The Book of Proverbs claims that God’s own wisdom has been woven into the fabric of the universe, and you are invited to participate. What’s the wise choice when it comes to relationships and money and work, the stuff of day-to-day life? This 32-day plan will walk you through the Proverbs step by step as you train your heart to discern the wise way forward.
- Proverbs 30
“Chapter 30: Riddles of the Wise”
Chapters 30 and 31 are the final parts of this ancient book of biblical wisdom. Interestingly, each chapter contains poems attributed to non-Israelite authors named Agur and Lemuel. Agur is a commoner, while Lemuel is a king. According to the superscriptions, both are referred to as sons— a fitting conclusion to a book devoted to sons acquiring wisdom.
In chapter 30 we hear from the first wise son, Agur. There’s a mini-autobiography in verses 1-9, followed by a collection of fascinating riddles (verses 10-33). Most of these riddles explore things in life that you should avoid: slander, cursing, hate, deception, mockery, adultery, pride, and evil. As bad as these things sound, Agur’s sayings reveal that those who do such things often consider themselves innocent.
Some of these riddles are not about virtue or morality, but are simply observations about nature or relationships. Their structure consists of three observations. The first two are observations about how the world works. The third shows how the first two relate to how wisdom works.
“For as churning cream produces butter (observation 1), and as twisting the nose produces blood (observation 2), so stirring up anger produces strife” (observation 3).
The riddles, along with the autobiography, are asking us to consider the outcomes of our choices and actions. What do you need to pay most attention to as you go into your day?