“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Proverbs 30:5
This proverb was not written by Solomon but by Agur (not that it really matters but who knows when you might be asked the question in Bible Trivia, “Who wrote Proverbs 30?” and YOU will now be able to answer— AGUR!!
It’s also a fun chapter with a whole series of “three things are… yes four are…” and prefaced by the two promises that God’s word is flawless and it is a shield for me IF I take refuge in it.
One of those 2:3/3:4 parallel passages in particular I really appreciate because it is so full of balanced wisdom—thank you Agur!
“Two things I ask of you Lord:
1. Keep falsehoods and lies far from me
2. Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”
Three things I want to stay away from:
The dishonesty part was probably such a no-brainer that Mr Agur didn’t even illustrate why one of his two bottom-line requests from God was about the importance of telling the truth. But the poverty/riches issues he illustrated like this:
1. I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
2. Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”
If I have too much I might become so self-sufficient that I forget that I need God (or don’t think I do at all); and if I become too poor then I may forget to trust Him and take things into my own hands and mess things up thereby dishonoring Him. “Lord, I’m not sure I can handle either extreme so please keep me in the middle class!” It may also refer to more than material possessions- any way or part of life that could make me feel self-sufficient could also be a stumbling block to connecting with God. And anything that causes me anxiety because I am NOT in control may cause me to blame God or get angry with Him and again not allow Him to have control of my life.
Mr Agur apparently knew this human dilemma and so asked God not for riches but for “just enough” to take care of my needs; no more-no less, because I know myself too well and know that I could too easily forget God when I’m in either of the extreme situations. What keeps me “in the middle, I have discovered, is the practiced art of learning to be content with what I have, learning to be satisfied, learning to trust God in the small things so that when the big ones come I will be practiced in the art of trusting, and NOT looking to society for my benchmark for success, or failure because its members pretty much suffer from a serious case of selfishness and greed.
So have a great day discovering the joy of being in the middle!
PS DON’T MISS vespers tonight- Pastor Ron Halvorsen SR will be telling his story “From Gangs to God,” which is the title of the book written about his life from the streets and gangs of New York City to an evangelist for God. NOTE THE TIME CHANGE—7:00pm tonight in the church for vespers!!