Riches as a Blessing
If you are new to this blog let me mention that I have been walking through the book of Proverbs each day, commenting on a section or even one verse. One of the things we talked about early on is that the book of Proverbs contains general principles, things that are often true but not necessarily true in every case. The section below, Proverbs 14:20-24 is an example of that.
The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. 22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good. 23 In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty. 24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of fools is folly
This section of proverbs teaches that blessing falls upon the rich. Verse 20 says that the rich has many friends and the crown of the wise is their riches. There is also a contrast made between the rich and the poor in this regard. In general the Old Testament often associates God’s blessing with financial wealth….not always, but often. Abraham was a rich man. Job was a rich man. Isaac and Jacob were rich men. Joseph became a powerful, rich man. The Old Testament is also full of commands for the rich to take care of the poor.
This section of proverbs says some things that are not always true. The rich do not always have many friends and not all rich people are wise. However, it is often true. Let’s not take this too far. Let’s not use riches as a barometer of spiritual maturity or intimacy with God. Let’s just see that especially in our culture, we need to see riches as a blessing if we have them…and if you have a computer to read this you have riches…and look for ways to use those riches to bless others and give glory to God.