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Proverbs - On Wealth and Money, Prov 11:23-28 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 13:19

 

One of the major themes in the book of Proverbs is wisdom on handling our wealth and money. Steve began with the basic premise and starting point that Our Wealth is a Gift from God.

 

Three binaries that explain Proverbs’ teaching on wealth:

1. Righteousness vs. Wickedness (Prov 11:23)

Righteousness (tzedakah) means doing for another's advantage what is also for my own disadvantage. It is captured in the story of Joseph (Matt 1:18-19) when he wanted to protect Mary even at his own personal disadvantage. Conversely, wickedness would be someone who would do something for personal advantage at the disadvantage of others. This aspect of righteousness has a certain leaning towards the poor, disadvantage, and the vulnerable of our society. The early church would use the bulk of the tithe to help those in need. We also need to be careful that we don’t use our wealth to give favours to those who will pay us back; this is not righteousness in the Biblical sense but rather, a form of securing self-advantage. So Steve encouraged us to apply this wisdom in our situation and figure out how we might practice righteousness with our wealth.

 

2. Withholding vs. Selling (Prov 11:26)

In 11:26, we get a glimpse of how to do business and commerce in a righteous way. Some drive up the price of grain and make higher profits by hoarding but God blesses those who are willing to sell and share. Steve told the story of how in Africa, libraries are locked for fear of students stealing the books so many of the books collect dust and go unused while education is restricted to the few.

 

3. Trusting in God vs. Trusting in Riches (Prov 11:28)

Finally, the writer of Proverbs promised a flourishing, thriving, vibrant life to the righteous. This promise of an abundant and joyful life surpasses material wealth and includes a spiritual well-being. But those who put their trust in their material riches will fall.

 

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)

 

May we find opportunities this week to grow in our wisdom and in the practice of righteousness in the area of our wealth.

 

Peace and grace, John

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 15:00