Agur prays for no poverty - 29 August 2017

Danny Fourie

“Two things I ask of you, 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 dishonour the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9

Agur prays that he will not be rich, because he is afraid of the haughtiness and disbelief in his heart. Demonic power can hide in riches – in the great and small. There lurks the danger of being drawn away from the Lord. There is a saying in Afrikaans that only strong legs can carry riches. Agur is afraid that he will renounce the Lord. The Lord is the God of the covenant who bestows all his goodness and merciful care on Agur.

Agur not only prays not to be rich, but he also prays that he will be spared from poverty. This is perhaps something that we can identify with more easily. Misery accompanies poverty. You have to deny yourself of many things. On this point we can, admittedly, follow Agur.

Yet, Agur means something else when he prays that he may be spared from poverty. He is not so much afraid of the misery that poverty brings, but that he may start stealing and through that taint the Name of the Lord. But are God-fearing people like Agur capable of stealing? Christians do not do that, do they? It is but something that unbelievers do? If we think like that we do not know the power of evil, nor our own depravity.

Agur sees himself as quite capable of stealing should he become poor. If he did such a thing, he would taint God’s Name. The Name of God is his greatest riches. To steal would be a sin against the love of God.

Agur does not pray for riches nor poverty, but for what is needed. Not the highest position, not the lowest but the middle ground. Then he would not have too much, because it is not good for him. Then he would not have too little, because that too is not good for him either. Then he will have enough and that is good for him, because then he needs God every day. To him it is a fruitful life, filled with a practise in faith.

Prayer: Lord, help us to constantly pray for those things that are good for us. Those things that will keep us from tainting your Name. Amen.

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