Monday, April 11, 2011

Thoughts about Proverbs 30:7-9

I quoted the passage in a previous post concerning being content with little, and here are a few more thoughts I thought warranted their own post.

These are a few verses which I find come to mind more times than statistically insignificant:

7Two things I asked of You,
Do not refuse me before I die:
8Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9That 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.

I don't know why, but these verses stuck with me ever since the first time I read them, which was I-don't-know-when, probably during the college years. I suppose the purpose of this brief post is to write/"talk" "out loud" to figure it out.

One of the reasons is that I perceive it as a very down-to-earth and understandable passage. No premillenial, preterist eschatology or transubstantial this-or-that. The writer is able to sympathize with the condition of someone in need, of someone who's tempted to steal in order to fulfill his (or presumably extending to his family's) needs. With a couple of very important exceptions, the Bible is filled with all sorts of imperfect people living life in imperfect ways and thinking imperfect thoughts. With good reason, as I believe is illustrated in this passage, since we imperfect humans are much better able to empathize with fellow imperfect humans.

Another reason I like it is that it seems that it's fine to not take a voluntary vow of poverty, in being a Christian. God does not call us all to be either very rich or very poor. In fact, this passage would imply that it's dangerous to be at either extreme. I do find it comforting that I am not necessarily called to take my family and live in a cardboard box ;)

On the other hand, living in (one of?) the wealthiest nation(s) in the world, it is also a stern warning not to forget God in the pursuit of or the wallowing-in of riches. I also talked about this more in the aforementioned post I linked to at the top.

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