Proverbs 30:10-20

Talks for Growing Christians

Wisdom in Examination

Proverbs 30:10-20

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Lesson Number 52

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The sayings of Agur contain truth for every believer.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t become desensitized to sin!


  1. From the words of Agur in verse 10, we learn the truth that God will make sure a penalty follows the sinful act of slander. How would you describe the overall application of this proverb?
  2. In verses 11-14 the word “generation” could be translated here, “_______ of people.” Describe the four evil characteristics that Agur identifies in these verses.
  3. Verses 15 and 16 address the matter of uncontrolled greed. Why does the author use the expression, “. . . three things . . . four . . .”?
  4. In verse 17, Agur describes the penalty on the person who shows contempt and disrespect for his parents as having his eyes picked out and eaten. Are we to take these words literally?


  1. The overall application of the proverb in verse 10 is: “Don’t meddle in another person’s domestic affairs.” Romans 14:4a says, “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his master he stands or falls.”
  2. The word “generation” in verses 11-14 could be translated “class of people.” In these verses, the author lists the characteristics of four kinds of evil people - the disrespectful (v 11), the hypercritical (v 12), the proud (v 13), and the greedy (v 14).
  3. The expression including the words, “. . . three things . . . four . . .” used by the author here in verse 15 provides additional emphasis on the truth that greed is never satisfied.
  4. What is in view here in verse 17 is the disgrace of not having a decent burial and the unburied body of the sinful person being left for the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. We would not take Agur’s words here literally.


  1. Discuss the many ways that respect and honor can be shown to parents, both by younger children and by adult sons and daughters. Consider past experiences where you or those in your group have failed in this God-given responsibility.


  1. Have you become desensitized to sin in your life? Have you naively failed to identify ungodly thoughts or acts in your life as sinful? Have you repeated sinful acts to the extent that they no longer bother your conscience? 2 Corinthians 13:5 calls all believers to, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test?”

Key Verses

  • “There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yes, four which I do not understand: The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18, 19

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