:1, 2 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance. This man’s utterance to Ithiel:
“I am weary, God,
but I can prevail.
Surely I am only a brute, not a man;
I do not have human understanding…”
Who was this man whose speech Solomon considered to be inspired? The inspiration of God was on his lips in an utterance made to another unknown man. This speech was given a whole chapter in the book of Proverbs – written by the wisest man who ever lived in order to train his sons to be princes and leaders of a nation.
What did Solomon see in this man, Agur, that he believed was worth including in his book? I think Solomon realised that Agur had figured out something he hadn’t. Despite all his wisdom, excess of luxury and experience of every good thing a person may desire, Solomon still ended up in the deep depression spoken of in Ecclesiastes. Apart from the Song of Songs, Solomon did not seem to be the kind of man who was overflowing with meaning and with purpose. As a king, he knew what to do. As a man, I think he did not know who he was.
Agur, on the other hand, seemed to have a clear sense of awareness and contentment about his identity. He opens his speech with a statement of how he feels and what he believes despite this feeling. Then he proceeds to establish the reasons for this. He is in many ways Solomon’s alter ego and in contrast to the sage spends much of his time explaining what he does not understand. He sums up his ignorance in verse 2, by saying, “surely, I am too stupid to be a man” (KJV). Yet, Agur still seemed to know who he was. Perhaps he was not able to measure up to others’ expectations of intellect, but he was content. Despite his challenges, his opening words demonstrate confidence and a spirit that are enviable.
Despite the weariness of his life, he believes he can prevail at whatever challenge comes his way. This is a normal, average guy who has figured out the stupidity of the rat race and is content to wonder at what he does not understand. At the same time, he is blessed with a friend who will listen to his utterance and a strong faith in God that permeates this speech/prayer. This is a man who knows and appreciates the opportunity of life. He is not driven by the mad quest to discover what he doesn’t know or be someone other than who he is. Rather, he seeks only to be the best man that he can be in the context of a life unmarked by poverty or riches. He recognises that his power of choice enables him to overcome even the most difficult circumstances and he knows that despite his weariness, he can prevail.
What do you think? Leave a comment
Here’s a link to a reddit post I found interesting…it provides a unique perspective on the benefits of being average – or at least not super smart.