Every word of God is tested... Do not add to His words
Proverbs 30:1-10 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle.
The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:
I am more stupid than any man,
And I do not have the understanding of a man.
3 Neither have I learned wisdom,
Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!
5 Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
6 Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
7 Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9 That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.
10 Do not slander a slave to his master,
Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty.
These words in Proverbs were written long before Jesus was born, yet the
writer knew that God has a Son. He speaks of God ascending and descending, saying: I do not have the understanding of a man. Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended into heaven and descended? He acknowledges the difference between the understanding of man and the wisdom and knowledge of God. Many today, because man’s understanding has increased, believe that they have wisdom beyond God. The truth is, though many will not admit it, the more we come to understand, the more we realize how much we don’t know. This is true of things both naturally and spiritually. I love the verse from “Amazing Grace,” that says: When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun. Ten thousand years will not be enough to fully understand the infinite and eternal God and all that He has created. How then can anyone believe they know more than God, or that they know more about creation than the one who created it?
The writer says: Every word of God is tested. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. Those who treat God’s word as if it were a buffet, thinking that they can choose the portions which are desirable to them and decline what they do not like, actually reject all of God’s word. In John 14:15, Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” He does not say to keep the ones we like or to keep the ones that line up with our own doctrine. He says keep My commandments, all of them. The writer continues: He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. In the same way that we should not edit God’s word by deleting some of what it says, we also should not add to His word. That is one of the greatest mistakes people have made throughout history. It is what the Pharisees of Jesus day were guilty of. It is what many denominations have done, adding their own rules and regulations to what God has commanded. In truth, it is what the very first sin, what the disobedience of Adam and Eve was based in Genesis 3:1-6 it says: Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate. Eve added to what God said, saying that they were not to touch it. When we add to God’s words and His commandments it does not lead to greater righteousness. Rather, because the man made rules are too restrictive it opens the door to temptation and when we see that there is no consequence from God for violating man’s rules, we are more likely to also disregard God’s commandments and so to be reproved by God.
The writer says: Do not slander a slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty. This wisdom should be heeded by those in the church today. Many believers are critical of other believers who do not share the same doctrine they believe. When we criticize and complain to God about them we are criticizing more even than God’s servants; we are criticizing His children. We should not complain about, criticize and certainly never slander God’s servants, His children. It is we, those who slander who will be found guilty. In Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” It is not that we should not desire help others to see clearly. It is that we should not do it from a place of criticism or condemnation and certainly not slander. We will be held to and judged by our own standard, particularly when our standard exceeds God’s. Jesus died to pay the price for the sins of every person, we should place no farther requirement on others than that they believe in Him and follow His commandments.
In the world and culture we live in, what the writer shares, would bring peace and contentment to many, if they would follow his request rather than the way of the world. He says: Two things I asked of You, Do not
refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, That I not be full and deny You and say,
“Who is the Lord?” Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God. In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul also shares this wisdom saying: I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. If we will remain centered on Christ, if He will be our all in all, nothing else will really matter. Romans 8:31-39 says: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? … Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Perhaps if we, in our limited finite minds and human ability, would be capable of getting just one thing right, we should begin with what Jesus says is the great and foremost commandment. In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus says: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” If we cannot get this first thing right, nothing else matters. If we do get the first thing right everything else will be easy.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; thank You for Your word; that every word is tested and every word is good for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. Jesus thank You that You are the Word of God which became flesh. You are perfect in every way. May I never be guilty of dissecting or adding to You. Thank You Holy Spirit that You give wisdom and understanding and that You enable me to love with all my heart, soul and mind, so that I might be empowered to walk fully in God’s will. Amen.