Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Proverbs 30:8
In the movie Fiddler on the Roof, the character Tevye talks honestly with God about His economics: “You made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor. But it’s no great honor either! So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune! . . . Would it have spoiled some vast, eternal plan—if I were a wealthy man?”
Many centuries before author Sholem Aleichem placed these honest words on Tevye’s tongue, Agur lifted an equally honest but somewhat different prayer to God in the book of Proverbs. Agur asked God to give him neither poverty nor wealth—just his “daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8). He knew that having “too much” could make him proud and transform him into a practical atheist—denying the character of God. In addition, he asked God to not let him “become poor” because it might cause him to dishonor God’s name by stealing from others (v. 9). Agur recognized God as his sole provider, and he asked Him for “just enough” to satisfy his daily needs. His prayer revealed a pursuit of God and the contentment that’s found in Him alone.
May we have Agur’s attitude, recognizing God as the provider of all we have. And as we pursue financial stewardship that honors His name, let’s live in contentment before Him—the One who not only provides “just enough,” but more than enough.
What can you do to pursue God and find contentment in Him? How can you express your gratitude to Him for His faithfulness?
Dear God, our Provider, help me to be satisfied with everything You supply.
The opening verse of Proverbs 30 attributes this proverb to a man named Agur, the son of Jakeh. Unfortunately, this is all we know of him. The text of verse 1 continues that his “utterance” was given to people named Ithiel and Ucal (nasb)—about whom we also know nothing. What can we surmise from the nature of these proverbs? Perhaps that Agur was a man of humility (vv. 2–4) and an astute observer of nature (vv. 19, 24–31) and human nature (vv. 20–23). The fact that his wise sayings are included in the book of Proverbs is testimony to the high regard with which they were held by Jewish rabbinic scholarship. In verse 8, we also discover that Agur apparently was a man of moderation rather than excess, as he asks God, “give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”