Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Proverbs 30:1-4 Believe!

We are back from Salt Lake City! What a blessed experience meeting my latest granddaughter and seeing the Blakely family now grown to five! I’m amazed at how Beau and Penelope have welcomed their new little sister with such love and gentleness! The trip home in the minivan with all six of us was such a treat as we took an adventure through Zion National Park in all its glory! Now, it’s back to school for Nanny! And back to our study of the Proverbs.

In this chapter of Proverbs we find a collection of sayings which are the words of a man called Agur. According to Jon Courson, in his Application Commentary, Old Testament, Vol. 2 (P. 268), the name Agur means gatherer. These, then, are the sayings that he gathered. He starts his proverbs with questions about God:

The man declares, I am weary, O God;

    I am weary, O God, 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 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! (Proverbs 30:1-4) 

Courson points out that Job uttered similar questions in Job 38. These are the big questions of man as he searches for his place in the universe. These are the questions of seekers. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? . . . What is his son’s name?

Jesus answered these very questions when confronted by another seeker, Nicodemus. When Jesus told Nicodemus that he “must be born again,” Nicodemus was puzzled: “How can these things be?” Jesus challenged Nicodemus with this response:

Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.  If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (John 3:11-13)

Jesus is the only one who can speak with authority about heavenly things, because He is the only one who has come down from Heaven to reveal the Father. So, when the seeker is desiring to know about the things of God, the ONLY place he will find answers is in Jesus. He alone is the way to the Father. People complain that Christians are too narrow-minded on this issue of salvation. They want to believe that there are several ways. But Jesus did not give us that option. He very clearly made the claim that we are stuck with:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Peter affirmed this in his first sermon:

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

These are astounding claims! If they were not true, they would be the ravings of a lunatic or a colossal fraud. We don’t have the option of just calling Jesus a “good teacher” when He made such claims.

The person who is seeking to know God, must come through His only Son. Period. Jesus came to be “God with us,” to show us the Father’s heart. And this very familiar section of John’s gospel reveals that heart:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16-18)

We are all way too familiar with John 3:16, but do we know verse 18? God desires to have a relationship with us, and that relationship is through His Son. We just need to believe (trust and cling to) it and receive it. Have you believed yet?  

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