7 Master Lessons for Life – Proverbs 30 Sermon Notes


7 Master Lessons for Life

7 Master Lessons for Life

Proverbs 30 – Part 1

FOR THE AUDIO OF THIS SERMON CLICK HERE 

As we have said from the beginning of this study – The Bible has a lot to say about HOW we think, as much as what we think.

EXAMPLE – Eph. 4:23  “that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,” EXAMPLE – Rom. 12:2  “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” are typical examples.

We are often too preoccupied with the mere academics, and not enough with HOW TO THINK – How to think according to God’s understanding of the universe.

THIS, the Bible says – is WISDOM!

We need to develop a “Gospel gut” – A faculty or mechanism for taking things in, and then breaking them down properly – some to be digested and used, some to be cast off into the draught.

Proverbs is a handbook on critical Christian thinking. William G.T. Shedd wrote that: “The Book of Proverbs is the best of all manuals for the formation of a well-balanced mind. The object of Solomon in composing it seems to have been to furnish to the church a summary of rules and maxims by which the Christian character, having been originated by regeneration, should then be educated and made symmetrical.”

The design of PROVERBS: Bringing God’s world view into play for each of us in our various roles as : Child, Adolescent, Teenager, Young Adult, Adult, Male, Female, Father, Husband, Brother, Wife, Mother, Sister, Daughter, Grandparent, Laborer, King, Merchant, Philosopher, Academic, Professional, etc.

This is especially timely – in a generation of fatherless homes. This fills the need that so many men feel having never had a mentor or Dad.

This is God as your Father, mentoring you personally.

As we saw in 29:18 – The Wisest way to live is to live in accordance with God’s 2-fold prophetic vision: To be personally conformed to the Image of Christ, and that the Church be built together into a single glorious edifice to glorify God in Christ Jesus.

And as this book closes out it will provide us with three summary portions to round off our Christian or Biblical Worldview.

 

Our text today:               Proverbs 30

The 1st part of Ch. 31:     Final Address to “Kings” (31:1-9)

2nd Part of Ch. 31:           The “Virtuous” (powerful) woman. (31:10-31)

Solomon at this point includes outside sources. 

  1. 30 / Proverbs 30:1 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.

Some time ago I had the opportunity to watch a “master’s class” with famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

It was called a “Master’s Class” not because the students were seeking master’s degrees, but because it was held BY a Master in his craft. One who could teach them not only out of his knowledge, but out of his skill. He had mastered what he was trying to impart to them.

So here.

We have no record of who this individual – Agur – is, nor where he comes from or how it is that Solomon came to know about and include his words here in his collection.

What we do know is, that by the guidance of the Holy Spirit these things were assembled for our good.

By the time we are done, you will no doubt see what a remarkable amount of insight is packed into such a small number of words.

Gigantic concepts reduced to very digestible size.

Each of which – if you are anything like me, need to be reiterated over and over and over – because I let them escape my thought process so often.

 

7 Master Lessons in Life.

 

  1. There are UNIVERSAL & UNRELENTING temptations we need to look out for. Do not be surprised when you face some things over and over and over again.

In this opening portion – Agur points us to 4 such temptations.

All of us, even as the Redeemed are likely to forget these realities in the rush and crush of everyday life and circumstances.

Forgetfulness of these things Agur says right up front, make him “weary” – it is how he gets “worn out” mentally and emotionally.

Look at how he puts it in vs 2 – In effect he is asking himself “why am I so stupid?” How is it that this stuff just evaporates from my consciousness when I need it most?”

This troubles him to the extent that he says: “In the final analysis, it is as though I haven’t learned any wisdom nor learned anything about God!”

We’ve talked about this phenomenon before: The NOETIC effects of the Fall. Al Mohler lists them for us.

  1. Ignorance
  2. Distractedness
  3. Forgetfulness
  4. Prejudice
  5. Faulty perspective
  6. Intellectual fatigue
  7. Inconsistencies
  8. Failure to draw correct conclusions
  9. Intellectual apathy
  10. Dogmatism
  11. Intellectual pride
  12. Vain imagination – thinking about things we ought not
  13. Miscommunication
  14. Partial knowledge

We walk away from something we have heard that we KNOW ought always to inform our emotions and thought life only to have it escape us like it was never there.

Welcome to the Fall!

Agur knows it – and Solomon knows we need to know it too.

What are these things we are so prone to lose consciousness of?

 

Agur says they start with these 4.

 

We are tempted to FORGET:

(4) God. WHO & WHAT God really is -and that His love for me is displayed in the Cross by the One who fully unfolds Him to us.

In a world where our tendency is to demand others love us the way we WANT to be loved – God instead want us to find true love in the perfect way He loves us.  

Our questions about whether or not God loves us most often come out of our painful experiences. Where is God when I hurt?

And the only way to prevent being dragged into that bottomless pit – and measuring God’s love by whether or not things go well in life:

He loves me when things go well

I doubt His love when things go poorly

Instead of trying to read the tea-leaves of experiences, He points us back to the ever present Cross – where in unfathomable mercy and grace He poured out the wrath due to us, on His only begotten Son.

So Paul can write: Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Only at the cross can I know a vast, absolute and unchanging love.

And if you are outside of this love – it is because you have not yet submitted to the propitiation – the satisfaction for your sin in Jesus’ blood – which has been held out to you, and must be received by faith. (Rom. 3:25)

 

(5) God’s Word is the only SURE source of truth – it needs to be trusted above my logic, or my perceptions.

How true this is especially when we face to issues of today in terms of same-sex marriage, abortion, legalization of marijuana – etc.

Instead of falling prey to the Culture’s whims and trends, we need to have our principles founded in the explicit teaching of God’s Word.

We do not cave to the Culture’s views. “Why is X so bad?”

We can be intimidated into fearing to simply say “God’s Word says so – and that is sufficient.”

Often, there are explanations regarding some of the parameters God lays down in His Word – and other times, no.

Why did God say to the Israelites that they were not to eat any seafood but what had fins and scales? Lev. 11:9-12

Or Deuteronomy 22:11 You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.

When we have to arrive at a practical answer because His having said so isn’t sufficient for us – we make practicality god, and not Him.

He has the RIGHT to declare things right or wrong whether we can arrive at a practical reason for it or not.

 

(6) Adding to what God has said, is as dangerous, and MORE tempting than leaving things out.

This was the issue with Eve in the Garden, and it remains a perennial issue when we demand things of people that the Bible never does.

I believe it is often true, that under the umbrella of extrapolation or deduction, we add to God’s words.

We seem almost incapable of stopping where His revelation does.

To let Him decide what to do with the loose ends.

We are unwilling to limit ourselves where it “seems” as though we can reasonably go.

But we must pay much more careful attention to this tendency and its sinfulness.

Let us tremble every time we put even one toe over the line.

Let us stop and consider it with the utmost care.

He stopped where He did for His reasons.

Eve made a perfectly reasonable deduction regarding not touching the tree God had forbidden us to eat from.

Most of us, if not all would be willing to make the very same observation – if we are not to eat of it, then we ought not to touch it either.

After all, what possible good could come from touching it?

What practical purpose could it serve?

We do not know. We do not need to know.

We need to know what He has said – and we need to heed that – and not our reasoning upon it.

What is the best hermeneutical tool in this regard?

I do not know. But we would do well to figure that out.

Nowhere is this more important than when it comes to The Gospel.

When we make salvation a matter of jumping through human hoops, rather than proclaiming the finished work of Jesus on the Cross – crucified for our sins – and calling men to lay aside every other means to please or be reconciled to God but to trust in Christ’s substitutionary atonement – we commit one of the highest abominations possible to man.

The preaching of the cross must be simple and unadorned.

People do not have to come to our Church, read our version of the Bible or subscribe to all of our doctrinal nuances in order to be saved.

They need to know their sinful, rebellious condition before God.

Their standing under His just judgment for their sins.

That He has poured out His wrath upon human sin on Jesus at Calvary.

And that He calls everyone of us to flee FROM our sin TO Him, trusting Christ as our substitute.

And the one who sets their entire faith upon Jesus dying in their place is brought into the family of God and can never be thrown back out!

1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, 11  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures… 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

(7-9) Left to myself, I am unreliable. I know my fallenness & cannot trust myself.

Perceiving his own weakness when exposed to either too much prosperity or poverty – he pleads to be spared those extremes which will call out his sinfulness into action.

I cannot always arrive at what is right or wrong, or even the whole truth of situations relying only on my own perceptions and reasoning.

                         Carson said: “I’ve lost a number of debates in my life, but I’ve never lost the replay.”

We are so prone to cast things in our favor at all times.

We a so irretrievably self-centered – self-oriented.

 

So, Agur prays – Prov. 30:7-9

Prevent me from :  Living in or perpetuating untruth.

And from:       My sinful responses to circumstances that may be either good or bad.

 

With all of that as foundational – Agur now goes on to show 4 symptoms that I may have forgotten one or more of the keys he has already given us.

 

10 – Preoccupation with other’s sins above my own.

11 – Pointing the finger at others for MY sin.

        I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed

        To find our why I killed the cat, and blacked by husband’s eyes

        He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find

        And here is what he dredged up from my unconscious mind:

        When I was one, my mommie hid my doll in a trunk,

        And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.

        When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid one day,

        And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania.

        At three, I had the feeling of ambivalence toward my brothers,

        And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers.

        But I am happy; now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught;

        That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.

12 – Pronouncing myself more righteous than I am.

14 – Preying on – getting emotional gain from other’s weaknesses.

 

WHEN I FORGET:

(4) God. WHO & WHAT God really is -and that His love for me is displayed in the Cross by the One who fully unfolds Him to us. When I live somewhere else than in the fullness of GRACE

(5) God’s Word is the only SURE source of truth – it needs to be trusted above my logic, or my perceptions.

(6) Adding to what God has said, is as dangerous, and MORE tempting than leaving things out.

(7-9) Due to the Fall – my unassisted perceptions and reasoning are unreliable.

 

It will inevitably result in:

 

10 – Preoccupation with other’s sins above my own.

11 – Pointing the finger at others for MY sin.

12 – Pronouncing myself more righteous than I am.

14 – Preying on – getting emotional gain from other’s weaknesses.

In other words – it will be impossible to live out the Life of Christ within me by virtue of the Holy Spirit.

I will veer off into a life lived for me, and not for Christ.

Let’s Pray.

 

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