Rich!

Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.”

It is gladsome to want to get much for little, something for nothing. But the Word of God puts forth principles to live by to keep us from ourselves and destruction. Many would love to put forth little effort to reap great rewards. 

Many seek opportunities in the stock market that would see a small investment turn into a windfall. Others will use more shady practices, even illegal to skirt having to pay taxes and extract the most significant gain. 

When I read the text today, I thought about the opportunities of getting rich quick. I can assume that “haste to be rich” would include participating in the lottery. A game of chance with odds higher than 13 million to one that you will pick all the numbers correctly. Many pay in excessive amounts of their savings thinking to increase their chances of winning big.

Then I read:

Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.”

Taking that which you have worked so hard for to play a game of chance most certainly means that you will lose. Our gaze is so often diverted from the truth by the shiny, the expensive, and the luxurious. We see wealthy and famous people living a lifestyle of many dreams. Yet, they fail to see the emptiness behind closed doors. 

You see, most who win the lottery are worse off than before they won in just a few years. Over 70% of those who won the lottery are poorer and more in debt than before they had won. Many have had to declare bankruptcy, and some have lost even more.

Jack Whittaker won over $300 million dollars in 2002. He was robbed and lost over half a million. His daughter and granddaughter died of drug overdoses. He is quoted: “I just don’t like Jack Whittaker. I don’t like the hard heart I’ve got. I don’t like what I’ve become.”

He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye.

What evil would overcome us? Greed, envy, and covetousness, to name a few. We try to justify it by telling ourselves that we would be different. We would be frugal. We would give half to the church. 

Are you frugal now? Do you give half of what you earn now? What would lead us to believe that we would be any different once the winnings poured in?

I have heard it said that we now have that with which God can trust us. The parable of the talents is a lesson in stewardship. What are we doing with what is given to us? Is it to seek a life of ease, comfort, and rest? Or do we work to earn and use it to meet the needs of our family, give to the work of God and seek to glorify Him in the process?

Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”

God seeks to be glorified in all that we do. He holds our relationship with Him at a much higher level than anything else – including money.

David had such a heart. He gives us a glimpse of how he viewed his rise to the throne.

Psalm 62:10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

David’s kingdom grew by following the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. David sought to find out whether or not he should invade, or stay back. When his heart was right, he sought God even in the smallest of decisions. 

David saw the getting of wisdom more excellent than any riches one could imagine.

Proverbs 8:10-11 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”

We must strike at the heart of why it is we are so distracted by riches. Do we feel cheated somehow? Are we tired of the work thinking we deserve more? Are we like Asaph, who saw the wicked prosper and he suffering affliction?

Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

It wasn’t until he gained the proper perspective that he truly understood.

Psalm 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

As a saved child of God, I must remind myself that I am promised a mansion situated on the streets of gold. I am a child of the King of Kings. My Father owns cattle on a thousand hills. He has met my every need and promises to do so.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

It then becomes our job to distinguish between what is our need and what it is we want. Our enemy, Satan, will dangle every bauble and shiny trinket in front of our eyes to see if we take the bait. We think it a small thing to give money for the chance to win big. God insists that we invest in that which is eternal.

That $5, $10, $20, or more given to missions translates into souls; souls for whom Christ died. Money given to God promises we will be rewarded. 

Matthew 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

In these last days, distractions abound. Opportunities to lead us off of the path God set for us are many. We must be sober and vigilant because our adversary’s ultimate goal is to destroy us.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

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