Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9
This Proverb reminds me of something most people observe – even in our own lives. We sometimes turn away from God when we are in pain, because we think He is unfair to us. Or we turn away when everything is going well, because we don’t think we need Him.
And that reminds me what the Apostle Paul said:
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13
Paul might have prayed like the writer of the Proverb – to keep himself from feast and famine – but he learned to have both abundance and need without turning from God.
I’m interested that the Proverb writer also prayed that “falsehood and lying” be removed from him. What does that mean and what does it have to do with “feast or famine?”
Well, it’s pretty straightforward according the ESV Study Bible. The two requests really have nothing to do with one another. And the first likely means that the writer desires not to lie nor to be lied to.
I usually trust that people tell me the truth and if they DO lie, I find it hard to believe that someone actually told me a falsehood. It’s just so hard for me to lie. I’m not saying it’s a virtue! I just can’t bring myself to lie. Maybe it’s because I have few if any filters! But I will pray not to be lied to – because lies so undermine trust.
So, considering this Proverb, my main takeaway is that though I’d like to be protected from the temptations of feast and famine (and the trouble caused by deception), I want to become more like Paul who learned contentment in all circumstances.
Dear Lord: Please impart to me the secret of contentment. Amen