A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished. Proverbs 28:20
Get rich quick schemes usually come with some form of sin involved in it. The quick riches come at the expense of others. The lottery is such a scheme - everyone is buying a chance to strike it rich - and only one does. All the others waste their money. The lottery is for those who are bad at mathmatics or who are wanting to get rich so that they can quit working. Either way - their riches come with a burden of sin. That is what today's proverb counsels against.
Let's look at the last half of this proverb first. The one who makes "haste" to be rich is going to face punishment in the end. It is never wise to be hasty in decisions or in following schemes that others hatch to make you rich. The corporate world is filled with those who learn to become rich on the backs of other's misfortune. Companies are bought and gutted for the purpose of making the investor rich - and people in the Stock Market are always talking of plans whereby you get rich quickly. The problem is that in every case - someone has to pay a price for your quick wealth. The phrase at the end of this proverb that reads, "will not go unpunished" is a Hebrew phrase that also means, "will not be innocent." The idea is that some form of sin is entered into that leaves them guilty - and eventually will lead to them being punished. Just know that every scheme that makes someone rich hastily - will leave them with an aspect of guilt in the end.
God is not against people becoming rich. God promised riches to the patriarchs and to Israel if they would follow Him with all their heart. He also warned them that when they became rich they would have a tendency to forget God and trust in their riches. God is against those who make haste to be rich - and cut corners morally to do so.
The Lord wants us to be faithful. Work is NOT EVIL! There are so many who think work is some sort of evil activity that came with the fall of man into sin. Work was something God gave man in the garden before the fall. Therefore to do faithful work puts us in a position for God to bless us. That is why The Lord says here that the faithful man will abound with blessings. Those blessings may include financial riches - but for many it does not. The blessings abound in numerous areas. I am blessed with my work associates - and the friendships that have been built over the years. I am blessed with projects that we do together that bring a very real sense of accomplishment. I am blessed with less temptation because my hands and my mind is busy doing work. I am blessed with being able to see my children learn the value of a strong work ethic because they've watched their father do what he learned from his father. I am blessed with a good night's sleep because I am tired and ready to go to bed each evenring. For some there is a blessing of an expanding business where others can be blessed with employment. And there is the blessing of serving others in your work - and building more and more of a servant's heart. Regardless of whether the blessings are financial or through moral character building - there is such a blessing that is ours when we embrace faithful work. May God help us to once again embrace the value of lifelong faithful work - and shun the get rich quick schemes that always involve some aspect of guilt and sin.
Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you? Proverbs 22:26-27
Here is a proverb dealing with debt. And the debt spoken of here is actually not your own debt - but signing to assume the debt of others. Here it is called giving a pledge or becoming a guarantor for another debt. This is something the Scriptures are against in every situation. We are told numerous times to not become a guarantor for another person's debt. The reason for this is simple - when we do we put everything we have at risk.
The way that this is brought home to us by Solomon is to state what happens when the debt is no longer paid by the one we vouched for when we signed on as a guarantor. If they do not pay the debt - or make the payment - guess where they are coming to "legally" get their money? You got it - they are coming for you. And they have a legal right to whatever they have to take in order to pay that debt. In extreme situations this could even involve losing your home.
Why should he take your bed from under you? That is the question that is asked here - and it is the fact of your guarantor-ship. No matter what it costs, the people who hold the loan that you guaranteed will be able to take it from you. What is presented here is a worst case scenario. Here the banker comes and takes even the bed you are lying on from under you. In our society, where finance has been perverted by socialism and a government that attempts to have a system where no one fails, we think this is heartless and wrong. But the fact is that the person who co-signed for the loan did so under no durress and under no threat of force. They did a very stupid thing in guaranteeing another person's debts. Therefore when that person does not follow through - legally and completely in the moral right - the person who holds the loan has every right to recover their money. This is the case whether they get it from the person who took out the loan - or the unwise one who co-signed it.
Whether we realize it or not - we are being co-opted into co-signing for the foolishness of our government in this current age of socialistic decision making. Every time our government decides to go further into a debt that they cannot pay - giving away money that they do not have - we the people are on the hook for what they are doing. As I said, they are co-opting us into defacto guarantor status for the public debt. They do so through the tax structure that will be imposed to pay for the piper one day. They also do so through the way the Fed is allowed to print money with nothing other than the future collective worth of our nation to back it.
I need to say something that will sound like prophecy - and yet it really is not. There is coming a day, soon, where we will have to pay for the foolishness of our legislators (and this sin is rampant in both parties). When that day comes we will suddenly realize that by being co-opted into being a guarantor for the public debt - we are going to have the very bed we sleep on taken out from under us. This is not so much a prophecy as it is a principle of Scripture. We've ingored this princple for too long not to pay the price for it in the end. Sixteen trillion dollars for which we are guarantor is no longer something we can ignore. Unfortunately the day is fast approaching - we need to prepare for it and be ready for the day of our financial reckoning. God have mercy on our souls - and on our nation.
There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up. Proverbs 21:20
The wise man takes what God has given him and uses it wisely. He spends some and uses it for himself, his family, and his friends. He also saves some and puts it away for future use as well as for lean times. Today let's take a look at the acts of the wise man who saves for his future and the foolish man who simply swallows everything God grants to him.
We are told that precious treasure and oil are in the house of the wise man. Whether he received these things from the practices of industry and frugality - or whether he received them as an inheritance from godly, thoughtful parents - the wise man knows how to save. Precious treasure is an interesting word as it has two connotations. The first is from how the word is used to refer to things like gold, silver, and other commodities. He saves money, food, and other valuable things so that he will have access to them in the future. Why does he do this? Because a wise man knows that since the world in which we live is fallen and affected by sin - there will be times of shortage and leanness. Throughout all human history there have been both abundance and famine in our world. Joseph knew such things from God Himself when he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh. He did not waste time in the purcuit of gluttony and over-indulgence. Joseph was a wise man and saved and stored much so that when the famine came he would be ready. His foresight and obedience to God saved all of Egypt, saved his own family, and made Egypt rich beyond their imaginations.
There is a second way this word "treasure" is used. The word can also mean "temple treasures." These spoke of treasures that were given so as to build up and maintain the worship of God in the temple. In the dwelling of the wise there is provision stored up not only for physical welfare - but for the spiritual welfare of the home as well. There is little more foolish among mankind than to think this world is all that there is. They live ignorant of God and ignorant of their responsiblity to Him. The wise man stores up for both the physical and the spiritual. There is in his house a physical inheritance - but also a spiritual one as well. He lives godly and rears his children to love and honor God. He makes sure that the Word dwells richly within their hearts - desiring for them to walk with God and know Him intimately.
Not only is there treasure within this house of the wise, there is also oil. When speaking of oil - this could speak of the olive oil that was used in almost every aspect of a Jewish family. They needed this for food preparation - for spiritual worship for annointing oil - and for medical reasons like softening wounds and helping them heal. There was also the idea of savings - because some oils were very expensive. Mary offered a container of very expensive oil as she annointed Jesus with it in preparation for His crucifixion and burial. This alabaster vial was worth a whole year's wages. When one of the prpohetic students of Elisha died, his widow was in debt and in danger of haring her chidlren sold into debt slavery. Elisha answered this by having her collect numerous vials which later were supernaturally filled with oil. This she sold, paid her debt, and even had plenty to kep her and her children alive and well. This kind of oil would signify that a family was preparint for their future - for the needs of their children and grandchildren. On a spiritual note - oil was a picture of the Holy Spirit - so one could even consider this the way that a family cherished the work of the Spirit in their lives and encouraged it in themselves and in their children.
The foolish ones don't save any of these things - either physical or spiritual. Theirs is a consumer mentality. They swallow up whatever they receive with no thought of the future. They live by their lusts and desires - and therefore do not even consider anyone except themselves. The end of such a life is that they are broke, both physically and spiritually. The saddest example of this is the prodigal son. He took a large inheritance and wasted it on the party life. In the end he was broke. His so-called friends abandoned him and left him to fend for himself. This was only after he abandoned any kind of spiritual preparation for the future by rejecting his father and his father's God. He was left with nothing - except the grace his faher would give him in the end.
If we are wise we will realize we live in a fallen world. This will necessitate preparation for our future - both physically and spiritually. We will face famines physically that will require that lay up wise stores for that day in order for us and for our families to survive. But there is also a need to prepare spiritually - for there will also be a day when we will face being ready for the judgment of God. Oh to be wise and understanding so that our preparations will have our homes and lives filled with treasures both temporal and eternal so that we will be well provided for when the day comes that we need them. May God, in His grace, work in and deliver us from a life lived for self and for the moment. May we be ready for anything - famine in life - and fatal spiritual thinking in eternity.
He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich. Proverbs 21:17
Much can be discerned about a society and people by those it deems as their heros. Ours is a society in very serious decline - and that can be fairly easily discerned when one examines our heros. Those considered our heros today are people in the entertainment industry and sports stars. Singers and actors are paraded before us day after day even though they offer little of nothing to us outside of entertainment. Their broken lives are the source of the headlines of our tabliods. Each a little more lurid than the last one - we are watch them self-destruct with baited breath. When the next star arises (especially a child star) we can predict the sad trail that will be followed. We will find that if they are rich intially, their riches will vanish - or be consumed by the wreckage of failed marriages, arrests, and stints in drug rehabilitation facilities. The plot of such lives is as predictable as the plot of a soap opera - and usually as ungodly as well.
Take for example Mike Tyson, of boxing fame. Tyson squandered a $350 million to $400 million dollar fortune. What did he do to lose all this money? He dropped half a million dollars on a 420-horsepower Bentley Continental SC with lamb’s wool rugs, a phone and a removable glass roof. He definitely loved expensive cars because he spent over $4.5 million dollars on cars alone. Throw in a $2 million dollar bathtub and $140,000 for two Bengal tigers and you can see why Tyson’s fortune went down the drain and he filed for bankruptcy in 2003.
We are warned that the ones who love pleasure will become poor. Often for these people hard work, frugality, and restraint are not in their vocabulary. They are far more interested in parties, pleasure, and indugence of their lusts. They are living for the so-called "good time" that they can have here and now - with little or no thought of what lies beyond the end of the week. Their lives are spent on pleasure, the pursuit of things, and often on sexual immorality.
Wine and oil are mentioned in this warning. Those who love these two things, it warns, will not become rich. Wine and oil were the usual things to be had at expensive banquets. This was not ordinary wine, but expensive wine. When I go to higher class restaurants that serve wine, I am shocked that some wines cost over 200 to 300 dollars per bottle. There are wines out there priced at over $1000 to $5000 each bottle. Someone wanting to impress their friends with an expensive banquet would purchase the very best wines to be served there. The oils could also be very extravagant in their price range. Mary was criticized for using an ointment to annoint Jesus that cost almost an entire year's worth of wages. For the rich, such ointments were given to their guests as a sign of their wealth. Their parties and banquets would be filled with the expensive smell of high priced oils. Doing this would cost a fortune - and would assure that the one doing it would not be wealthy for long.
The prodigal son had great wealth when he left his father's house. But he soon squandered it with rich, loose living. His parties were probably the stuff of legend to those who attended. The only problem was that when the money ran out - and the parties became austere in their appearance - all his so-called friends left. The one who loves the pleasures of his flesh will not become rich. His riches and wealth will be swallowed whole by his wicked appetite. This is why we are counselled not to love such things. We are instead told that the wise man is the one who leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren. He is the one who invests so as to reap long-term benefits and rewards. Ultimately he knows that he will take nothing with him when he dies. Thus the wisest man invests in the kingdom of God and the advance of the gospel - sending true riches ahead of him to the one place where moth and rust do not destroy and where no thief can break in or steal. The wise man knows to invest in heavenly things that glorify God is the safest investment of all. Therefore he lives with God's glory as his goal in all things - financial, physical, and spiritual. This will be a rich man, now, as well as for all eternity.
Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, and a false scale is not good. Proverbs 20:23
It is interesting to see how seriously God takes the business dealings of His people. God desires for His people to be an example of His grace - and a testimony to things like honesty and integrity. There is no better place to see this than in the business dealings of a wise and godly man. Too often I run into the attitude that a man's business life is separate from his religious one. The fact of Scripture is that Jesus is Lord - not just of our "church-time," but of every moment we are alive. This means that the way that we act in business should also reflect God's glory to others.
In the society of Solomon's time everything was measured with weights and scales. Since it was primarily an agrarian society farmers and those who raised livestock would bring their goods to market where the crops and the animals would be weighed and valued. Once the price was established - even the money they were paid would then be weighed out so that they could be paid. When you realize this you can see why God speaks of differing weights and false scales. This was what unscrupulous businessmen would do to cheat the system. Their scales would have weights that were supposed to weight a certain amount, yet they would have two sets of weights - one accurate and another that would cheat their customers by being lighter than they should be. Others would have false scales that would underweigh whatever was put on them.
There are ways that men cheat today in business - and they are as varied as the ungodly men and women who use them. Some use kickbacks to get business - while others "cook the books" to embezzle money from their bosses. Some just steal from their business and hope no one catches them. But God is not just interested in the big-time offenders, He hates even the little embezzlements that happen and are overlooked. In fact God uses the word "abomination" to describe how He views dishonesty and a lack of integrity. This word means something utterly loathesome and hated. How does God feel about dishonesty and a lack of business integrity? He despises it - hates it - and considers it loathesome. Really can't be much more clear about something than that now can we?
God's character is impeccable. He is faithful and true. He has never failed to fulfill any of His promises or judgments for that matter. When He says something He means it - and you can bet your very life on it. He is infinitely honest and throughout all eternity He has a perfect record of integrity. Remember dear saints of God that God desires for us to reflect His glory to this world. It was why we were created - to know Him and to reveal His character and love to the world that is all around us. This is why the business world is a key place for a godly witness of integrity and honesty for Him. Rather than think that God separates this part of our lives from our relationship with Him - we should see that this is a perfect place to know Him - and make Him known. When I say this I am not referring to leading a Bible study or sitting down to share the gospel with co-workers - although these things are important in time. But before you do these things it is so important to be a godly example in front of all your colleagues. They need to see your faith as well as hear it. And being a man of integrity and honesty - a man whose word is his bond - a man who can be trusted to care not just for his own interests, but also for those of his customers - being that kind of man is how to truly glorify God in the workplace.
A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice. Proverbs 17:23
When someone reverts to bribing others in matters of justice - you can guarantee that they are doing so because they are guilty of the charge that has been brought. That is what we learn from today's proverb of the day.
The "wicked man" to whom this proverb refers is a man who is guilty of the offense with which he is charged. The Hebrew word used here is "rasha" which means someone who is guilty or wrong. It is used of people who are transgressors, criminals, and honestly - who are just plain wicked. The word is an antonym of the Hebrew word "saddiyq" which has as its meaning - to be righteous or in the right. Therefore someone who is turning to a bribe is wrong - and therefore guilty as charged. When used in the Old Testament it refers to those who are enemies of God - and enemies of His people. God is a God of righteousness and justice - therefore anyone who desires to pervert true justice will find themselves an enemy of God.
The phrase ". . . from the bosom" has the idea of someone who is slipping money to another in a secret fashion. This is how most bribes pass hands - through subversive and secretive ways. This happens because the wicked man offering them - and the wicked man receiving them to pervert justice - both do not want to be exposed. Therefore everything is done in a cloak and dagger fashion.
This is done to "pervert the ways of justice." The one offering it is wicked - and the one receiving it is perjerous. They perjure themselves - for they make it clear that truth is not something they value (at least not as much as money). Where such judges rule - there cannot be justice - because the hearts of such men are corrupted by various means to twist justice as the bribes have purchased. In 1973 Charles Ashman wrote a book entitled, The Finest Judges Money Can Buy. This is a very depressing book because it exposes the chronic problem of bribes in our own justice system. In his book Ashman reveals eight judges involved in Mafia-type organizations, ten who were guilty of receiving bribes, sixteen who were guilty of petter larceny, at least six who were guilty of sexual impropriety, seven who were guilty of being drunk on the job, and ten more who have used their position and authority for impure political gain. Those who bemoan the corruption in our nation should see clearly one of the chief reasons it exists - and that is gross corruption in our legal system. This is why God makes it clear to all the judges within the biblical judicial system that they were NEVER to take a bribe to pervert justice. God also promises special judgment upon those who do!
The one thing we can be eternally grateful for is that our ultimate judge is nothing like these men and women who parade as judges, yet have no integrity. He is the One Who sits enthroned - and Whose very throne is founded upon justice and righteousness. He hears and sees all things - and judges accordingly. He is incorruptible and cannot make an unjust decision, for such a decision is contrary to His very nature which is holiness and purity. When it came down to how God would deal with sin, He even judged His only Son when He took sin upon Himself. He is completely and absolutely just and righteous in all that He does. Therefore know that although justice and righteousness may not be given to us here on this fallen earth - we can know that there will be a day when God will judge ALL men according to His righteous standard.
Therefore be of good cheer and be greatly comforted! Your God has the ultimate bar of justice - which will be held before Him alone. In the meantime, we can thank Him daily for His gracious kindness and for His unparalleled love!
He who profits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. Proverbs 15:27
Ours is a society that is quickly becoming corrupt at multiple levels. It has been sad to watch our country turn from one that valued integrity and honesty, to one that is moving toward the kind of values that exist in a banana republic. The frequency of elected officials being charged and convicted with fraud is alarming. The fact that we watch them use their positions of power to enrich themselves with laws they impose on us, while exempting themselves from their own statutes is terrifying. That is because, as we will learn from today's proverb, those who do such things bring trouble to their own home. This is true on a personal level, but also on a corporate and even national level too.
We read that those who profit illicitly trouble their own house. This simply means that when we choose to leave our integrity at the altar of greed and the pursuit of wealth at any cost, we are going to create serious problems for our family. This is for several reasons. First and most importantly is the trouble that is caused for our children and our grandchildren - even to the third and fourth generations of our family. They watch as we abandon God and embrace the pursuit of riches. Paul wrote young Timothy and warned that the love of riches is a root of all kinds of evil. He warns him in the book of 1 Timothy that some who have done this bring harm to themselves and pierce themselves with many a harmful desire. This will infect our families to several generations.
We see this in our current immoral business climate in the United States banking and financial sectors. Hardly a day goes by now without learning about another failure to preserve any moral foundation - as the generation that watched their parents make money and financial security their only goal now take those lessons to new lows. They are now grabbing all the money they can - in any way that they can - regardless of who is hurt and what businesses are destroyed in the process. The courts are now filled with men who set up ponzy schemes and who criminally mismanaged funds. We are learning that raw greed motivated them to steal money that was not theirs. Oh, and before we get too far away from our proverb, has brought great shame and trouble to their wives, children, and posterity even into the future.
We are given a protective against this in the second part of this proverb. The one who hates bribes will live. He will be protected against the devastating effects of greed. Bribes blind those who receive them. They are unable to see the truth because they are focused on easy money that is put in front of them. The bribe can be anything from the cash handed to a politician to look the other way of pass legislation that gives unfair advantages to certain businesses or groups - to the more subtle bribe that encourages someone to cut corners and cook books to cover their own greed for money. No matter how the bribe presents itself it is lying to us. It promises easy money, quick wealth, a way to get whatever we want without hard work and sacrifice. But the bribe lies to us - not telling us of the pitfalls and dangers that are inherent in living for the world and the flesh. These two foes of our spiritual growth and maturity are truly deadly - and can not just polute our spirits - but those of many future generations of our family. That is why we need to protect ourselves from "every kind of greed," as our Lord warns. For the truth is that a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Life comes as we learn to submit every area of our lives to the Lord for Him to use for His glory. So the next time you are offered a bribe to lay aside biblical principles and values - see it for the dangerous thing it is. Reject it and turn to the Lord for strength to be content with what you have. That is the path to life!
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22
What kind of inheritance are you leaving to your children? What kind of inheritance are you leaving to your grandchildren? That is what today's proverb wants us to consider. There is a blessing that we should pass to our families. From what we read in Scripture there is one that we can pass to several generations if we choose to live as God would have us to live. Let us take a look at this today.
The good man leaves an inheritance to both his children and his grandchildren. He approaches his earnings in life in such a way as to use them frugally and save for the future. This is how he provides an inheritance for his family. Note that he is called a "good" man - which refers to his character. In order to be such a man one needs to be selfless and desire to bless his children - rather than to spend it all on himself.
One thing we need to remember is that God does not promise riches in wealth to all men in equal amounts. Therefore to say that this refers only to money is foolish. Solomon laments of the man who had worked himself to death to obtain money, only to leave it to a son who is a fool. This man may have left wealth to his son, but he forgot to leave him spiritual wealth and wisdom. Therefore the money he has earned and saved will only be wasted by a son who is a complete moron when it comes to how to live.
We need to leave our children an inheritance of godliness and wisdom as well as one that we can financially. Without this our children will suffer far worse than if they miss a few luxuries according to the dictates of society. There are those who will have wealth, but may spend eterntiy in abject poverty in hell when they die. This is no inheritance that you want to pass on to your family. If we leave them with wisdom and with knowledge of the Word and of their Savior Jesus Christ - they will be rich for eternity - even if they don't live on the upper east side in this life.
The wicked will leave their wealth to the righteous. This means that although they live wealthy for the few years of this life, they will eventually die and leave all of it to others. Since they have lived for wickedness, their children will most likely waste their wealth and have it transfer to those who use wise principles in how they do business. These are those who are godly and good in their business as well as their daily lives.
There is something that we desperately need to leave to our children and their children. It is a good thing if we can leave them an inheritance that will help them afford a home or other things financially. But more importantly is to leave them with an inheritance in the things of the Lord. This is something that can never be lost. God promised that a godly man can touch thousands over the lives of his children and grandchildren. But to do so we need to be willing to invest, not just in stocks and bonds - but in a godly heritage that will take a lifetime to develop and prepare for our families.
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. Proverbs 11:24
What does God think about those who are stingy with their time, their talents, and their finances? Here we see two people. The first is constantly scattering what he has. He does not hold it tightly to his chest and consider it his own. He scatters his time to those who need to be encouraged, loved, counselled, built up, and at times rebuked and corrected. He scatters his talents to the church - to the business he owns or works at - to the community when they need him. He scatters his finances as he invests in the kingdom of God and into the needs of others around him. This man is constantly scattering - not just money - but godly influence and the love of God. He is like a man walking through a barren-looking field - tilled - but without anything on it. As he walks he does not see the barrenness, but rather what that field can be if someone sows it properly. His scattering is not just giving away what God has given him. It is planting. It may not look like much as he scatters seed everywhere. But as that seed dies and comes to life first as a seedling, then as a plant, then as a full grown crop, then as a field that is white unto harvest - the man is seen for the wisdom that he had. He has scattered - yet he increases all the more. He will increase in influence - in favor with those whom he selflessly loves - in financial strength as God blesses him for his giving - in favor with God as he gives himself to obey the Lord and follow Him fully. This man will not be poor for scattering what was given to him. On the contrary - according as he has sown - he will reap thrity, sixty, and a hundred fold. He will take his talent and not bury it in the ground. He will invest it - return it to his master - and be put in charge of many things.
The stingy man's end is much different. We read that he withholds what is justly due. There is a pregnant statement if ever there was one. What is justly due? For those of us who know the Word of God - we are to give God a tithe of all that we have and produce. That does not come from the Old Testament Law - although it does teach tithing. It comes from Abraham's example before the Law was given. He gave a tenth of all he gained to Melchizedek. He did so as our example of giving - as well as he is the example of our faith as well. What is due though is everything! We are not just to surrender to God 10% and think we are done. We are to give all that we are and all that we have for God's glory. But the unwise man withholds what is due. He is not just a stingy man, he is a selfish man. Like the unwise farmer he thinks everything is his - to be used as he sees fit - for his own glory and his own selfish ends. When blessed with a bumper crop he does not consider giving some away. He chooses to tear down his old barns and build new ones that can keep all his stuff for himself. He is selfish to his own harm. The wisdom of God tell us that this man only winds up in want. The rich fool planned to keep everything for himself and died that very night. What he gained was nothingness for all eternity. The rich man who disdained to feed Lazarus with the scraps of his table did not die rich. He died selfish and self-centered. He died poorer than Lazarus - for he died and went to eternal punishment in hell. He had everything he could think of in life - but in death he wound up destitute for eternity.
Dear saints of God - learn to be one who scatters rather than one who only gathers and holds tighly. The tight-fisted man will have his hand broken - and his grip crushed in the end. Everything he thinks he holds tightly to will be gone in an instant. He will ultimately lose everything. The generous man who scatters will not lose anything. In fact his sowing guarantees that a crop will come and a harvest 50 times greater than he had before will come. Truly the wise man is the generous man - the giving man - the scattering man. Be that man.
The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets
a true reward. Proverbs 11:18
There are those who spend their entire lives chasing money and riches. They think that they are receiving good wages for their work and their pursuit. The sad thing that many do not realize until it is too late is that they are living their lives for something that will disappear the moment they die. As Proverbs 11:18
warns us, they are earning deceptive wages. They are placing their hope in something that moth and rust will corrupt, and thieves can break in and steal. If they were wise, they would seek to sow and reap in a way that would bring them a real return for their labor and their efforts.
We read in today's proverb that the wicked earn deceptive wages. It is imperative that we recognize immediately that we are dealing with the wicked here. There are many godly men who are working hard, earning money, and providing for their families whose wages are true and real. But the wicked are those who reject God - who reject His moral compass - and who reject any authority except their own. They do not work to bring glory to God - they work to bring glory to themselves. The wicked play by their own set of rules - and those rules often mock the moral standards that God calls us to follow. They tend to be ruthless in business. They cheat and steal and use what God calls, false scales, that deceive those who buy their wares or use their services.
We are told that the wicked is earning deceptive wages. These men think they are getting rich, but they are actually going in greater and greater debt every day. Their money and wealth is an illusion. Their bank account may look wonderful outwardly - but since money is worthless at the judgment seat of Christ - all that remains is the "way" they got it. That trail is filled with lying, cheating, and the strewn corpses of all those they trampled upon as they clawed and scratched their way to the top. Unfortuantely for them the view from the pinacle of their success is the view of hell. They have received their "reward" on earth in the things of this world and the praise of men. They have not stored up treasures in heaven - and all those they had on earth are gone in that moment. Their money has deceived them - and their wages are now being paid in full as they learn the horrible truth that they shall stand before God miserable, blind, naked, and poor.
The second man revealed to us in this proverb is the righteous. A wonderful picture is painted for us of this man's activities. He is a man who "sows" righteousness. He was not looking for a "quick fix" or a wage that would add to his riches. He knew that the "wages" of sin is death. Therefore he knew he needed to "sow" as unto the Lord. Sowing refers to planting things. Sowing involves taking what you have and letting it die as you place it into the ground. But when you do this, it will grow over time into a plant. You wait and look forward to the time of harvest where you will reap 30, 60, 100 fold what you planted. The righteous man knows that life is a distance run and not a sprint. He knows that every day you need to sow according to God's Word. You sow godly choices and a godly lifestyle that is defined by God's Law - and lived out by Christ's presence and power within. When you do this you plant in such a way as to harvest for God's glory and honor. You do not sow to the flesh and the world. You sow righteousness - and you reap the fruit of the Spirit as God works in and through you. The man who does this received a "true" reward. The word "true" here is the Hebrew word "emet" which means true, faithful - and is frequently connected with the idea of lovingkindness. This is important because the word lovingkindness refers to God's covenant love. This man is wanting the reward that comes from knowing and loving God. He wants the reward that is promised by God in His covenant with us. He is investing in a relationship with God - sowing obedience and submission to Him. That is why he receives exactly what he has sown. It is a true reward. It is a covenant reward. It is a Scriptural reward. It is God's reward to the ones who live for righteousness and - for His glory.