“Give Me Neither Poverty Nor Riches”
Agur was an exceedingly wise man. He prayed to God, saying, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” He knew that poverty would be a strong temptation to theft. And he knew that riches would be an equally strong temptation to forget God. Therefore he wisely prayed, “Feed me with food convenient for me.”
He wanted God to graciously and wisely limit his provision to his reasonable, daily need. Agur knew what very few people in this world ever learn. He knew “the deceitfulness of riches” (Matthew 13:22).
How I rejoice when I see God’s children prosper in this world! I have watched many young couples scrape and struggle for years to make ends meet. In their poverty they have been very faithful and very generous to the cause of Christ, doing without many comforts to attend the ministry of the Word and give to the cause of Christ.
After a while they begin to prosper, not much, but a little, and my heart rejoices for them. I thank God for his goodness to them. But my joy and thanksgiving is always tempered with a sober, earnest prayer. I pray, “Lord, don’t give them more than they can handle. With their increased substance, give them increased grace.”
I am always fearful when I see men and women prosper too much! Why? Because I have seen many whose prosperity has caused them to forget God. It seems that the more of this world’s goods a person has, the more he wants. Man has an insatiable appetite for money, property, and power. Once he has a taste of any, he seems incapable of satisfaction.
Therefore he will sacrifice the worship of Christ, the glory of Christ, and the cause of Christ upon the altar of his own lusts for gain. I warn you once more, as earnestly as I possibly can, to beware of “the deceitfulness of riches!” Do not allow the treasures of this world to rob you of your immortal soul. Unless God by his grace prevents it, they surely will.
“Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
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