Let’s read that. Proverbs 30:8-9 says, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”

The prayer of “Agur the son of Jakeh” (verse 1) is two-fold. First, he asks the Lord to “remove far from me vanity and lies.” The Lord “desirest truth in the inward parts.” (Psalm 51:6). Solomon wisely begins his prayer with a request for truth. He asks the Lord to take away all vain and false opinions concerning Himself; to take away all things in his life that are empty or false. He wants these things taken out of his heart, and thus out of his life. I’m reminded of the prayer of King David, in Psalms 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” To have these things removed from our lives, we must thrust ourselves before the Lord, dependent upon Him to identify and rid us of all things contrary to the cause of Christ.

Agur recognized the dangers of riches. May we be fully aware of these dangers, ourselves. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil…” (NASB). Matthew 6:24 is clear, “You cannot serve God and wealth.” (NASB) Yet, Agur also recognized the problems associated with poverty. Let’s consider these two things separately.

“Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?” Pharaoh, who was rich with the riches of Egypt said those same words in Exodus 5:2, “And Pharaoh said, WHO IS THE LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” Job warns us of trusting in riches in Job 31:24-28, “If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an INIQUITY TO BE PUNISHED by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.” The temptation to depend upon our riches is great. Often, while thinking that our money is serving us, we come to realize that we are serving our money. How great is the temptation to LOVE WEALTH without considering its power to lead us away from the Lord.

“Lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” There is also a danger in extreme poverty. It can lead us to commit crimes, such as stealing, and thus profane or dishonor the name of the Lord whom we claim as our own. While people are sympathetic towards those who steal out of hunger, it is still wrong and greatly punishable. Proverbs 6:30-31 tells us, “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.” Jeremiah 2:26 tells us that, “the thief is ashamed when he is found…”

The godly person will wisely ask for middle ground. He requests of the Lord, “feed me with food convenient for me.” Dependent upon the Lord for his supply, he asks the Lord to give him ‘enough’…NOT SO MUCH that he would deny the Lord, NOT SO LITTLE that he would dishonor the Lord. ENOUGH. (250.4)