Nobility and Baseness
Heavenly Father, “every word of (Yours) is flawless… a shield to those who take refuge in (You)” (Prov. 30:5). Speak to me today.
Read Proverbs 30:1-33
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Tim. 2:22).
In Rachel Seiffert’s novel The Dark Room, Micha, a young German man, is tortured by a sense of responsibility for the wartime deeds of his SS grandfather in Belarus. He cannot bear the likelihood that his beloved grandfather was also a murderer. His pilgrimage takes him to Belarus, where he meets Jozef, a local man who confirms Micha’s grandfather’s guilt. Only after his death does Jozef’s wife Elena help Micha understand how Jozef knew: he had collaborated in the massacres. And yet Elena and Jozef loved each other with a selfless love. Through this encounter Micha begins to understand the nobility and baseness that together make up the human condition.
Agur son of Jakeh is struggling with a similar contrast, between roosters and lions in their self-importance (29–31) and ants, conies and lizards, who quietly make things happen (24–26). From another angle, among the wonder of the eagle’s flight, the extraordinary human ingenuity expressed in “the way of a ship,” or the mystery of erotic love (19), we find a heart determined to justify sin (20). The awe inspired by the complexity and balance of nature is constantly at odds with the impact of human evil. Agur, probably an Ishmaelite, is wise enough both to observe and distinguish the jumble of good and evil around him and to know how little he knows (2,3). He recognizes that he lacks “knowledge of the Holy One” (3) and so unwittingly points the reader back to the beginning of wisdom as “the fear of the Lord” (9:10). He understands the importance of the “word of God” (5), yet asks the name of that God and his Son (4). We are able to tell Agur about that Son, revealed to us as Word. Jesus’ cross answers the cry for atonement of Micha and so many like him.
What battles between good and evil are you involved in? How can the Word of God help you in them? Thank God now for the victory that is yours in Christ.
I praise You, Father God, for the victory I can have through Your Son who “set (me) free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
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