7There are two things, Lord,
I want you to do for me
before I die:
8Make me absolutely honest
and don't let me be too poor
or too rich.
Give me just what I need.
9If I have too much to eat,
I might forget about you;
if I don't have enough,
I might steal
and disgrace your name.
This proverb is a prayer to the Lord that reveals certain aspects of our human nature. The author has two prayers that are intertwined. First of all, he prays for the moral fortitude to be a man of integrity, then he requests to be preserved from the circumstances that could jeopardize that moral integrity.
If we were to judge by the success and popularity of lotteries, we would indeed be forced to conclude that a lot of people have a serious preoccupation with the seeking of riches. Riches are not necessarily a bad thing. However, we are invited to be on the watch because riches, as well as poverty, pose a danger to our spiritual welfare. The excessive abundance of material things can lead us into an attitude of self-sufficiency. This can, in turn, distance us from dependence on God for the necessities of life.
Excessive poverty, on the other hand, can incite the temptation to become dishonest, to lie or to defraud, and even to believe and hope that by winning the lottery we will achieve sufficient resources to provide for our needs instead of leaning on God’s provision for all of life’s necessities.
We can be inspired by this prayer for our personal lives as well as for our daily personal needs. Knowing that the Lord is sovereign, we can pray that he would grant us clarity of mind, wisdom and confidence so that we will be able to conduct ourselves in a manner that pleases and glorifies him, whether he has placed us in a situation of poverty or riches.
In this way we ask God to provide what is both suitable and necessary, in order that we might accomplish the call he has placed on our lives.
Lord, I want to make this my prayer. I want to live every day in truth, in integrity and in contentment, knowing well that you have a plan for my life, also knowing that you are sovereign and are watching over me. Lord, may my life glorify you. Amen.