PROVERBS & MONEY: Part One

 Part one        Part Two        Part Three        Part Four

Honor the Lord

 

3:9-10: Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income; So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine.

 

Throughout the book of Proverbs we see the idea of honoring the Lord first and foremost above all. That includes honoring Him with your thoughts and your words as well as with your work and your money. This Scripture explains that as you honor Him with your money and give the firstfruits of your income, then you will have abundance--your storage places will be filled. What a promise!

 

Consider the Ant

 

6:6-11: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!-- Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.  How long will you sleep, O sluggard?  When will you arise out of your sleep?  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to lie down and sleep--So will your poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slowly but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless].

 

Here we begin to see the foolishness of the sluggard. The sluggard here is described as one who is not able to motivate himself. He won't work if there's not someone standing over him and making him work. The wisdom of God is to motivate yourself to plan ahead, to work without having to be told, and to save. The prosperity and provision of God is related to our work habits.

 

Receive Instruction

 

8:10-11: Receive my instruction in preference to [striving for] silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.  For skillful and godly Wisdom is better than rubies or pearls, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

 

Are you striving for silver & gold or do you prefer the instruction and knowledge of the Lord? Here we're told that wisdom and knowledge are better than riches--there's no comparison. There are things that money cannot buy. Not only that, but wisdom will be with you for all eternity. The riches of this earth are only temporary.

 

The Diligent Hand

 

10:4:  He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

 

If you work diligently, it will pay off for you monetarily. If you neglect your work then you will become poor. Of course God is a miraculous God and He could instantly set up circumstances to make you rich. But God knows there are things more important than that. He's not against you being rich, but He's more concerned with your spiritual condition--with your character and your attitude. He's interested in preparing you for eternity, not just making life comfortable for you while you're here on earth. A diligent hand is one way He has chosen to do this and to bring financial blessing to you.

 

The Honest Path

 

10:16: The earnings of the righteous (the upright, in right standing with God) lead to life, but the profit of the wicked leads to further sin.

 

It's not just work, but honest work that leads to life. God has never been one to care only about the end result. He's all about the journey and the path that you take to where you're going. The end does not justify the means in God's eyes. How we get to where we're going is what He's looking at. In the same way, it may not be wrong for you to have certain things, but how you obtain them is important. Did you have to charge them with a credit card, borrowing on the future, or did you have the patience and diligence to save up for it?

The Gift of Blessing

 

10:22: The blessing of the Lord--it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].

 

It's really the blessing of the Lord that brings increase into your life. Although He instructs us to work diligently and honestly, it's really not earned. Just as you cannot earn your salvation but you receive it as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ, so are riches a blessing from the Lord and not something you can take credit for yourself.

 

 

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