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May 30, 2022 - Proverbs 22-26

A good financial word from Solomon: “Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from you?” (22:26,27). In other words, if you don’t have the money, and have no prospects of paying off your debt, don’t spend the money! We live in a consumer mad culture; we’re always wanting more, more, more. We are all susceptible: the nicer car, the newer house, the most fashionable clothes, a full complement of woodworking tools. The Bible does not automatically condemn the rich to harsh judgment but it does warn, often, about the allure and danger of riches: “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist” (23:4). To be all consumed with toiling, toiling, toiling to get riches is not good, though Solomon himself encourages hard work and good financial planning.

The seeking of riches becomes sinful when we are all consumed by the seeking and when we fail to give back to God in thankfulness and when we are unconcerned about and mistreat those less fortunate: “Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, for the Lord will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them” (22:22-23). And though God has blessed us so richly, let us ultimately lay up for ourselves “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).

We plow the fields and scatter

the good seed on the land,

but it is fed and watered

by God’s almighty hand.

God sends the snow in winter,

the warmth to swell the grain,

the breezes, and the sunshine,

and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us are sent from heav’n above.

We thank you, God, we thank you, God, for all your love. -- Matthias Claudius (1782)

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