Kyabram Free Press
Would you wish to avoid riches?
If you had that magic lantern with a genie that could grant three wishes, what would you go for? Some Tim Tams like in the TV ad, more gold medals in the Olympics, an end to COVID-19? What would be your top three?
What if you only had two wishes, how would you narrow it down? Now I had better say I don’t believe in magic lanterns or genies, but I do have in mind some Bible verses I read recently. They are from Proverbs 30:7-8 and are a bit like a bucket list or wish list if you like. “It started off with two things I ask of you; do not deny them to me before I die.” So just two things on the writer’s bucket list.
Here they are: “Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches.”
Now there is more but we will get to that soon. What do you think of the two requests the writer makes of God — no Tim Tams or COVID-19 mentioned — they are a bit odd when you first read them. Imagine if there was no falsehood or lying anywhere near you, how transformed would our relationships be? I am still a bit intrigued by this one, but it could make such a huge difference for the good.
Now the second one was “give me neither poverty nor riches”. This is also really interesting, and the writer went on to explain the problems with both poverty and riches. How much do we really need? Now there is a question that surely depends on us, what will we be satisfied with?
Let me continue with the writer’s explanation of the problem with riches. “Feed me with the food that I need, or I shall be full, and deny you, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’.” The problem of riches is to turn our back on God and his love for us if we think we don’t need it. We often want to do our own thing when and where we want. The writer values a relationship with God more than monetary riches.
The problem of poverty explained was that if “I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God”. Again, the problem was circumstances that would lead to action that would damage their relationship with God.
Is a relationship with God through Jesus more important than any other short-term wish for you? For me it is, because I have found how much God loves all people that Jesus came to save us and wants a positive relationship with us. We enter into a positive relationship through faith and receiving God’s forgiveness through Jesus. God’s love in action still shapes lives today. You are valued by God.
— Reverend David Willsher (Anglican Church)