It is ironic that Proverbs 23:4-5 were parables a king, whose wealth and possessions exceed our wildest imaginations, imparted to his son. Solomon had inherited a treasury of gold and silver from his father, along with palaces ornately trimmed in gold. The wisdom and sight of Solomon’s palace and prosperity stunned the Queen of Sheba, a woman of wealth in her own right (1 Kings 10:4-7).
Proverbs 23:4-5 – “Labour [labor to the point of weariness] not to be rich [wealthy; to have an abundance of possessions]: cease [forsake] from thine own wisdom [knowledge; understanding; discernment]. 5Wilt thou set thine eyes [lit. set your passion after a bird in flight] upon that which is not [soon gone]? for riches certainly make [create; fashion] themselves wings; they [riches] fly away as an eagle toward heaven [sky].”
The wisdom of man says, “work to be rich”; however, riches are temporal in nature. Solomon, knowing the enslaving allure of riches, warned his son that the end and reward of labor was “not to be rich” (23:4). A man, who lives for one dollar more, will never be content because the nature of covetousness is that it can never be satisfied. Riches, like an eagle, take flight as though they have fashioned themselves wings (23:5).
What spiritual lesson does God have for us in today’s devotion from Proverbs 23? To be rich, a man can labor a lifetime, but lose it all in one failed stroke.
Matthew 6:19-21 – “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Where is your treasure?