Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
The first request is, "Remove far from me vanity and lies." "Vanity" signifies lightness, or emptiness. "Lies" signify falsehood. Sometimes the word vanity is used of idolatrous worship; sometimes to denote the folly and unprofitableness of any vice.
1. The prayer implies a desire that we may be preserved from setting our affections on such objects as are but vain and unsatisfying, and will, in the end, disappoint our expectation. When we place our supreme happiness upon the world, instead of making it a means of leading us to God, then its inherent vanity appears. There is something more in this request than being preserved from practices directly vicious.
2. The prayer implies that God would graciously preserve us from deceiving ourselves, and thinking our character better and our state safer than it really is. We ought to pray for preservation from self-deceit, as to particular branches of our character and conduct, as well as our general state.
3. The request implies a desire to be preserved from pride and self-conceit upon any subject. Everything may be the fuel of pride — our persons, our performances, our relations, our possessions.
4. This request implies a desire to be delivered from fraud and dissimulation of every kind. There is no end which a good man ought to aim at which may not be more certainly, safely, and speedily obtained by the strictest and most inviolable sincerity than by any acts of dissimulation whatever.
(1) Learn the duty of prayer.
(2) Learn the importance of habitual watchfulness.
(3) Learn the importance of strict adherence to truth.
(J. Witherspoon, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: