Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
I. THE PERSON HERE SPEAKING WAS A PERSON OF TRUE PIETY. This person was truly a good man, for he was humble (vers. 2, 3). He had sublime views of God (ver. 4). In his character we perceive a deep reverence for the Word of God, and great delight in its purity (ver. 5). In this character we contemplate, in relation to prayer, earnestness and judiciousness (vers. 7, 8). From God he expected all his mercies, whether spiritual or temporal, and he expected them as an undeserved favour. He did not prescribe to God, but by His Spirit he was taught to pray as in the words before us.
II. AGUR WAS A PERSON WHOSE WILL WAS ABSORBED OR LOST IN THE DIVINE WILL. This was an evidence of his piety. To submit to the will of God is His command, and is the bounden duty of all creatures. By nature the will is rebellious; it is as an iron sinew, and as a brow of brass. The first effect of the grace of God is to reconcile the mind to the plan of salvation by Jesus Christ. They wish no alteration in the doctrines of the Cross on their account; of the whole covenant, in its conditions and its Head, its promises and discipline, they say, "It is all my salvation and all my desire." They delight in the law of the Lord after the inward man, and they allow God the entire management of their providential lot. They know that the disposing of their lot is from the Lord; whether they are rich or poor, their wishes are not the rule, but the appointment of God.
III. AGUR'S DESIRE AFTER EARTHLY THINGS WERE VERY MODERATE. "Give me neither poverty, nor riches, but feed me," etc. The heart of man since the Fall, having lost God as a portion, and its interest in spiritual things, has become ravenous in its desires after the things of sense and of time. It seeks pleasure after pleasure, honour after honour, riches after riches, field after field; and yet, like the ocean, though all the rivers run into it, the heart of man is never satisfied. But the saints having returned to God in Christ, as the rest and portion of their souls, and finding themselves happy in God, are very moderate in their desires after earthly things. They desire nothing of God as to the present life which He is not willing to give, and which does not contribute to their advantage. They do not wish more than they really want, and they would not lay up treasures on earth.
IV. AGUR WAS A WISE MAN, WHO CONSIDERED THE TEMPTATIONS INCIDENT TO THE LOT OF OTHER MEN. " Lest I be full, and deny Thee." To be full is to be very rich, to fare, like the rich man in the Gospel, sumptuously every day, to have more than their hearts can wish. "Lest I be full, and deny Thee to be the Author of my mercies — deny my dependence on Thee for Thy blessing which maketh rich — deny Thee the glory due to Thy name, and take it to myself or ascribe it to others — deny Thee before men, by being ashamed of mingling with Thy poor people in Thy worship. Lest my forgetfulness of God strengthen into aversion, and my aversion become atheism, and I say, Who is the Lord?" When every gale blows perfume, and every post brings joyful intelligence, it is not possible for the spirit of a wicked man to avoid the swellings of pride, and the elevation of self-confidence. The other temptation which this good man wished to avoid, by the grace of God, was poverty: "Lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." He doth not say, "Lest I steal and be condemned by men for it, be imprisoned for it," but "Lest I steal, and take the name of my God in vain"; that is, "Lest I dishonour God by breaking the eighth precept of His law, lest by so doing I dishonour my profession as a holy man, or lest, if charged with the crime, I should deny or conceal it, and so, by endeavouring to hide one sin, should commit another — by denying the sin of theft, commit the sin of lying." The motives against sin which animated Agur were noble motives, and such as they were should animate us. His religion was all of a piece, his prayers were the fruit of his piety, and his life corresponded to his prayers.
Parallel VersesKJV: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: