Proverbs 13:22 – “A good [better; best; pleasing; prosperous] man leaveth an inheritance [character: good legacy; material: substance; possessions] to his children’s children [son or daughter; grandson; subject]: and the wealth [virtue; valor; strength; might; substance] of the sinner [condemned; offender; sinful] is laid up [hidden; secret; hoarded; treasured] for the just [righteous man; upright].”
Two characters of men are the subject of verse 22, a “good man” offering us insight into his spiritual and moral character and “the sinner” whose legacy is one of sin and wickedness. Our first inclination is a consideration of the “good man” and his material wealth; however, parents leave their children far more than temporal possessions.
A “good man”, a noble man who loves his children, longs to pass on to his heirs not only his substance, but also his passions. Riches are fleeting; however, godly character is enduring. A “good man” heeds Christ’s exhortation and knows earthly treasures are just that—earthly (Matthew 6:19-20); however, a heart that treasures the things of God will leave his heirs a rich and godly legacy (Matthew 6:33-34).
The contrast of the “good man” is a sinner whose heart is invested in the temporal and whose substance is wasted on the dissipation of sinful pleasures. Drugs, drunkenness and sexual immorality consume the wealth and talents of the sinner, leaving his heirs with nothing but the curse of their godless legacy. What legacy are you leaving your children and grandchildren?
Proverbs 13:23 – “Much [great; abundance; plenty] food [meat; eating] is in the tillage [plowing] of the poor [perhaps a debtor or renter of a field]: but there is [substance] that is destroyed [consumed; snatched away] for want [no] of judgment [injustice; law; judicial verdict].”
The poor are often so, not because of a lack of opportunity, but a lack of wisdom. Too many in our society bury themselves in debt and become servants of those who made rich by their labor. Like a farmer renting the fields of another, he begins in debt even before he has begun to plow. A poor man may reap a great harvest for his labor; however, if he is a debtor, he is subject to the injustices that accompany indebtedness.
My friend, you may not have riches and possessions, but you can choose to be rich in godly character and pass to your heirs riches money cannot buy—godly wisdom rooted in your love for Christ and His Word.
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith