November 17

Proverbs 30:7-9 7"Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: 8Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9Otherwise, 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.

The author of this proverb had a healthy fear of the LORD. Knowing the deceitfulness of his own flesh, he asked for two things. The first was to keep falsehood and lies far from him. The passage does not say whether those lies come from his lips or from another. We can look at it both ways. We can't keep others from deceiving us, which in turn causes us to make wrong judgments. We can ask God to keep others from lying to us. But just as important is to ask God to help us not be tempted to lie. Most of us don't plan to outright lie, but in the heat of a conversation there is a way of putting things that brings you favor or respect through a distortion or exaggeration. We can justify it, but it is lying nonetheless. God protect us from our treacherous self-exaltation.

Then the author asks for daily bread. Jesus echoed this in the Lord's Prayer. If I have too much, it may cause my heart to turn from the LORD. It is good to have needs that drive me to prayer. I need to see my needs met little by little so that I give Him praise and thanks. If I go hungry I may get desperate enough to steal, and that would dishonor the God whom I profess to serve. So, I ask for sufficiency, not abundance or poverty.

Reader, do you recognize how deceitful your flesh can be? Do you dream of hitting it rich, thinking of all the good you would do with the money? The worst thing for many of us is to get that for which we ask. Recognize the power of the flesh and live to stay free from its power. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit instead.

Prayer: Please give me sufficiency and a healthy fear of the LORD.