We should not seek after wealth (Pr. 30:7-9) but God wants us to be both wise and generous with the wealth he has given us.
Scripture: Proverbs 30:1-9
- Proverbs has much to say about poverty and wealth.
- In the areas of money, poverty, and wealth, society and even God’s church have resisted biblical wisdom.
- Outside the church, we are told to spend our money on ourselves. Inside the church, we have idealized poverty and denied God’s good blessing of wealth.
- Solomon, a very wealthy and wise man, teaches us in the Proverbs how to view and handle money wisely.
- Descriptive proverbs tell us how things are (e.g., Pr. 14:20), and Prescriptive proverbs tell us how things ought to be (e.g., Pr. 3:9-10).
- Poverty may be the result of our own sin (e.g., laziness Pr. 10:4); poverty may also stem from injustice (Pr. 13:23).
- Wealth may be the result of: hard work and faithfulness (Pr. 28:19-20); generosity (Pr. 11:24-25); wisdom (Pr. 14:24); trusting God (Pr. 28:25); or injustice (Pr. 11:16-18).
- Wealth or poverty are sometimes the fruit of righteousness or unrighteousness, and therefore do not indicate a person’s character.
- Money complicates and corrupts social relationships. But we are commanded to be impartial toward both the rich and the poor (Pr. 14:21)
- When facing poverty, we must not steal (Pr. 28:21) or oppress others (Pr. 28:3).
- Proverbs comforts those in poverty (Pr. 10:3; 18:10) and assures the innocent poor that God is on their side (Pr. 14:31; 22:22-23; 19:17).
- We are to treat the innocent poor with fairness and dignity (Pr. 14:31; 22:22-23).
- A gift made to the poor is a gift to God (Pr. 19:17).
- Proverbs teaches us how to use money rightly and also warns us about the dangers of wealth.
- Wealth can give us a false sense of security (Pr. 28:11; 18:10-11).
- If you trust your wealth for security, you will seek to defend it at all cost, and your heart will become hard toward God and your neighbor (“the rich answer harshly”, Pr. 18:23).
- Wealth is temporal and fleeting (Pr. 11:7; 23.4-5), so Proverbs teaches us how we may use wealth rightly.
- It is wrong to use bribery to gain unjust advantage (Pr. 17:8; 17:23); and it is wrong to risk your resources as a surety (Pr. 6:1-5).
- We are each in debt before God and we need someone to provide surety for us (Job 17:1-3)
- Jesus is our surety. On the cross, he paid our sin-debt and wiped away our record of debt (Col. 2:13-14).
- Wealth is a resource and a tool that should be spent well.
- We are to give generously to God (Pr. 3:9-10; Mal. 3:6-12) and to others in need (Pr. 14:31; 11:24-26; 22:9).
- Share your food and home with the poor (Lk. 14:12-14).
- God has given us wealth that we may bless others, becoming conduits of God’s blessing.
- Christians have used their wealth to reform social evils and to build hospitals, orphanages, care homes, schools.
- We should not seek after wealth (Pr. 30:7-9) but God wants us to be both wise and generous with the wealth He has given us.
- What are the causes of wealth and poverty?
- What sins are the temptation of the rich?
- What is the result of trusting in wealth for our security?
- Do we act impartially toward both rich and poor?
- What is our moral obligation toward the innocent poor?
- What are practical ways we can use the wealth God has entrusted to our stewardship?
- How can we share hospitality with the poor this week?
- Have we trusted Christ to be cleared of our sin-debt?