Notice that both proverbs address a subject that is a common theme of Solomon’s and an area of sensitivity to the majority of Christians—Money!
Proverbs 28:6 – “Better [pleasant; pleasing; morally good] is the poor [needy; destitute] that walketh [behave; walketh about] in his uprightness [integrity; moral excellence; innocence], than he that is perverse [crooked; false] in his ways [conversation; journey; path], though he be rich.”
Most will agree this proverb runs counter to our culture where we celebrate riches and fame and place little value on integrity. There was a time when parents taught their children to honor their family heritage and instilled within their child’s character an expectation of honesty and uprightness.
Sadly, our children are growing up in a nation where the benchmark for moral acceptance is so low that infamy is celebrated and rewarded and the morally upright are mocked and scorned. It behooves me to remind you that a fool’s way might be rewarded with riches, but it inevitably leads to a fool’s death. Better to have chosen the path of honesty, goodness and integrity than die a rich old fool!
Proverbs 28:8 – “He that by usury [interest on debt] and unjust gain [excessive interest] increaseth [multiplies; becomes great] his substance [wealth; riches; possessions], he shall gather [assemble; heap] it for him that will pity [show grace and mercy; be considerate] the poor [weak; needy; helpless].”
Continuing the subject of riches, Solomon warns his son that the rich might swindle the poor through excessive interest and harsh demands; however, when he is dead the wealth he has amassed will eventually be parceled out to the poor.
My friend, you need only visit an estate sale or follow the trucks of the “Goodwill” or “Salvation Army” foundations to see Proverbs 28:8 validated—the treasures of one become the cheap bargains of another.
By the way, where are your treasures?
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.”
A word of explanation: I give my best effort to set forth a daily devotional from the Book of Proverbs; however, there are days that the demands of ministry override my time and ability. I encourage you to continue the daily discipline of reading the proverb of the day when I am unable to post a devotional challenge.
Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith