Here is the request of a wise man. It is a very wise request because it deals in two things that will derail a life that is seeking to be guided by God. It deals with deception and greed. As you seek to walk through this world in a way that pleases and honors God - you will find that these two things are snares that often will seek to trip your feet and make you stumble. The man who watches for them - and cries out for God to deliver him from them - is wise indeed.
His first request deals with deception. He cries out to God to keep deception and lies far from him. If we are going to live a godly life, we are going to have to have truth. The wise man has come to know that there is an absolue truth that God gives in His Word. He will cling to it. Jesus prayed for His disciples, "Santify them in the truth. Your Word is truth." If we are going to be purified and preserved in this life - it will be because God has kept us from deception and lies. There is one sure cure for lies - and it is the truth. Why should we be in God's Word every day? Why should it dwell richly within us? Why should we hide that Word in our hearts? It is so that we know the truth - because it is only that truth that will set us free. The most secure prison in the world is nothing compared to a man who enslaves himself by believing lies and deception.
The wise man's second request has to deal with the sin of greed. The best way to describe the danger of greed is by sharing the answer of a man who was very wealthy. He was asked how much money it would take for him to be content. His answer was telling because it did not refer to a specific, fixed amount. He sad, "Just a little more." There is the danger of greed. No amount is enough because we will be deceived into thinking that a little more will give us the illusive happiness that we seek from money. Our problem is that we were not made for money. Elsewhere in Scripture we are warned that when we set our eyes on wealth - it takes wings and flies to the heavens - always just a little beyond our reach. This pursuit will take forever - and will never end in contentment. The truth is that we were made for God - and until we find our contentment in Him - we will never be truly content.
The writer of Proverbs cries out and asks for neither poverty or riches. He knows that both of those situations leaves him in want. Poverty in a want for enough - and riches in a want for just a little more. What he asks for is the food that is his portion. Ah, a wise man he is indeed. His words parallel those of Jesus in His teaching on prayer. "Give us THIS DAY our DAILY BREAD!" There is wisdom - give me what I need today - and keep me in need of only one thing constantly. Keep me constantly needing You, Lord! That is the prayer of the wise man.
Next the wise man states why this request for enough for today is truly wisdom. First, he knows that too often the rich man thinks he does not need God. He looks to his riches and foolish thinks he does not need God. Such was the case for the rich farmer in the parable of the rich fool told by our Lord. He thought his bumper crop meant that he was set for life. His problem though was that he was not set for death. God came to him and called him a fool. That night he was to die - and he would suddenly have nothing. All his wealth was left behind - and since he did not prepare to meet God - he faced a horrific fate. He was about to enter into eternal poverty - having decided that storing up treasures in heaven was not a worthy pursuit. Here on earth his riches deceived him into thinking, "Who is the Lord?" The answer to that question is one that does not need to be put off until after death. It needs to be answered here and now - because the one who puts it off - or ignores it altogether - will spend all eternity in a poverty that will consume his flesh with fire forever and ever as the smoke of his torment will never cease to rise in an epitaph revealing his eternal stupidity.
The second reason he asks God for enough is because he knows that hunger may deceive a man into thinking that stealing is a way of getting enough. Want often leads men to profane God's name by their thievery. They steal thinking that God has not provided and therefore they need to take things into their own hands.
Here is a wise man - praying. He seeks God for what is necessary for that day. He also knows that the best thing for him is to have to do this each and every day. His stomach may be full - and possibly can be provided for well into the future. But - he knows that his need of the Lord will never subside. He needs God continuously. May it be the wisdom of that need that guides us to our knees daily to ask for God's mercy and grace to deliver us from the twin foes of deception and greed.