Enough for today (Proverbs 30)
Do we know when we’ve reached that state? Neither too much nor too little? Serving sizes don’t help do they? Often I’ll be served a burger and think to myself that it’s delicious but could reasonably be half the size. Or maybe it’s a drink.. the medium that has somehow become the ‘sensible choice’ because it’s not the stupendously large one!
Today in the 30th chapter of Proverbs we meet a new author – Agur son of Jakeh. Before you ask, no, we don’t know anything about him outside of this section of the book. But fortunately he knows someone from whom his wisdom is derived;
““Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
(Proverbs 30:5 NIV11)
This flawless Word of God has then taught Agur to form his words into a surprising request for mercy from God;
“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.”
(Proverbs 30:8–9 NIV11)
This simple prayer is for just enough. Only what we need – not the extremes of financial heights or depths. The danger at either end is clear – enough wealth to maintain the illusion that we don’t need God, or such poverty that stealing and dishonouring God becomes a path to pursue.
It seems natural here to be reminded of the words of Lord’s Prayer;
“He said to them, “When you pray, say:
“ ‘Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation. ’ ””
(Luke 11:2–4 NIV11)
This is another set of seemingly simple requests – for God’s name to be honoured, His Kingdom to come, the forgiveness of sins, and salvation from temptation. Then, right in the middle of them is a request for ‘our daily bread.’ Just enough for today.
Even as I read this I’m thinking of the way God provided manna in the desert for His people after they left Egypt. The frosty flakes that fell on the ground overnight each day could be gathered up and eaten as ‘the bread of heaven.’ If the Israelites tried to cheat their daily collection by storing up two day’s worth the bread would go mouldy – it needed to be fresh every day, except for the Sabbath – on that day the bread would keep so the people could rest.
What was the point? Daily dependency on God. Not too much so you could store it up and become lazy, and not too little so no one starved.
Lord God, please grant us enough or today. Open our eyes to see your provision as a gift that we don’t deserve. And please help us to be satisfied without being consumed by greed, envy, and the desire for more. Please Lord, give us our daily bread with a heart of thankfulness and contentment.
Grace and peace,
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