Yahshua taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread…” and I was delighted recently to come across, ‘…give me only my daily bread…’ in the book of Proverbs [30:8 NIV]. The sentence sparkled on the page for me and I smiled, and then pondered over the word ‘only’. Why had I not seen that before? I have always understood that through His prayer Yahshua taught us to make a simple, daily request for basic provision; was there more to it? I discovered that older translations of Proverbs reflected this idea. “Feed me with the food allotted to me…” [NKJV] and “Feed me with the food that is needful for me…” [ASV] But all translations agree with the preceding phrase which is “Give me neither poverty nor riches…” The clue to ‘only’ is to be found in the following verse, “Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘who is [Yahweh] or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my [Elohim]. [Proverbs 30:9]
This particular chapter in Proverbs is an ‘inspired utterance’ from ‘the words of Agur’, something we might describe as a ‘prophetic prayer’. As such, surely we can learn from it? I believe the fuller understanding captured in these verses may well have underpinned the thought Yahshua added to His prayer. There are dangers to both poverty and plenty. It’s easy to agree with the problems of poverty, but are we willing to see the snare of too much? In the materialistic climate of the 21st century dare we pray, ‘Give me neither poverty nor riches…’? Dare you? Do you, do I, even want to ask Yahweh not to give riches? I am challenged today. What is the focus of my heartbeat? Can I pray this prayer with Agur?
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.