Journal Prov 30 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “The man declares, I am weary O God; I am weary and worn out.
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 established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is his Son’s name?
Surely you know?”” (Prov 30:1-4)
Observation: Agur, the guy who wrote this oracle, was certainly having a bad day for these 4 verses. It is very interesting that I have the same feelings every so often…
Analysis: For clarity, I subscribe to the Bible is written for believers, for the people of God, and not for unbelievers. I note that I cannot define the will of the Lord when unbelievers read the Bible, BUT I am sure that I cannot interpret that a certain section is for this guy or that: I am reading, therefore it is for me, the face in the mirror.
As a young Christian, this confession would be a prompt for obtaining a rebuke. “Where’s your joy? Are you letting the enemy steal your joy? Remember: The joy of the Lord is your strength!” and so on…
And so, a whole generation of believers learned how to deny how to be in a dark valley in favor of “positive confessions.” What this generation may not have learned is how to keep the Word of the Lord in their forefront despite depression and tears. When the storms come, will they raise their hands in dependent worship to God or will they retreat to their own independence from God?
I remember the story of the Widow’s offering (Mk 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4): “…she put all she had into the offering, all she had to live upon…” The story can be primarily about giving freely, but I can imagine there might be anguish of faith on the part of the widow in making this sacrifice. “I don’t know where my next meal is going to come from, but I must do this…” So, in anguish, fears, and tears, she sacrifices to the Lord Most High. Leading up to entering the Temple, did she tremble? Did she waver on whether to do this or not? Did she grit her teeth, take a deep breath as she extended her hand to the bowl of offering and resolve to continue?
This morning I woke up feeling stupid before the Lord. I can recall the Word of the Lord, faint but leaden in my mind. I cannot gather up any wisdom at all.
Agur spoke rhetorically, God giving him an example to experience and write for generations (like me) to know I have not been alone all these generations of God-worshippers.
Even in the silence from His Whisper in my soul, His Word (which I cling to) reminds me He is my Rock and my Redeemer. He will rescue me. Until then, I will lift my hands and my heart during my affliction and rejoice even if tears are rolling down my face.
Prayer: Father, I feel fear. I don’t want to feel fear. I have nothing to fear but fear is still stalking me. I can be an accountant and add up all the blessings on one side of the ledger and the few known issues on the other side and yet, I still feel fear this morning.
Deliver me O God. Help me to face this morning with my eyes upon the heavens and remember You are my Redeemer. (Lam 3:20ish)
Ricky Two Shoes