Before he died, Agur the oracle asked this of the LORD:

Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with the food that is my portion, 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 30.7-9

I find it interesting that Agur understood the connection between his wealth or lack thereof and how he related to God. He did not try to deceive himself into believing that he could hold on to the world’s wealth and still try to serve God. He also knew that poverty could cause him to dishonor the name of the LORD, out of a genuine desire to feed and clothe himself or his family.

Let me ask ourselves the question: which side of the coin do we find ourselves on? Are we so rich, and increasingly getting richer that we are beginning to deny our need for the hand of the LORD in our lives. Or are we suffering in abject poverty, wondering where our next meal is going to come from or where we are going to lay our heads tonight? We may not be able to do a whole lot about our poverty, as our poverty is often the result of injust laws and decisions that other people make. But we can do something about our wealth, we can freely give and hold nothing back. Not only will we cause our hearts to be more tender to the LORD, but we will also safeguard against people taking the name of the LORD in vain as a result of the situation they find themselves in.

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