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keeping it real

Today’s entry in the writing project.  I would like to finish this book in 2012.  Discipline Paschall… discipline!  -MDP-

December 30 – Proverbs 30

“Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die):  Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.”  Proverbs 30:7-9, NKJ

It’s hard to believe we are wrapping up another year isn’t it?  We’re in that doorway, about to step out of this year and into the next.  I appreciate the heart of Agur in this prayer.  He comes to the Lord with a two-fold request before he wraps up his life.  I suspect these requests come not out of some sort of prophetic foresight, but more out of practical past experiences.  Much like the character Jean Valjean in Hugo’s Les Misérables, he has lived in the pain of differing opportunities: some he won and some he lost.  I think we can all easily identify with that.  I can look back to episodes this past year and think, “Geez Paschall, you blew that!”  But, I also can look back and see where grace showed up and I got much better than I deserved or my actions warranted.  I like the man’s request and it helps me reflect back as I look forward.

Some believe that Agur was Solomon, but there is no factual proof.  The humility of the request seems to align with his heart though.  It just feels weird that a man who has always been coated in royalty would request such moderation.  I suspect that Solomon’s (if it is indeed Solomon) initial request for wisdom actually manifested in a true ability to prophetically identify with the subjects he ruled and those of us who still glean from his writings.  Think about what the writer requested here:  protection (from falsehood) & provision (not too much, not too little).   His concerns overlapped with specific clarity and that is good, but look again that his bottom-line was protection and provision.  You can pretty much summarize all of our fears around those two things!  You might be so hard charging into the whole “faith” platform of God’s goodness and God’s desire that you get everything that you want, that you can’t see this, but the fact that we’ve pursued God so vehemently about these two things validates how much fear we actually have about those concerns.  Agur was in touch with his humanness (see verse 2-3).  I give him a lot of credit for asking for divine help here with these issues!

What is at stake here with the writer is that he did not want to dishonor God’s reputation.  He wanted his actions to validate the impressions God had made on his heart.  He wanted to live in integrity with his life as an open book.  He wanted anyone who watched him handle the circumstances of his life to easily recognize the influence of a loving, good and graceful God.  There is a great passage in Deuteronomy 8:1-17 that challenges the people of the wilderness to consider all that HE had done for them during their 40 years of wandering.  He warned them of pride and encouraged them to be grateful and considerate.  He called them into a confident moderation that said, “Thank You Lord!”  Counsel well taken!

So, how was your last year?  Do you see where God provided?  Do you see where He protected?  How does it help you prepare to transition into next year?

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  1. January 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Love this blog, Papa Mike! You are such an encouragement to me and a great reminder of what it looks like to live out Proverbs 2:3-5. 🙂 LOVE YOU!!!

  2. Kevin Whitley
    January 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Good word Pastor. Hey… the picture is great of 7 out 8. The guy in the red hat looks like a goober. The rest are some beautiful women, good looking young men, 2 beautiful toddlers and one ugly dude. (I can’t say anything nice about you because it’s just the rule.).

    You do have a beautiful family. When might you be back for some time in Denver?

    Blessings to you and your amazing family,

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