’re a wise person. Because these are exceeding wise animals. So if you are an obedient, wise son, you’re going to have results like they do. Twenty-nine:
Proverbs 30:29: There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
To “go well” means they “march forth majestically”. Four things which march forth
majestically. Boy, when you see this thing, your eyes perk up, you take note. Number one is the lion.
Proverbs 30:30: …strongest among beasts,…
What do you do when you see a lion? Boy, don’t they look majestic? They are king with that big ruffle around the neck, majestic.
Proverbs 30:31a: A greyhound;…
Have you been out on the Interstate? [Laughter.] I don’t know where they got “greyhound” from? There are a lot of speculations on this verse. The Greek says, “a rooster”, and the Aramaic does too, which would make more sense. I don’t know, greyhound, is pretty neat too. But the Hebrew says, which I think is neat, it says something…“one girt in the loins”. That’s literally what the Hebrew says. It doesn’t say greyhound or rooster, anything. It says, one girt in the loins. Like a strong man, a person that’s strong in the loins. Boy, when he walks or she walks down the street, don’t you take notice? No? [Laughter.] I do. I mean, you know, it’s a...like a person with charisma, your eyes perk up or something.
Proverbs 30:31b: …[and] an he goat…
The “he goat” was the older goat that led the other goats and he was very majestic on the mountain side as he led the others. He stood out front with his head high. It was a very beautiful sight.
Proverbs 30:31c:
…and a king, against whom there is no rising up.
In the Hebrew reads: A king, (when he is with his…) when his army is with him. Have you ever seen a king with his army? You know, in a movie (or anything)? I mean, it’s very…they are very majestic. The king’s out front in his carriage or on his platform or whatever. Very majestic, arrayed in his royal garment.
So, a child or a son that’s obedient...he’s going to be very majestic, people’s eyes, they’re going to perk up and say, look there goes an obedient son. The conclusion, verses 32 and 33:
Proverbs 30:32a:
If thou hast done foolishly...
In other words, if you haven’t been obedient. If you’ve done foolishly,
Proverbs 30:32b: ...in lifting up [yourself];...
Following the vanity and lies, claiming you know more than God, following some of these philosophers, these idolaters, the strange woman. If you’ve lifted up yourself.
Proverbs 30:32c and 33: 32 ...or if [you have] thought evil, lay [your] hand upon [your] mouth. 33 Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
And that’s what a disobedient son will do. But an obedient son is someone you can look up to. It’s someone that is going to have results. It’s someone that is going to live with God and have great success in life. The disobedient son who follows the vanities, the pretense of truth and lies, or he’s into riches, or he comes to poverty; he’s not going to have success very long. Joshua was an obedient son. And it says, If you follow my Word, meditate therein day and night, you’re going to have what? Good success, good success! Whenever you’re obedient to God and His Word, you’re going to have good success. You’ll not be a failure. This is the second [to] last thing now he’s telling this group of students, the students of Proverbs. He’s laid out the whole curriculum, he has taught them the words of the wise, their proverbs and the point of what each proverb meant. And now, he says, “Don’t follow a pretense of truth. Don’t follow idolatry. Follow the truth of God’s Word.” And he gives these four literary...whatever you call them, I think they’re neat, to say the least. The way it’s constructed to draw a picture to the student, the student at that time could really identify with these images that the teacher was portraying here. Maybe today we’d use other images, but boy, you’d come to the same conclusion: that you’ve really got to stay put on God’s Word, the pure Word, not add to the Word, not follow vanity and lies, not riches or poverty, but follow the Word, the pure Word of God, and then you’re going to have good success. You’re not going to have strife and all these other negatives happen to you. Then, after he closes there, he goes into the graduation message.
Proverbs 31:1: The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
Again the word “prophecy” is that word that I gave you before. It’s that “burden or load, that which is carried”. It’s “a weighty matter, something of importance”. The words of importance that his mother taught him. That’s where it started, because who teaches you first? Your mother, then your father, then the teacher. The wise man teaches you in the Eastern
culture. First your mother is your teacher, then your father, then the wise man, the teacher. And it started back then, that the father taught the same thing, the teacher has taught you the same thing.
Proverbs 31:2 and 3: 2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
Don’t give your strength to women. What women has Proverbs talked about? There are two women: the strange woman and wisdom was a woman. Don’t give your strength to the strange women. And Solomon knew them physically as well as from a spiritual standpoint. He got into idolatry. He was torn away at the end of his life because of his wives and their idolatry. And that’s why the kingdom of Israel was split in two. Give not your strength to women (the strange woman, the idolatry, worshiping other gods, the wisdom of this world) nor to those ways which destroy kings. The whole thing that Proverbs has been talking about, strong drink and so on. Verse 8.
Proverbs 31:8 and 9:
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously,...
Wasn’t one of the things of the curriculum in chapter one to be able to have good sense, prudence, for justice, righteousness and equity. Remember that? Here, he closes with “open your mouth, judge righteously”:
Proverbs 31:9b: ...and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
That you’re able to separate truth from error. Then, opposed to all the strange women in the world, all the idolatry:
Proverbs 31:10a: Who can find [a what?] a virtuous woman?...
The wisdom of chapter 3, of chapters 8 and 9. She is more precious than, what was it? rubies. Wisdom, she is more precious than rubies. That’s the virtuous woman of Proverbs as opposed to the strange woman.
Now I know that it applies to the actual woman too. It’s a good reputation for a woman to live up to, but in the context of Proverbs, what is it dealing with? Wisdom, the wisdom of
God. And that’s why in a broad sense [laughter], if you’re applying this, it applies directly to a woman, but it would also apply to a man. Okay? It applies to wisdom.
Proverbs 31:10: Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price [oh there…her price] is far above rubies.
It says that some place in chapter 8 or 9 too doesn’t it? Three, some place…well anyway. It’s wisdom that’s so virtuous as opposed to the strange woman which is the wisdom of the world, the idolatry. You see how beautiful this is in light of an actual woman. But it’s also beautiful how it closes out Proverbs where the woman…the virtuous woman was wisdom, the crown to her husband was wisdom. Then the whole book just ties together so beautifully. The commentaries always say, “Well, it’s just an extra poem thrown in at the end.” And it is a poem by the way, an acrostic. But it’s more than that. It wraps up the wisdom that was taught to the students in the school of Proverbs by the wise men, the men that knew the wisdom of God. Maybe they weren’t God, none of us are, like some pretend to be. And maybe we don’t know everything, but boy we know enough of the Word that we’re able to communicate the truth of it rather than a pretense. We can get the Word to fit without adding to it, or subtracting from it. Right? You can see the Word fit, like a hand in a glove.
So that closes out the Proverb’s curriculum. And there’s a lot of other things in…I think you ought to spend time in reading more of these proverbs and master them, and teach your children, your young people. Teach them the greatness of what Proverbs has to say. And so much of what you read in Proverbs you can read in the New Testament, in the practical sections of the epistles. Like Ephesians 4 to 6. Like Romans 12 to 16. Like most of Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians and Colossians. See? Practical things, you see it in Proverbs, applied in the Church, as long as you watch “to whom it’s written”, then it all fits. Isn’t that neat?
Joe do you have those…have the card, or want to update me on what’s going on while we are sitting here. Okay, we’ll just sign off and then we’ll send them the tape, I guess. How’s that? Alright.
[Prayer] Father, we thank you for this night for your love and goodness to us and for the beauty of your Word and the wisdom that we can put in our minds and hearts and apply it as we live day by day. Thank you for every person here and those around the country, for “Living Victoriously” coming up and for all your people coming in here next week, for watching over every one of them in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen!
God bless you! And have a great time living with Proverbs in your heart. Okay?