“Two things I ask of you , O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.”
When I hit this proverb, it blew my mind. In one sentence, I think it says this: “God, put me in the position to best honor you.” That’s it. I studied a little bit on this verse, and I wonder if I pray like this.
The intro is really interesting. The writer, Agur, is begging the Lord for these two things. He’s desperate for them. “… do not refuse me before I die.” He wants them. The two things are to keep him from falsehood/lying, and to give him what he needs, no more and no less. Why? Why would he ask for these things? Of all the things Agur could ask for, these seem pretty random. He wanted to honor the Lord in his life. He wanted to make Christ known through his personal actions. He asked for his allotted amount in life. He asked for God’s provision and God’s discretion on how much to provide.
I battled with myself for awhile. Can’t riches lead to praising the Lord instead of forgetting Him? Can’t poverty force me closer to the Lord in dependence rather dishonoring Him? Yes, these are true. That’s why the writer asked for his personal daily bread. It is enough of what he needs. But it isn’t too much, that he would forget who provided. That would be falsehood. And it isn’t too little, that he would think to depend on himself and begin to steal. That would be deceptive. Notice, the results of too much and too little would lead to what he already prayed against.
Now, here was the hard part for me. Do I pray like that? No, when I pray, I’m begging the floodwaters of God’s blessing to come down on me. I’m crying out for more, more, MORE! It’s a courageous prayer to ask the Lord not for everything, but for that which is best. What if I began to pray that the Lord would put me in the best place to honor Him? What would happen? My guess is that my prayer would be answered. He would provide for me. I would get my daily bread, and though I may not understand why things are the way they are now, I do know that one day it will all make sense.
“Farther along, we’ll know about it. Farther along, we’ll understand why. So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine. We’ll understand this, all by and by.” – Josh Garrels, Farther Along