November 28, 2018
“Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” – Proverbs 37:16-17
We often read passages like Proverbs 37 and come to the conclusion that poverty is righteous and wealth is wicked. But I certainly hope this is not the case. I have a large family, I pastor a small church, and I am the sole bread winner in my house. Compared to some I have very little.However, compared to many around the world, I am extravagantly wealthy. So to say poverty is righteousness and wealth is wicked means we would never be impoverished enough to accomplish the righteousness we aspire to. In addition to this, I think we very often come to this false conclusion about wealth and wickedness because we secretly like to think of ourselves as better than the ones we actually envy on a more material level.
So if the common interpretation of this passage is incorrect, then what should we learn from Psalm 37? The key lies in the second verse. There is no power, no security, and no peace in wealth; no matter how great it is. In the end all the wealth and all the power of this entire world will be broken in an instant when the elements themselves burn up in the presence of Almighty God (2 Peter 3:10). The only thing that will last in the end…the only thing that will be sustained by God…is those who are righteous. Our righteousness does not come from poverty, or being better then the person next to us. Righteousness comes from faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Heavenly Father, guide us to find our peace in righteousness and not wealth. And remind us that our righteousness rests in Jesus Christ and nowhere else.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon