Thursday, September 16, 2021

Wealth is Worthless on the Day of Wrath

 Read Proverbs 11

Let’s take a macro view of chapter 11.  I will use groupings of words and pairings of actions and consequences.

God’s way:









Good counsel




Seeks good

Everything else:


Arrogance (Sinful Pride)



Evil desires




Perverse hearts


Actions and Consequences

Pride                                       Disgrace

Righteousness                        Life

Unfaithfulness                       Trapped by evil

Death of the wicked             No hope

Prosperity of the Righteous Joy to many

Put up security                      Suffer

Kindheartedness                    Respect

Ruthlessness                          Life is all about money

Kindness                                 Benefits self as well as others

Cruelty                                    Trouble


Similar comparisons and consequences

Wicked                                   Deceptive wages

Sows righteousness               Reaps reward

Wicked                                   Punished

Righteous                                Set Free

Generous                                Prosper

Seek good                               Good Will

Trust in Riches                       Downfall

Righteousness                        Thrive


We should not be surprised with the simple dichotomy of many of the nuggets contained in this chapter.  Solomon uses men and women, individuals and governments, as well as immediate concerns and consequences in the day of wrath.

Let’s focus on just a few.  We begin with verse 4.

 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,

    but righteousness delivers from death.

 Hold your holy horses!  I thought wealth was ok.  I thought it was ok to have money and stuff.

It is.  God wants to bless you and he wants you to bless others, but material wealth has no exchange value on the Day of the Lord.  Whatever you have received in this life is to be put to work in this life. God has invested in you.  You are to invest in others, in good works, and in wisdom.

You can leave your children’s children an inheritance, but your money won’t buy you righteousness in the eyes of the Lord.

This should not come as a surprise to those who know the gospels well.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Solomon has been telling us that right living often leads to material blessings, but that wisdom is more valuable than gold, silver, or rubies. 

There is nothing wrong with material wealth.  In fact, it can be put to good use to bring glory to God, but at the end of the age or the end of your life, you can’t buy your right standing with God.

Your estate can buy you a fancy casket but you can’t buy right standing with God.

Several years ago, a family came to see me about doing a funeral service in the church.  They didn’t worship here and were not sure if they were even going to do a service.  They did have lots of questions.  One of them was, “Can we play Stairway to Heaven during the service.”

I said, “Of course.  I might even sing along.”  I couldn’t leave it at that.  I had to let them know that’s not how getting to heaven works.  Good song. Bad theology.

Let’s do another golden nugget.  Go to verse 22.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout

    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

Who would put a gold ring in a pig’s nose?  Really!  How ridiculous. What possible purpose could this absurd contrast serve?

Pay attention ladies, especially you young gals.  Why would you give yourself to just anyone? You must live and act and make decisions with discretion, with prudence, and with sound judgment.

The proverb is not about adorning swine.  It’s about giving up your chastity on just anyone.  It makes as much sense as putting a gold ring in a pig’s nose.

Let’s do one more, verse 31.

If the righteous receive their due on earth,

    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

This is an affirmation for the righteous who struggle with the wicked getting away with wicked things.  The message comes from the movie Frozen and it’s Let it go!

If God will take care of you for seeking him and his kingdom and his righteousness, and for desiring his wisdom—and he will—then don’t you think he will give the wicked just what they deserve.

Stop worrying about what the wicked seem to get away with.  Remember that nothing is hidden from God.  God will take care of judgment and dispense wrath as he sees fit.

There are 10 million jobs available in this country and Advisor to God on how to deal with the wicked is not one of them.

Rejoice that God will take care of the righteous.  Celebrate that we are made right with God by the blood of Jesus.  When it comes to the wicked, let it go.  God will let you know if he needs any advice on the matter, but don’t hold your breath waiting on him to give you the call.

I think that some of you were wondering if aliens had abducted Tom and put this doppelganger in his place.  Let me assure you it’s me.  Here is how you should know it.

There is God’s way and there is everything else. 

Live God’s way.


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