Wealth and the Way of Wisdom
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Sunday, March 4, 2007 -

There is good reason for devoting a study to the subject of wealth in Proverbs. The entire book is a study about wisdom - keeping the heart properly aligned with God’s will and way. And money has tremendous influence on the heart. Jesus tied our hearts tightly to our wealth:

Matthew 6:20-21 - “....but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Wealth doesn’t just accumulate in our wallets and banks. It has the potential to steer our hearts and shape eternal destinies - 1 Timothy 6:10 - “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”Money has the potential to be very dangerous to our souls.


a) Riches are not a reliable refuge in which to place our trust - Proverbs 11:28 - “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” See also Ecclesiastes 10:19 - “Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.”

b) Riches are fleeting and temporary - Proverbs 23:4-5 - “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. [5] When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.” See also 1 Timothy 6:7 - “....for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”

c) Riches can’t buy salvation and eternal life - Proverbs 11:4 - “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” See also Mark 8:36-37 - “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? [37] For what can a man give in return for his life?”


a) Money should never be collected as the fruit of wickedness - Proverbs 21:6 - “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.” See also Proverbs 22:16 - “Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.” And Proverbs 28:8 - “Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.”

b) Wealth is to be earned by work - Proverbs 13:11 - “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” See also Proverbs 14:23 - “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”

c) The wise person will avoid “get rich quick” schemes - Proverbs 28:20-22 - “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. [21] To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong. [22] A stingy man hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him.”


a) Wise people honor God with their wealth before they do anything else - Proverbs 3:9-10 - “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; [10] then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

See Exodus 13:11-12 & 14 for details - “When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, [12] you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord's....[14] And when in time to come your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.’”

i) Honoring the Lord with the first of all your income celebrates His deliverance of your life through redemption

ii) Honoring the Lord with the first fruits of your income shows you understand your whole life has now come under new ownership through redemption - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, [20] for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

iii) Honoring the Lord with the first fruits of my income acknowledges my trust in His provision for all my future needs - Proverbs 3:9-10 - “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; [10] then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

b) Wise people are generous with those in need - Proverbs 11:24-25 - “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. [25] Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” See also Matthew 25:41-46.

c) The wise person knows that even if he has much money, it is still sinful to waste it foolishly - Proverbs 23:19-21 - “Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. [20] Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, [21] for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”

d) The wise person will not sacrifice higher priorities in the pursuit of wealth - Proverbs 22:1-2 - “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. [2] The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.”