Bible proverbs explained
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Human beings must be organised; we cannot survive in chaos. The order of creation has always been that the majority follow and a few lead. Leadership comes with grave responsibilities, and is not for all, however with great power also comes great responsibility. There is no place for anarchy (namely those that dismiss central leadership) among the wise.
Laziness eventually leads to poverty and scarcity. Teach your children the power of self-motivation and righteous hard work. In the model of the ant, the ant teaches the sluggard the importance of both hard work and self-motivation, namely good work habits. Storing things up takes patience and is slow and timely work. Gathering of the ant entails hard work
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. Indeed, at the root of much evil in this world, is the inordinate love of money. It is the only way that one can explain wickedness such as:
- Selling drugs
- Trafficking people
- Injustice of any kind, committed for financial gain
It is not money that makes the world go round, but a love of our Creator and a love of Neighbour. We cannot carry money with us to the afterlife, but we can certainly do so with love; it is not just a feeling but a palpable commodity that we can take from this world to the next.
Proverbs look at the end of the matter Proverbs 10:1-5 The wicked have treasure for the moment, but does not profit in the final analysis. People who have Wealth but lack understanding are like beasts that perish; they know not why they live and have no thought for the afterlife.
What are the dangers and limitations of wealth, and how does one ensure that wealth is enduring? Well, there are two things to consider, firstly that Proverbs looks at the end of the matter and secondly that rich or poor, our common destiny is death and the struggle for a promised eternity. In sharing this trend of thought, the world will have different reactions depending on the economic class one finds themselves in, for example:
- For the low and poor, it provides consolation and comfort, for justice will eventually come; if not in this world, certainly in the world to come.
- For the high and mighty, it is a warning not to have pride and see that the difference between you and someone low, is both an accident of genetics, history, economics, and the like.
- Death is not the final word, for us as Christians. We live knowing that we must fight for a place in eternity, rich or poor.
Wickedness is putting yourself before others, even in the least of things or taking advantage of others in any way. Money can give you a house, but no a home; food but not fellowship around the table. In the absence of comprehensive knowledge, one cannot have absolute knowledge. That is, without an understanding of wisdom, how can one understand wealth?
Dangers of wealth
- It seduces us to sin and death, both by others and ourselves
- Our wealth functions like skin. Skin gives us beauty and protects us. Wealth/Money does the same. We start desiring its function as skin at any cost, even wickedness, by taking it from others unjustly for our own enrichment. When we take from others, it is a seduction unto death, our neighbor's and ours. This involve activities like:
o Trading stocks and forex and many other market commodities, with o underlying intrinsic value, just trading.
o Corruption at all stages in society and so on
Money has a danger of making itself a god to all those who trust in it. Whatever a person loves is their god. We all invent idols in infinite numbers daily; we run after these things because they give us security (imagined or real).
A young girl and boy, will esteem their sex appeal as their sense of security; an old man, his wisdom ad wealth; a teacher, their level of education and so on. What do you depend upon for life, security and significance? Jeremiah 9:23
Wise in their own eyes Proverbs 28:11 A rich person is wise in his own eyes, but a poor person who has discernment, sees through him. A rich person trusts in himself to negotiate life skillfully without the Lord. They find security in their wealth. They boast in being self-made (without acknowledging that the talents they have come from on high). How does one explain that for two people, similar in education, drive, instinct and so on; one ends up wealthy, the other not.
The deluded rich lord it over the poor. They oppress and treat them harshly. Paradoxically, the ambitious rich person and sluggard have similar characteristics, both being wise in their own eyes.
Let us prize wealth, but we are not to trust it or deify it; always remember that it is manifested by created things, which we leave behind on our demise. Always remember that juxtaposed with the poor (and morally upright) being in a bad present state, the same will apply to the merciless rich (and morally corrupt) in a future state.
I AM is a fortified tower Proverbs 18:10-11The Lord is a true security, whereas money is a false one. The name of I AM is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe on high. The wealth of the rich is a fortified city; they imagine it a wall too high to scale.
The rich and their spiritual attitude to wealth, is what make eternity and heaven very difficult for them. You should tame the money and never allow it to be a master over you as stated in 1Timothy 6:9-10 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the Love of money is at the root of all types of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
God provides the ability to gain wealth Deuteronomy 8:11-20 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day
Gods covenant obligation is to bless us and to enrich us, but it is very dangerous because at the same time, this blessing can become a seduction into false security independent of God. Too much wealth leads to a false imagination and false security. There is always this tension. You may say to yourself, my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember, the Lord your God, gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirms his covenant.