Saturday, 30th May 2020

Proverbs 30: 7-9

“Two things I ask of you, LORD; do not refuse me before I die: 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.

The first of the two things Agur pray for is the spiritual side of his life – that God would keep falsehood and lies far from his life. Indeed, what a wise man he was – that if our walk with our Lord is right and proper, we will always have His blessing, guidance and protection. If we build our lives with falsehood and lies, God would withhold His blessing, guidance and protection from us. As Christians, we need to build our lives with truth, integrity and honesty.

The second part of Agur’s prayer is a prayer many of us would more than ready, if not already prayed, against poverty. But following that would hardly one in ten thousand pray “give me not riches”. Praying not to be given riches? Who would want to pray a prayer like that? Who wouldn’t want to be rich? – “but give me only my daily bread”.

Isn’t that what our Lord teaches us to pray “give us today our daily bread” (Matt 6:11). Bread represents our basic necessities, but not our luxuries of life, our needs and not our wants. Note carefully too, it’s plural “us” and not singular “me”. So if God gives us two loaves of bread, the extra is meant for someone who doesn’t have, giving us an opportunity to live out – it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Remember the manna some Israelites gathered more than they needed and the next morning it was full of maggots and began to smell. (Exodus 16: 20). In giving others, God will continue to provide and we will have more, in hoarding, what we have will turn bad.

Agur prayed against riches because he is afraid that when he had too much, he will disown God and say “Who is the Lord?” Or, “Why should I serve Him? (Job 21: 14-16). Generally, it is easier to forget God when we are rich than when we are poor. Too often, the more we receive from God, the less He receives from us. The twining thorns choke the heavenly plant. (Matt 13:22). And as we prosper in the flesh, we are impoverished in the spirit. Prosperity makes people proud and forgetful of God, as it they had no need of him. That was exactly what Moses warned the Israelites against in Deut 8: 12-17; 31:20.

Agur also prayed against poverty less he steal and dishonour God’s name. Poverty is indeed a strong temptation to dishonesty. So how do we pray? Perhaps it’s best to leave this matter entirely to God. Both riches and poverty are His appointments, His prerogative. It may please Him to place us in a high condition; to entrust us with much riches, or to exercise us with the trials of poverty. Many of His children are in both conditions. Let us rather seek for grace to glorify Him in either condition. Or if it seem right for us to pray for a change of condition, let us not forget to pray that His will, not ours, be done. “Whither-soever God gives” – said the pious Bishop Hall – “I am both thankful and indifferent; so as, while I am rich in estate, I may be poor in spirit; and while I am poor in estate, I may be rich in grace.”

PRAYER: Dear Lord, you know us best. No matter what condition you put us in, rich or poor or in-between, we just want to live a life to glorify your name. You are the potter, we are the

clay, mould us anyway you want. Help us to pray like Paul “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” In Jesus name we pray Amen.

每日灵粮
30/05/20
作者:宋国基牧师
箴言30:7-9

我求你兩件事,在我未死之先,不要不赐给我:求你使虛假和谎言远 离我,使我不贫穷也不富足,赐給我需用的飲食。免得我饱 足 不 认 你,说:「耶和华是谁呢?」又恐怕我贫穷就偷窃,以致亵渎我神的名。

亚古珥在他祷告中祈求的第一件事是为他人生的属灵层面 求上帝使虚假谎言远离他的生活。确实,他是一个非常有智慧的人因他知道如果我们能正确和适当的与主同行,我们就常有祂的祝福,引领和保护。如果我们用虚假和谎言来建立我们的人生,上帝将挪去祂的祝福,引领和保护。身为基督徒,我们需要以真理,正直和诚实来建立我们的人生。

亚古珥第二部分的祷告,我们许多人也都祈祷过,是关于反贫困。可是接下来一万个人当中却很难可以找到一个人可以像亚古珥一样祷告“使我不富足”。祷告求上帝不赐他财富? 谁愿意祈求这样的祷告?谁不想致富?

-“但只给我日用的饮食”。这难道不就是我们的主教导我们的祷告“我们日用的饮食,今日赐给我们”(太6:11)。饮食代表我们的基本需要,而不是我们生活的奢侈品,是我们所需要的而不是我们所渴望的。仔细注意,它是以复数形式的“我们”而不是单数形式的“我”。所以,如果上帝给我们两个面包,那么多余的那一个是要给没有食物的人的,这是给我们可以活出 “施比受更有福”的一个机会。记住当初有些以色列人收集了超过他们所需要的吗哪,第二天早晨,吗哪生虫变臭。(出埃及记16:20)。在给予别人时,上帝会继续供应我们更多, 在滞积给自己时,我们所有的将变坏。

亚古珥祷告反财富因为他担心当他有过多时他会撇弃上帝并说“谁是主?”或者, “我为什么要服事他?” (约伯记21:14-16) 一般上我们在富有时会比我们在穷时更容易忘记上帝。很多时候我们从神那里得到的越多,神就从我们这里得到的越少。缠绕的荆棘把天国的福音植物给挤住了。 (太13:22)。当我们在俗世肉体中繁荣时,我们在灵命上就变得贫困。俗世繁荣使人们变得骄傲也对上帝健忘,好似他们不需要上帝。这正是摩西在申命记8:12-17; 31:20中警告以色列人的。

亚古珥为反贫困祷告, 免得他偷窃以致亵渎上帝的名。贫困确实是不诚实的极大诱惑。所以我们应当如何祷告?也许最好就是把这件事完全交给上帝。富裕和贫困都由祂来委派,是祂的特权。随祂意愿使我们处于高台,委托我们很多财富,或使我们经受贫困的考验。祂的许多孩子都处于这两种情况。不管是在任何一种情况下我们都应当寻求祂的恩典荣耀祂。或者,在对的情况下我们祷告上帝改变我们的情况,让我们不要忘记祷告祂的旨意而不是我们的旨意行成。虔诚的主教霍尔说:”上帝给的任何一切,我既感恩又无所谓。因为当我财产丰富时,我在灵里可能很贫穷;当我财产贫乏时,我可能恩典丰富。”

祷告:亲爱的主,祢最了解我们。不管祢让我们处于什么情况,无论是贫富或介于两者之间,我们都只是想要过一个荣耀祢的名的生活。祢是陶匠,我们是黏土,随心所欲的塑造我们。帮助我们像保罗一样祈祷。“我 无 论 在 甚 麽景况都可以知足,这是我已经学会了。我知道怎样处卑贱,也知道怎样处丰富;或饱足,或饥饿;或有馀,或缺乏,随事随在,我都得了秘诀。我靠着那加给我力量的,凡事都能行。”我们奉耶稣的名祷告,阿们。

方美珠译

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