What a beautiful day it is today. The weather outside is cool and cloudy, with just the perfect amount of sunshine. The birds are chirping again after days of hearing mostly roars of thunder. And so, today, with a cup of hot coffee and two slices of cheese bread on my bedside table, I opened my Bible to Proverbs.
Proverbs is quite an easy read. It’s like enjoying a series of creatively written #dailywisdom #instamotivation quotable quotes you find on Instagram, but even better. These words of wisdom were written by a very intelligent king in 900BC, and have been passed down through generations since then.
Today, I learned about three things that can bring wealth according to King Solomon in Proverbs 22. Let me share them with you:
1. Humility & fear of the Lord (v.4)
Solomon was very clear and straight to the point when he wrote, “Humility and fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” How so? Why did he choose humility over other virtues like patience or perseverance? And why is it that humility is partnered with fear of the Lord?
As I reflect upon this, I realize that humility does go hand in hand with fear of the Lord. You see, when we are humble, we think lowly of ourselves as we compare our fallible finite selves to the perfect, all-knowing, powerful God. This would allow us to surrender every bit of ourselves (our personalities, our skills, our time, our body) for God’s use and purpose because we are able to acknowledge that God can lead our lives better than we can ever do ourselves. The reward for this according to Prov. 22:4 for this is wealth.
2. Generosity (v.9)
“A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor,” Solomon said. When we share our resources with people less fortunate than us, we can hold onto this beautiful promise -- that we would be blessed by none other than God himself. And if God blesses, it is much better than what we can ever possibly ask or imagine. You are in for a surprise.
3. Skill (v.29)
“Do you see a man skilled in his work?” Solomon asked. “He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” Isn’t it amazing that the book of Proverbs is very practical too? This verse means that whatever job God has given us to do, we need to do it to the best of our abilities. We need to seek to improve and excel on our craft. Although not all of us would be able to work for a literal king, our skill may still lead us to work for people with fine repute.
Did you know that there is something more desirable than great riches? I was quite surprised when King Solomon said having a “good name” is much better than gold and silver (v.1). It is better to win favor — the loving kindness of God and men, because when we have God’s favor, we know that no one less than the King of kings has our backs.
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I’m writing this not to promote that one has to believe in God in order to gain wealth. We are mistaken if we make wealth our ultimate goal. Wealth does not provide complete satisfaction that many of us hope for. In fact Solomon himself said, “He who loves money is never satisfied” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
The end goal of man is to glorify God to the best of our capacities, and enjoy this intimate relationship we have with Him. He alone can satisfy all our heart's longings. The wealth is but a bonus.