The Changes that trembling the earth


Proverbs 30, the proverb written by Agur son of Jakeh, a gentile. He humbly declared to his two students, Ithiel and Ucal that himself the most ignorant man of understanding and not knowing the Holy One; he however affirmed that God’s word is flawless, and a shield to people taking protection from Him. In one of his sayings, he said:

"Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up; a servant who becomes king, a fool who is full of food, an unloved woman who is married,  and a maidservant who displaces her mistress.” (Proverbs 30:21-23)


It seems to be cynical of those people who are lowly, foolish, unpleasant looking or insignificant suddenly gain power, richness, status or standing, an earth-shaking extraordinary news. In its original Hebrew text verses 21 to 23, each verse begins with an adverb “under” (which means subordination), for four times referencing the version translated by Darby. This has not been translated in the version of both Chinese and English Bible. It is likely that Agur was stating that it is shocking to see those who are undeserved and in the lowly positions suddenly being changed and raised to higher place.


God providentially put the sayings of Agur, a gentile, into the Old Testament. According to what I have perceived from the text is that, there may be a Gospel message in the Proverbs.


1.          A servant who becomes king: on receiving God’s Grace, our status and position are exalted. Made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2: 5-6). Our Lord Jesus is the King of Heavens; he commits us to work for Him on the earth, awaiting His return. If we persevere, faithfully and industriously accomplishing what He has committed to us, we will reign with Him and be rewarded greatly exceeding our imagination (Luke 19:17).


2.          A fool who is full of food: we were stubborn in the past and always refused the salvation God prepared for us (Luke 14: 15 -24). If not because of God’s grace choosing us to be his own, how are we now able to taste all the richness in His Son Jesus? “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)


3.          An unloved woman who is married: God loves everyone, unto the most evil sinners. If a girl was born ugly and a wicked heart, a prince is still willing to love her unwaveringly and marry her. Don’t you think suck kind of love is rare? God revealed us by the prophet Hosea’s matrimony to an adulterous woman and bearing children with her, was to show us His forgiveness unto those who have offended Him. “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion…” (Hosea 2: 19, 23)


4.          A maidservant who displaces her mistress: as a metaphor we gentiles to displace the Israelites in receiving God’s grace as His chosen people (Ephesians 2: 11 -13) Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.” (Romans 11:20). And now we gentiles through the Gospel, become the heirs with Israel in Christ, members of one body, and share the same promise in Him. It is really a great mystery. (Ephesians 3:6)


The grace of God that we have received is undoubtedly the grace that trembles the earth, and admiring by the Angels. 


By: Daniel To