The Limitations of Wealth
“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (11:4). Wealth has no value in the time of trouble. Wealth provides no security in life. Therefore, riches demand a proper perspective. Wealth cannot fix important life issues or problems.
The Disappointment of Wealth
“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” (11:28)
Riches are uncertain and lead one from God. Righteousness is certain and leads one to God.
“Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (23:5)
We know the truth of this proverb on a regular basis! How many times we think we are starting to get ahead financially or think we will be able to save a little money when something breaks! That’s the moment the car breaks, the air conditioning goes out, or some other expense occurs. A pursuit for riches leads to disappointment because riches are always just out of reach.
The Folly of Dishonest Wealth
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. (13:11)
A person with an evil eye tries to get rich quick, but it only leads to poverty. (28:22)
Get rich quick? Don’t believe it! The person with the evil eye is the one trying to “get rich quick.” A solemn warning is given to us when the lure of quick wealth dangles before us. Even secular proverbs warn us against trying to get rich quick. “He who would be rich in a year gets hanged in half of year” (Spanish proverb). The proverbs of the scriptures continue to be proven as wise and true: “Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice.” (16:8)
The Destructiveness of the Love of Wealth
Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man. (27:20)
“The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’: the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’ (30:15-16)
Feeding one’s desires just stimulates them more. The more we get the more we want. Fulfilling desires is actually unfulfilling. We must learn that riches simply do not satisfy. Name the last purchase you made that gave you lasting satisfaction. There is satisfaction for a moment, but then something newer, better, or faster comes along and we are no longer satisfied with what we have. The love of wealth leads to unhappiness because riches are never attained.
Overcoming the Snare of Wealth
1. Do not envy the rich
“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (23:17-18)
2. Do not overwork
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (23:4-5)
3. Be content
If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit. (25:16)
Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. (15:16-17)
Better a bite of dry bread eaten in peace than a family feast filled with strife. (17:1)
4. Honor the Lord with your wealth
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” (3:9)