Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
The lawfully expanded meaning of these words is, "Apportion my possessions to my needs, my means to the ends of my being." And thus we are presented with this truth — a person has the proper measure of temporal wealth when he has sufficient to enable him to do the proper work of life. Thus the question as to what is riches and what poverty is not a question to be decided by either feeling or opinion. That we think we have too little and want more is aside of the point at issue. It is the proportion of means to ends that is the question. Our possessions are not simply sources of enjoyment; they are instruments for service. Our business in this world is to do the will of God, and not to please ourselves. Our kind of service, of course, varies — varies almost as widely as do our characters. And as our duty varies, it follows that our necessary means will also vary. Your station in life may be a prominent one; you may have more numerous and wider interests to attend to than another, and in consequence you require a proportionately larger measure of property. Or your lot may be a lowly one, little associated with the common affairs of men, and in order to a faithful service you will require much less. But the question is whether you have enough to enable you to rightly occupy your station as it is, and to do your duty well. If you have, then you have just the right amount of temporal wealth. And, mark you, this applies only to the duty of one's providential station. Let no man create all sorts of artificial obligations and unnecessary work, and then protest that his means are unequal to his needs. Let no one thrust himself into a station of life for which he was never intended, and then say he must live up to his position in society. Let him not create all sorts of lofty tastes and extravagant modes of living, and then think himself too poor because his possessions are not equal to these new inflated notions. Our means should be adjusted to our providential lot, not to our factitious circumstances. Life's obligation and life's glory lie in filling the space appointed by God, in doing well the task prescribed by Him, and in making the most, for our own good and the world's, of what He has given us, whether it be little, or whether it be much.
(J. J. Ingram.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: