"Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 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" (Proverbs 30:7-9).
We know very little of the man Agur. He wrote this single curious chapter in Proverbs that is rich in practical advice presented in the ancient oriental style of the Middle East. His burden seems to be one of challenging his generation to resist the pride of life. He condemns "a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness" (v. 12). He discusses how repugnant "is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up" (v. 13).
In verse 15 and following, he turns his attention on "things that are never satisfied." Towards the end of the chapter he calls the reader's attention to animals that employ well their simple positions on earth. "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer" (v. 25).
But we see Agur's own personal life philosophy given in our text. In contrast to those who were proud or those who were never satisfied in his generation, Agur prayed for God to give him the appropriate, moderate amount of material blessing. His wisdom is demonstrated in his concern that in wealth he might be tempted to leave God, or that in poverty he might be tempted to sin against God.
We would do well to mind Agur's final advice: "If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth" (v.32). DW