The sayings above are from Agur son of Jakeh and addressed to his students Ithiel and Ucal. Agur was a sage: his name means “gathered” and may refer to his collection of wisdom. Although Agur is a sage and a teacher of wisdom, he feels overwhelmed by his ignorance. I think I was around the age of 40 before my ignorance hit me like a tidal wave. I did not apply myself at any level of my education. I did as little homework as was possible and I learned how to get by; I guess you might say, getting by was my goal. I didn’t have to worry about my parents, especially daddy, he hated school himself and quit when he was in the 9th grade. Work was daddy’s ethic, not education. My primary motivation for going to college was that he told me I’ve never make it and that I was wasting my time. I went to college to show him that he was wrong. Of course, he could have been using reverse psychology. I did a little better in college grade wise because I worked my way through and I was paying for it myself. June and I got married between college and seminary and my grade point went up but at no time in my education was I a straight A student. In seminary, 75-82 was a D, a C was 83-89, a B was 90-95 and an A was 96-100. Although I did some better in seminary, I was still a C student which did not bother me at the time. Looking back, I wish I had tried harder. Soren Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.”
Somewhere in my middle years, my gross ignorance came over me like a dark ominous cloud. I felt it in both mind and soul. To this day, I don’t like taking test but I love to study. I learn something new everyday, the problem now is remembering what I’ve learned. What I like about Agur is his humility and I don’t think is is false humility. I think he really felt stupid, like a dumb animal. He was not in fact a stupid person, he was a sage, a college professor of sorts but Agur felt ignorant in relationship to all there is to know. Just think of how excited Agur would be today with all the break throws in science such as “De-oxy-ribo-nucleic” Acid. Ok, you and I know it as DNA. The DNA molecule is one of the most fascinating discoveries in modern science and yet they continue to teach evolution which is a myth when they could be learning about DNA an established scientific fact.
When Agur said, I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One, he is not saying that he does not acknowledge God for he is the author of this entire chapter and he has great respect for God. He is stating the same principle that is revealed in Isaiah 55…“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Agur understands that the finite cannot comprehend the infinite which in itself is a declaration of wisdom. Infinite means boundless, unlimited, or never-ending. The finite mind has no way to measure the infinite. Mankind has made millions of discoveries including the DNA molecule but we have not come close to finding the bottom nor the edge. In relationship to the Infinite One, we are ignorant.