Thursday, September 20, 2018
O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. Proverbs 30:7-9(NLT)
Proverbs is my go-back-to-place when it comes to measuring my life’s progress and resetting the compass. In the process of setting (or re-setting) the moral compass these three verses are huge.
The writer begins with a prayer for God’s help. When you need to press the re-set button, it pays to do it right. Enlisting God as your accountability partner means going right to the best source – the one Who can be trusted, and who won’t miss anything when it comes to helping you do right. God also won’t gossip about what He’s heard!
The two requests this proverb-writer begs of God are truth and restraint. Above all this writer understands the value of telling the truth in all things. Solomon may have been the writer, or simply the publisher of Proverbs 30, but he would recognize the value of truth. His father, David, set in motion a world of problems for the whole tribe that followed him with his lack of integrity sinning with Bathsheba, and the coverup that followed. A lack of truth brings much pain.
In this prayer Solomon asks for the blessing of a life filled with neither too much, nor too little. Too much leads to arrogance, while too little brings coveting into play; both are painfully tied to greed or necessity and rob the soul of genuine peace.
This part of the prayer is much like the Lord taught his disciples to pray:
… And don’t let us yield to temptation. Luke 11:4b(NLT)
Resetting the compass means figuring out what’s important and setting our sights on that as true North.
Don’t lie, and don’t steal are two very prominent commandments of God’s original ten. They ought to figure prominently in resetting the compass for each of us.
There have been times in my life when, in deep, soul-searching prayer, I have discovered areas of untruth and lack of integrity. I have had to do some apologizing to people, and some begging, just like this Proverb-writer, for God to come with me to the altar, and to re-set my moral compass to His north. In times like that I have found what Isaiah found:
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10(NLT)
Genuine integrity brings much joy, when there is nothing held back in your relationship with either God or your fellow humans.