Tag Archives: Proverbs 30

Traces and the way


“There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
the way of a man with a young woman.
Proverbs 30:18-19

Tracks are important. Oftentimes they are useful to help the hunter find the piece he wants to capture. For the experienced hunter, the ground is a clear map where the traces of the prey indicate in which direction it moves, if it is accompanied and the time elapsed since the target went through that place. These traces can not be detected in rocky terrain, water or air because there is no footprint of any kind to determine the trajectory executed by the animal. The paths in which we travel are no more than the accumulation of traces of all persons and vehicles that have followed that way. That is, the superposition of traces results in the creation and persistence of the road. Perhaps this is what the great Spanish poet Antonio Machado wanted to say with

Wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.

The child of God who fulfills his purpose always leaves a trace. Even after leaving the world to meet the Lord in the heavenly mansion, the memory and example of his good works and all he did for the service and glory of his Lord remains. Unfortunately, there are a few children of God that pass through this world and do not leave the slightest trace of their stay. They are like dry branches that give volume to the tree but do not produce leaves or flowers or fruit. For the new year that is quickly approaching let us resolve to leave a lasting trace, not so much that people know that so and so happened to pass through here but to reflect the glory of God that, in the end, is the main purpose of our existence. To God alone be the glory!

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Disdain


those whose eyes are ever so haughty,
whose glances are so disdainful;
Proverbs 30:13

From the moment Satan was able to place the seed of pride in the heart of Eve, man has been characterized, with few exceptions, as being a source of endless pride. Everyone has a reason, however trivial it may seem, to consider themselves better than others and, paradoxically, even those who are most deprived of anything that could become a source of pride always find something by which to feel superior to others. Arrogance is something that is deeply rooted in our nature and it is one of the most difficult things to remove. Pride is the direct cause of xenophobia and those who are victims of this despicable hostility can always find someone to whom they can project a hatred similar to the one they are receiving. Most surprising of all is that many of those who consider that they excel at what they do the vast majority of the time do not possess the qualities they believe they have.

The Lord demands of their children to act with justice, mercy and meekness. The apostle Paul told the Galatians that each one must examine his own behavior and that if anyone had something to boast, not compare it to anyone. And to the Philippians he said that their attitude should be that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Let us follow the example left to us by the Lord Jesus Christ and let’s get rid of any trace of pride that wants to keep rooted in our hearts. Let us submit to the Lord Jesus so he can transform our hearts. To God alone be the glory!

Search for heroes


Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!
Proverbs 30:4

We all love heroes. Whether mythical heroes such as Gilgamesh, Hercules, Odysseus, Achilles, Perseus, Sir Galahad, Aeneas, Roland, El Cid, William Tell, Robin Hood, Batman, Superman or Rambo or historical such as King David, Samson, Leonidas, Charles Martell, William Wallace, Simon Bolivar, the Pola, Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi, Pancho Villa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Jim Elliot we all feel admiration for these characters that have inspired many to carry out further acts of heroism or write narratives of courage in times of difficulty. At all times, different cultures have relied on these mythical and real stories to unite the crowds in search of an ideal. However, with all the appreciation we feel for these champions, none of them approaches, even remotely, the glory of the Creator of the universe and Author of salvation.

This does not mean we’re going to stop reading the books (or e-readers and tablets) or stop watching movies that show us the exploits of these champions. Nor does it mean that we will fail to be inspired with their stories. There is nothing wrong with cultivating good literature and knowledge. What we must not neglect is the daily search for wisdom, discernment and knowledge of the holy God. If we ask the questions that Agur, son of Jakeh asked and try to find the answer to them we will go on track to attain the wisdom that comes from above. Before the glory of God the exploits of the heroes mill take a distant second place. To God alone be the glory!

Knowledge


“I am weary, God,
but I can prevail.
Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
I do not have human understanding.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I attained to the knowledge of the Holy One.”
Proverbs 30:1 b-3

In line with the most typical Socratic style, Agur ben Jakeh ─most likely a pseudonym of Solomon─ gives us his version of the popular “I just know that I know nothing” that the famous Greek philosopher Socrates would enunciate five centuries later . Questioning his own degree of knowledge of God and God’s plan, Agur describes himself as a perfect ignoramus, which in turn leads him to ask some questions whose answers can only be found in the revelation of God through his word and his creation. This contrasts with the typical human behavior of pretending that everything one needs to know one already knows and that God’s revelation is worthless. The apostle Paul describes this foolish characteristic of human beings as follows: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” [1]

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” explains Solomon. [2] Vain enterprise is therefore to try to achieve wisdom denying God and all possibility of its existence before starting  the investigation . A sad and difficult task have those who have started their quest for knowledge disregarding the revelation of God Almighty. Seek always to be nourished by the word of God and receive knowledge and wisdom from on high. Follow the example of Paul: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” [3] This is true wisdom. To God alone be the glory!

[1] Romans 1:21-23
[2] Proverbs 1:7
[3] 1 Corinthians 2:2

Today’s word for July 30, 2011


[There are] those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth.
Proverbs 30:12

The perfect man does not exist. We all have many opportunities for improvement, a euphemism that is now used when we mean flaws but do not want to highlight the negative aspect. The model for the Christian must be none other than Jesus Christ himself, that is why we identify ourselves as Christians. However, constant and inadvertently we use other models to guide our actions. These other models occupy the place that belongs to God alone, automatically becoming idols that take us off the path on which we should be moving toward spiritual maturity. If we add all the distractions of all kinds that stand in our path of perfection it is not surprising that oftentimes we do not act like God expects of us. The world absorbs us and prevents us from fulfilling the exhortation of the Apostle Paul: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If we do not have a discipline for reading the word of God daily and for having communication with him through prayer continually we will be exposed to influences from the world and we will have little capacity to resist its attacks and temptations.

When we do not compare with the Lord Jesus but compare ourselves with the imperfect models that we have selected to determine the areas where we have gaps it lowers the bar and we end up getting poor results in our progress toward spiritual maturity. It also causes to deceive ourselves into thinking we are moving ahead when in reality we have made little progress. We must be clear what our goal as we did Paul: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Let us keep excellence in our mind and our eyes on our Lord and soon we will realize that we are moving ahead effectively on the spiritual realm. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for June 30, 2011


Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Proverbs 30:5-6

Those who have placed their trust in the promises contained in the word of God are first hand witnesses that the word has never disappointed them. The word of God has always proven to be true and trustworthy. A modern version of Scripture says that “every word of God has stood the test of fire.” If something has gone wrong for someone who has put his faith in the word of God, it is likely that the cause of this failure is due to inappropriate attitude or wrong purposes. When the vast majority of people buy a new device, electrical or mechanical, they hardly take a look at the manual of operation thinking that they do not need to read the instructions and warnings in the manual because the operation of the device in question is very simple and well known. There have been many cases in which the incorrect operation of a device has resulted in harm to the user or destruction of the utensil. The same goes for humans. The Bible is the manual operation of man. Those who ignore, intentionally or unintentionally, the instructions compiled in this book for the benefit of mankind end up hurting themselves or those around them.

Do you live your life according to the principles contained in the word of God? Do you consult daily on the Word of God which path to take and what attitude to present toward life? Do you go along with the influences of a world that only seeks to destroy you and your loved ones? You know what the Lord expects of you? Ignoring the decrees and teachings of the Word of God can lead you to material and spiritual ruin. Why ignore the promises that have proven reliable again and again? Do not ignore or twist the meaning of the teachings God has prepared for us and has given us through his trusty word. Doing so involves serious risk. Trust in God and his word and never be disappointed. To God alone be the glory!