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Proverbs 30:7-9

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Good Evening, so glad to see everyone tonight. I pray that everything is going well with you. Turn with me in your Bibles to there is a prayer there I want to read to you which says this:
Proverbs 30:7–9 ESV
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
These words record the wise words of a weak man. You can learn alot about a person by listening to them pray. Now I want to introduce you tonight to a man named Agar he is the one who prays this prayer. is the only place in the Bible where the name Agar is mentioned. Some say that it may have been a pen name that Solomon wrote under.
They say this because we really dont know anything about Agar outside of what we can learn from . But there is alot we can learn about Agar from the wise sayings recorded in this chapter. Maybe the most important things we could learn about him are found here in the prayer that he prays.
This prayer, teaches us to address before God the spiritual weaknesses in our lives that either block or detour the pursuit of Godliness in our lives. But there is a lesson in the beginning of the prayer (7) before you ever get to the requests in 8-9. Consider first that this prayer teaches us:

Pray with Humble Submission

Agar says: “Two things I ask of you”
ask… Agar asked God for what he needed and wanted in His life, he did not tell God what to do, He did not claim any promises, he did not try to use his faith to manipulate God into doing whatever he wanted. He simply asked God for what he wanted, like a child addressing his father, like a servant speaking to his master, like a sinful man praying to a Holy God Agar simply asked God for what he needed in prayer and this is how you and I ought to pray friends… with humble submission, not arrogant presumption.
But we also see in this prayer that we are to pray with

Pray with Spiritual Priorities

Youll see here that agar does not pray for vain trivial superficial things. His prayer is weighted down with the gravity of eternity.
Psalm 90:12 ESV
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12
From that standard we can assume that Agar was a wise hearted man, he had numbered his days. He understood that it is appointed unto man once to die and then stand at the judgement. So as he prayed about his life, Agar was thinking about his death.
Matthew Henry said: “In praying one should think about dying and then pray accordingly.”
We should pray recognizing that life is short and death is sure and eternity is coming. We should do as Jesus taught us “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness knowing that all the other things we are tempted to worry about will all be added unto us.”
This teaches us to pray with Godly wisdom:
James 1:5 ESV
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
We can ask God for wisdom, but this prayer also teaches us that we should pray with wisdom. It is obvious that Agar organized things in ordered lists. Our passage is the first and shortest of 6 short lists that we find in . In this list we find agars list where he first thought about the things that he wanted to ask God for in prayer and only came up with 2 things.
If you were going to stand before a king in those days, or if you were going to have 5 minutes with the president of the United States you wouldnt walk in there thoughtlessly, you wouldn’t walk in there without having thought through what you were going to say.
William Arnott: “This prayer is a stern
In the same way Agar would not enter into the presence of a Holy and just God thoughtlessly and so he made a list of the things that he wanted God to do for him before he died. It was a spiritual bucket list of things he wanted God to do in his life before he died. He only came up with 2 things.
If you were to make a list of the things you wanted God to do in your life before you died how long would your list be?
What would be the things that you would put on your list and would your list reflect you to be wise or foolish?
Agar made a list of the things that he wanted God to do in his life and he only came up with 2 things:
On one hand he asked God to remove from his life anything that would hinder his pursuit of Godliness and then on the other hand he asked that God would not give him anything that would detour him from the path that God had laid out for him.
That’s it, that is his prayer. Proverbs is 30 chapters filled with Godly wisdom but this is the only prayer recorded in the book of Proverbs. IT seems to suggest that this is a good example how Godly people oughtta pray. I recommend it to you tonight suggesting that if we wanna be like Jesus maybe we ought to pray like Agar.
There is only 2 requests here:
Agar prays:

God would remove anything that would block his pursuit of Godliness

Proverbs 30:8 ESV
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,
This first request reminds us that a commitment to truth is essential for a Godly life. Jesus says in
John 8:31–32 ESV
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32 HCSB
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Later in
John 17:17 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
I repeat a Godly life requires a commitment to the truth, and this is where Agar begins his prayer. He asks God to remove far from him falsehood and lying. it is a twofold concern. He first asked God to help him deal with falsehood, that which is meanigless its worthless speech. its the same word used in where we are commanded not to take the name of the Lord your God in vain. When he speaks against falsehood, he is talking about deceitful speech that says what one does not mean in order to take advantage of another person. He is concerned here about deceitful speech. Deceit is first mentioned in
1 Peter 2:1 ESV
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
This is mentioned by Peter as one of the things we must strip off if we are going to develop a healthy appetite for the word of God, and grow up into spiritual maturity, and we are told that Jesus is qualified to be our Savior because he committed no sin and there was no deciet found in His mouth. We too must pray that the things we talk about is not meningless but instead eternally meaningful. He is also concerned about lying.
Falsehood and lies are twins they are just not identical twins. Lies are uglier than falsehood. A liar has no commitment to truth in his heart so there is no truth in his words.
Proverbs 12:2 HCSB
The good person obtains favor from the Lord, but He condemns a man who schemes.
Proverbs 12:22 ESV
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
So Agar rightly prays that God would remove far from him falsehood and lies the request is clear the context is not. He might be asking God to help him because he has a problem with lying. This may be a confession of sin, it maybe a prayer to protect him from lying. He may be concerned about others around him who lie and speak falsehood against him… It could be that he is bothered by others around him who are mishandling the scriptures twisting the word of God to make it say what they want rather than what God intended. He doesnt just want God to rebuke them he may want god to immediately remove them far from his life.
But anyway you read this his concern is the same, he had an issue with falsehood and lies in his life that he could not handle on his own, and here we find the wise prayer of a weak man who takes his problems to God in prayer and says God I cant handle these thing on my own please remove far from me falsehood and lies. These were termites that ate away from the structure of truth in Agars life.
So he prays to god to take the liars away from him, I like the language he uses dont just remove it but remove it far away from me. When you remove it dont allow it to stay too close because I may get it or it might come back and get me.
so Lord when you remove it remove it far away from me.
He prays to GOd to remove from him anything that would block his pursuit of godliness.
Not too long ago we were outside and some of the kids were playing and one of the boys was smaller I really cant remember who it was I think it was Noah, anyway, the kids were on the trampoline and they had some of their friends over and Noah decided he was going to leap off the trampoline to the ground below. Luckily I saw it quickly and jumped up from my seat and caught him mid air coming down where he would have certainly landed on his neck. In the midst of all the chaos BRayden our nephew looked at Grace and said: “Man your dad is fast and strong”
Thats what Im trying to point out to you tonight is that sometimes there are situations where we get ourselves into situations that we cannot get out of. Friends cant even get us out of them but friends I have good news. OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS STRONG, and by the sufficiency of the LORD JESUS CHRIST THERE IS NOTHING YOU ARE INTO THAT GOD CANNOT GET YOU OUT OF, pray that God would remove from your life any attitude, any way of perspective on life, any sinfulness that would block your pursuit of being Godly.
but there is another request here:

PRAY THAT GOD WOULD NOT GIVE US ANYTHING THAT WOULD DETOUR US FROM PURSUING THE PATH OF GODLINESS

Jabez prays that God would bless him and enlarge his coast. But as he prays for that he also prays that the hand of the Lord would be with him to keep him from evil. Jabez prayer finds its twin here in the prayer of Agar. Jabez prays for a blessing, but then realizes the danger of the very thing for which he asks, and then asks God to keep him from the evil that the blessing may bring with it.
But Agar says: Lord I am too weak to pray like that, Lord you know how weak I am and I am just gonna ask you up front DONT GIVE ME ANYTHING THAT YOU KNOW MAY EXPOSE MY WEAKNESS OR DETOUR MY DEVOTION OR DAMAGE MY INTEGRITY.
Proverbs 30:8 HCSB
Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need.
Theres a two-fold concern here as well, he says here Lord dont let me be poor. Scripture does not say you have to be poor to be Godly, Jesus only says you cannot serve both God and money you will either love the one and hate the other or you will serve the one and hate the other you cannot serve both God and money. Someone be wealthy and Godly and generous and one can be poor and selfish and materialistic. the issue is a matter of the heart, and here Agar says Lord do not let me be poor then he says dont let me be rich either. He recognizes there is a spiritual danger in both poverty and wealth. Dont allow me to be rich Lord keep me from riches.
DL MOODY:
“Getting riches brings cares, keeping riches brings trouble, abusing riches brings guilt, and losing riches brings sorrow”
It is a big mistake to make as much of riches as we do and yet he is right as so many people in our culture and many within the church make too much of material riches.
1 Timothy 6:9–10 ESV
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
1 Timothy
here Agar says dont give me either poverty or riches if I can say he acknowledges that either one he gets comes from God. He is saying God is Soverign over every detail of our lives, he says if I get a promotion or a pink lip God is still in control of every one of the details of my life.
If it was any way other than that it could mean that our lives is up to fate and dumb chance, or worse it could mean that Satan is able to do things in our lives without god knowing or without Gods checking him, or worse it would mean our destiny is in our own hands. all of those are not good ideas, our only hope is that in every season of our lives sunshine and rain blessings and sorrows God has everything under control.
Hes got the whole world in His hands
I hope you still believe that and hold fast to that truth that in whatever seaosn we find ourselves in in life, God has everything under control. Then Agar prays then the same thing in positive terms
FEED ME WITH THE FOOD THAT IS NEEDFUL FOR ME
Give me only what I need!
Keep me in a posture of dependance never let me get to a place where I fail to recognize that I NEED GOD
Keep me in a place where I will never forget that you are my only source of health and hope and provision and guidance. Its not that Agar does not want anything he just wants God more than anything.
Proverbs 30:9 ESV
lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
Proverbs
In the book of Job Satan comes before God and says that Job only served God because of what God did for him but if god would take it all away then Job would curse God to his face. Satan was wrong about job but he was right about people, there are some people who only serve God for what they think they can get out of him. there are some that when they are full are done with God when they get what they want from Him.
he says dont let that be me
He says I can get full and say WHO IS THE LORD?
This is sarcasm he is saying why do I need God when my stomach is full and my bills are paid and my wants are satisfied?
Deteronomy 8
Moses reminds the children of Gdo not to forget God when they get into the land of promise. When your filled with blessings he says dont forget when you were in the wilderness how God took care of you. How the soles of you shoes never ran out and the hem of your garments never ran out I think this is the sense that Agar is speaking of here when he says DONT FORGET GOD WHEN LIFE GETS GOOD.
We went to Mcdonalds and we got something to eat, while we were driving home Amy and I began to eat some of the fries from the bag and then we heard some whimpering from the back chandelr says Daddy dont eat all of my fries, I said son these are not your fries yours are still in the bag. I kept on munching and then came the hollering DADDY IS EATING MY FRENCH FRIES
I said to him naw these aint ya fries and since you wanna act that way you better remember that those french fries your throwing a fit over being yours, I bought em that means they are mine too. How often when things in life don’t go our way do we forget that we would not have anything that we have if it were not for the goodnes and the mercy and the kindness of almighty God do not forget God when life gets good.
He don’t want to steal either
But he is more concerned with profaning the name of my God
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