By Gene Price
Pastor, Tumbling Creek Baptist Church, Gleason
Focal Passage: Proverbs 23:4-5, 30:5-9
So much of a person’s life is consumed with matters concerning money. Therefore it is important that “money matters” are kept in proper perspective. Security is not to be found in our wealth but in God. Wealth is to be used for the glory of God. One of the areas where wisdom from God is needed is in personal finances. There has to be a proper balance between hoarding and generosity.
A believer is not to seek after riches in the same way that the world does (Proverbs 23:4). A believer should seek riches but in a way that brings God’s blessings. Mere riches just for riches’ sake are not to be sought. Common sense should be used in all business dealings; however, it is a mistake to seek anything in life without asking God for His direction and His blessings. A person should seek God’s help in all areas of life, but especially in personal finances. Riches give a false sense of security (v. 5). When a person seeks protection under the wings of their wealth, it is a false protection. If riches are not taken away from man by theft, taxes or poor management, eventually riches will be taken away by death (I John 2:15-17). Under the wings of the Almighty God is sure protection. Our Heavenly Father cares for His own. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
A believer who lives by the principles found in God’s Word will be blessed (Proverbs 30:5). God’s Word is true and has been tested over and over. Following the teachings of God will always lead to a good and happy life. A person will never be disappointed or feel let down. God is a shield to those who take refuge in Him, meaning God will protect all who seek to live by His Word. There is a warning to all who seek to add to God’s Word. This is one of the first things that Satan did in the garden. He added one word to God’s Word when he said, “You surely will NOT die.” Therefore no one has the wisdom to improve upon what God says in His Word.
Agur (little is known about him), the writer of this Proverb, has a “bucket list.” He has two requests before he dies, yet there is no indication that he is on his death bed. First, he asks God to keep him from lies and deception. Second, he asks God to give him a life of moderation — not too rich and not too poor.
Duane Garrett said, “Having or not having money can cause us to believe lies about God or the world.” Chuck Smith commenting on Proverbs 30:8 said, “I don’t want riches, lest I would say, ‘Who is God?’ and deny God. Nor do I want to be poor so that I would be tempted to go out and steal in order to take care of my needs. So God, just give me that in-the-middle average life.” Having too much money can be dangerous, but so can having too little. Being poor can be harmful to spiritual health as well as physical health. Yet Jesus pointed out the difficulty that rich people have getting into God’s kingdom (Matthew 19:23-24). Paul is an example of what Agur is speaking of when he said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want.”
Most lives are more likely to be effective if we have “neither poverty nor riches,” but a heart to serve and follow God no matter the financial state of our lives.