By Pastor Phil
The wisdom of Proverbs 30 comes from someone other than Solomon. We know little about Agur, the author of these sayings other than what he tells us. He is a brilliant observer of life and its’ mysteries, placing in categories for us things that are simply too amazing, too wonderful for us to understand. In spite of his wisdom, he confesses his lack of understanding concerning the most important thing.
He writes, “I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!”
We can’t help but read this passage with the insight of the New Testament. “What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!” Yes! We know. His name is Jesus and he has come to save.
My aunt, Cledith Cox, was a pioneer missionary. Sailing for Nigeria in the 1940s, she lived among the Ishans of Benin Province in Western Nigeria, in a station nestled in the depths of the jungle. On one occasion during her first term she had gone deeper into the bush to preach the gospel in a small village. As she prepared to preach, the tribal chief, who also happened to be the oldest man in the village, began to stare at the bible she held in her hands. He asked, “What is that?” She told him it was a book. “What color is it?” he asked. “Black” she answered. “The book! This black book I know! I know! This black book I know!”
Over and over he repeated the phrase. Finally, he told Cledith, “My father told me we must continue to sacrifice chickens and pigs and goats because we don’t know the gods. We don’t know who they are. We don’t know their names. But someday a person will come and you will know they have the truth, for they will have a black book. They will tell us of the true God and we can then know him.”
Cledith opened her bible to John 3:16 and said “The true God had only one son. His name was Jesus and He died so you could be saved and have eternal life.” The chief and many of the people in the village received the gospel and were saved that day. Before Cledith left the village, the Chief said, “My father and his father died without knowing the true God, without knowing His name. Why did you wait so long?” Cledith said, “I came as soon as I could.”
There are people everywhere, like Agur in Proverbs 30 and like the African tribal chief, who haven’t heard the story of Jesus and his saving grace. They haven’t heard his name. They don’t know how deeply he loves them and how he gave his life for them.
The apostle Paul tells us, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:13-15
The responsibility falls to us. Like the African chief’s father, some will die without knowing the true God, without knowing his name. We can’t afford to delay.
“What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!” Let’s share what we know. Tell the good news. His name is Jesus and if you will call upon Him, you can be saved!