“Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?” (Proverbs 30:4). No one – which demonstrates God’s power!
Proverbs, chapters 30-31; Psalm 33; Ephesians, chapter 1
Proverbs 30:4 (NLT):
Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name – and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!
Ephesians 1:19-23 (NLT):
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else – not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
What is his name – and his son’s name? That phrase captured my attention as I read Proverbs 30 today. Proverbs 30:1 indicates that these are “the sayings of Agur son of Jakeh.” This verse is the only place in Scripture where Agur is mentioned. But Agur’s identity is not what’s important; what’s important is what he says about God. Two phrases in verse 4 focus our attention: Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?… What is his name – and his son’s name?
Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
The image of God going up to heaven and coming back down immediately makes me think of Jesus. He is the:
- “bread of God…who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33)
- “true light, who gives light to everyone” (John 1:9)
- “Word [who] gave life to everything that was created” (John 1:4)
- “Word [who] became human and made his home among us” (John 1:14)
- “Jesus [who] has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven” (Acts 1:11)
- “Word [who] was with God, and…was God” (John 1:1)
What is his name – and his son’s name?
The second question from Proverbs 30:4 brings us to Ephesians 1. In Ephesians 1:6, Paul says: “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” What is his name? God. What is his Son’s name? Jesus. He is the one who came down from heaven. He has also gone back to heaven, and someday will return.
In our passage from Ephesians 1 today, Paul talks about the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. Some people think of God’s power in the way that Agur describes it: He holds the wind in his fists…wraps up the oceans in his cloak…has created the whole wide world. Certainly, the majesty and power of creation ought to remind us of God’s power! No matter how much we think we’ve figured out about creation and nature, new things always pop up to remind us how much we don’tknow.
But as majestic as God’s creative power is, Paul focuses on God’s spiritual power. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand… Through the resurrection, God demonstrated his approval of Jesus, and Jesus’ authority in God’s eternal kingdom. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.
In the New Living Translation, Ephesians 1:3-14 is captioned, “Spiritual Blessings.” Paul tells us that we have God’s spiritual blessings because we are united with Christ (1:3). Those blessings include that God:
- “Loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (1:4)
- “Decided in advance to adopt us into his own family” (1:5)
- Poured out his “glorious grace” on those who belong to his Son (1:6)
- “Purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (1:7)
- “Showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (1:8)
- “Revealed to us his mysterious plan…[to] bring everything together under the authority of Christ” (1:9-10)
- Given us “an inheritance from God” (1:11)
- Given us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of what God has promised us (1:13-14)
Proverbs 30:5 – the verse immediately following the one I’ve quoted above – says this: “Every word of God proves true.” What a powerful reminder of what Paul tells Timothy: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives” (2 Timothy 3:16). Tucked away in an often-overlooked passage of Scripture, a man named Agur reminds us of God’s overarching wisdom and greatness. He holds the wind in his fists, wraps up the oceans in his cloak, and has created the whole wide world. Every word of God is proven true, every time it is tried!
Agur also reminds us of something that we need to understand: “Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar” (Proverbs 30:6). In a day when people are quick to reject Scripture, or to think that they can “pick and choose” which parts to accept, we need to stand for the truth of all Scripture. There are many areas of life where Scripture does not give us specific direction – but where it does, we need to follow it!
Father, we thank you for your word. Thank you for reminding us that every word of yours proves true. When we apply your Word to our lives and walk in your way, you leads us in the way of life. Help us to remember that you have proven your Word and yourself true by raising your Son Jesus from the dead. “Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?” No one – which shows us that your Son Jesus is the divine, eternal Son. Help us to follow