Properties Nor Riches

J. D. Conley
January 20, 2013

The phrase above is sandwiched into the eighth verse of Proverbs chapter thirty, "...give me neither poverty nor riches..." This is an inspired plea for contentment This desire is intriguing because the scribe was King Solomon, a man whose earthly wealth could hardly be exaggerated (1Kings 10:7). The reason behind the plea is explained in the next verse, "Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."

How many Christians would lend their voice to this plea of Solomon's? How many would be able to utter the sentiment "don't give me riches because they might tempt me to deny and forget about God?" Only a deep love for God could ever motivate one to say such a thing!

The king also said "give me neither poverty" for then he might be tempted to steal and curse God for his lot in life. So many people assign blame to God whenever financial setbacks occur. They also see hard times as an excuse to steal, cheat and commit fraud.

So in order to avoid these extremes Solomon simply prayed for contentment. Jesus taught "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb.13:5). Paul said "...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content...And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (Phi.4:11; 1Tim.6:8). We ought to desire contentment. God has seen to it that contentment is possible, viz., His Son abiding at our side, as well as food and clothing.

For those who put the kingdom/church first, God has promised to "add" to the necessities of life (Mt.6:33). He has kept His promise. Most of us have more than we have room for or know what to do with, but how many are content? Paul admitted that contentment was something he "learned." May we learn it too so we can say with Solomon "Give me neither poverty nor riches."