Meditations by John Dean

Monday, June 2, 2014

Neither Poverty nor Riches

(Proverbs 30:8 KJV) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

I have read this scripture many times over the years and apparently I thought it was a concept prayer rather than one to be taken literally. The basis for my conclusion was probably because I had also read 3 John 1:2 where it says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

I must confess that I liked the “prosper” part of 3 John a lot more than I did the “poverty” part of our text. Over the years I have had “much” and I have had “little,” but like most people I have always enjoyed “much” a lot more than I did having “little.”

Even though both of these verses are true and should be taken literally, I have also come to the conclusion that there is a much deeper meaning to them.

The verse in 3 John is obviously speaking of God’s desire for each of us to succeed in life, but it is not necessarily speaking of a larger bank account. The Proverbs verse is speaking of “soul peace” as a result of dealing with one’s vanity. It has little to do with one’s possessions or the lack of them.

For example…I have known many rich people who are actually poor and I have known many poor people who are actually rich.

I once knew an elderly black couple who lived near Houston, Texas. They were some of the richest people I have ever known. They did not have much of this world’s goods as far as I knew, but they always had more than enough food for a stranger.

Their spiritual well was so deep that I could actually sit on their front porch and listen to them talk for hours. Their presentation was simple enough for a child and yet their revelation was so profoundly deep that it would even challenge a theologian. I never heard them use big words probably because they did not know any and because none were necessary.

Each time I was around those wonderful “ordinary people” I felt spiritually shallow and immature.

Many times over the years my mind has wandered back to those glorious days. Much of the revelation I learned could not be learned in a seminary…it could only be learned sitting on a front porch being taught by my two anointed black[WDH1]  “angels.” 

Perhaps this is why I feel the verses in 3 John and Proverbs 30 have a much deeper meaning than just a natural interpretation, even though they are to be taken literally.

I must confess that I long to go back to the front porch for another lesson.

Thank You for using this little black couple to teach me to drink from the deepest part of Your spiritual well. Lord, my desire is to teach others…as I have been taught.

 [WDH1]Probably should remove “black” since you are referring to them as angels.

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