The Pureness of God’s Word
None know with certainty the identity of Agur, the son of Jakeh. Nonetheless, he is credited with writing what we know as Proverbs 30, the content of which is profound with its recognition of God’s power, Agur’s prayer (vs. 7 – 9), and his recognition of very pertinent items that most ignore as insignificant (vs. 11 – 33). Let us focus on the words of verses 1 through 6.
“The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal, Surely, I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Agur admits to ignorance by confessing his character as brutish, having not the understanding of a man. He has neither wisdom nor knowledge of holy things. From this admission, some contend he is agnostic (doubtful of God’s existence) and yet he asks valid questions that throughout the rest of this chapter, result in the gaining of knowledge and understanding of God and His power! Thus, does this not show that with patient observation with righteous guidance, even the ignorant can learn God’s truth?
Second, take note of his questions: “Who has either come or gone into heaven? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who bound the waters? Who established the limitations of the earth? What is his name and what is his son’s name?” Like many in today’s world, the pondering of “Who” permeates Agur’s thoughts of existence. In this inquiry, he intimates someone of something of superior ability must have created all these matters, but WHO is he? Would you agree Agur is searching for an answer and is in earnest to find the HONEST answer?
Then note his statement that admits to superiority even Agur could not ignore: “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and though be found a liar.” (vs. 5 – 6) If Agur was “agnostic” as some suggest, he admits that to those who put their TRUST in God count every word from Him as pure and that God is the protector to them that trust Him. If agnostic, the only means by which Agur would have come to this conclusion is via observation of those who FAITHFULLY adhered to God’s word and His promises!
Further, Agur was convinced of the all-sufficiency of God’s word. “Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Something had to have convinced Agur that God could not be corrected in His statements, neither could one argue with God and be found truthful! Obviously, Agur admits that the power of God’s word could not be altered, except man be found to be a liar!
Does this conversation remind you of some of the searching of Job and his friends as they endeavored to explain the calamity inflicted on Job? When they studied the matter (which took several days), the only conclusion they could reach is GOD IS RIGHTEOUS. The same conclusion is found by the apostle Paul when he wrote, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3: 3-4) When man is willing to set aside all preconceived ideas and carefully observe the obvious (see again the lessons Agur learned from otherwise obscure items of life) GOD is the answer – there is no other conclusion!
Passages like Psalm 19: 7 – 11 express the purity of God’s word as well. But let us remind you that while these passages declare the truth, they are written for our learning (Romans 15:4). Therefore, we need assurance that God’s word is equally pure within the New Testament. Dozens of beloved passages encourage us to appreciate the purity of God’s truth. We suggest Hebrews 1:1-2 or John 12: 44 – 50 or even Revelation 22:18 – 19 as validity to this fact. Allow me to offer the following passage for your thoughts regarding the PERFECT word of God: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) If you observe God’s word with this description in mind, do you see the greatness of God’s word? Is there anything man could add to improve it? And if a man would subtract from it, would it not, in turn, prove man to be a liar?
Regardless of who Agur was, or his belief was, his words