Proverbs 30:8-9 

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, 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.

Observation-What does it say?  

Agur is only mentioned this one time in the bible.  His origins are relatively unknown.  Some believe him to be of Arab decent, a non-Israelite.  His collection of sayings relies heavily on what he has observed in nature and he has learned humility through these things.  In his observations he compiles multiple lists of his observations.  In these he uses a literary device of “Three and Four” to indicate these lists are not exhaustive. 

Understanding-What does it mean?  

There are a few things that I remember as a kid that helped me form an idea of the kind of work ethic that I wanted to have as I grew up.  One of them was a really ridiculous movie about a group of surfers chasing big waves around the world.  It was a fictional movie that employed real surfers as actors, of which they were definitely better at surfing than acting.  In one of the scenes, one of the surfers was talking about his friend and said, “Before enlightenment, he chopped wood and carried water.  After enlightenment, he chops wood and carries water.”  For whatever reason, this helped me to grasp the idea that I could attain a level mastery in a pursuit and not carry with it an attitude of superiority.   

Multiple times throughout the bible we get lessons on contentment in our lives and our work.  Paul really does set a great example of this contentment.  During his time defending the gospel, and on his way to Rome, he faced such opposition as being stoned, being shipwrecked, being placed in prison, among other things.  When he writes to the Philippians, he tells them, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Throughout his journey, Paul kept his eyes completely set on the Christ.

Now that I am older, I can get a little distracted by the stress of life and other distractions around me.  When I am at work, I often get focused on a position I want to attain or promotion that I want.  I also have a tendency to get frustrated when I feel I have been overlooked for someone with less experience.  I ask God, “Why haven’t I gotten what I want?”  Instead I should be asking, “What are you trying to teach me, and who should I be looking to bless?”  Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Life Application

Jesus, I know you provide all things for me.  The roof over my head, the food in my cupboard, and the job that pays for those things, are all because of your goodness.  Help me to remember the birds and the flowers and how you dress them so elegantly, yet they don’t ever worry about the clothes they will wear or if they have food stored up in barns.  Your word tells me that not even a sparrow falls apart from your will.  So I know I can trust you with my life, and all the little details too.  

-Tyler Galloway