Friday, April 26, 2013

Do Not Give Me Riches

…That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:9

Agur's request here, to not be given riches, seems most unnatural.  Especially when for 40 cents we can "super-size" our meals!  So why not pray "give me"?  The American dream is built upon "rags" to "riches" stories.  We want to be rich!  Agur speaks of our never being satisfied.

We can add the American lifestyle ... as the more we have the more we want ... never having enough!  We want to live by the principle that money really does buy happiness and everything else.  Jesus in declaring how hard it is for a rich man to enter heaven … stunned the disciples.  They thought, If rich people can't ,who can?

For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. 1 John 2:16 NLT  Agur was looking for more than just possessions … he was looking for purity in his relationship with his God.

..lest I be full and deny you and say “Who is the Lord?”
The Bible speaks to our times of want by warning us that possessions, money, houses, and even our food can cause us to forget God and quit serving God.  The truth is that when things are good, we don’t turn to God as often.  We don’t think we need Him. When we have a crisis, we cry out almost continually. 

We are people cursed with the belief that we can handle riches, where weaker men cannot. We think we can handle more money and not forget God. The plain truth is that we already have too much. If we're completely honest, we must admit that the riches we already have, however little they may be, cause us to drift away from the things of God. The time it takes to manage what we already have makes us act as if we don't know the Lord, even if we never consciously say, "Who is the Lord?"

When we have riches, we spend time pursuing more riches.  We sometimes have a hard time sharing our wealth with the poor and we come to trust our riches more than our God.  Money is the dominant value of a world that is passing away. Honoring Christ is the dominant value of the world that is coming.

…Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God
This may seem like a very strange prayer.  It goes against our human nature.  Most of us do not want poverty.  Most of us do want wealth.  We may say that we want just enough to get by but the more you have, usually the more you want.  

People often blame God for their poverty.  They may be having a terrible time getting out of a bad financial situation and don’t understand why the all-powerful God does not work a miracle in their lives and fix their problem.  God does not work that way.  Usually the financial problems we have are brought on by our poor choices, but not always.  Even then it is hard to understand why God allows some hardship in our lives.  We may blame God and we may curse Him as well.  Agur knew he was capable of doing this and that is why he prayed this very pure and humble prayer. 

We have much to learn from this simple man.  Agur was a humble man, whose implicit trust in God leads him to be content with whatever He provides.  His words reveal a heart that places material prosperity and success in their proper places, well below the highest task of honoring God.  May we all be so wise. 

Scripture to Claim:
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matthew 6:21

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