Proverbs 28 8-28-18

Godliness must be our goal. Money is a poor substitute for righteous living. It interferes with our relationship with the LORD.

Look at all the verses in this chapter on the hazards of desiring wealth:

Proverbs 28:6 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.

[8] He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

[11] A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.

[19] He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty [spiritual or literal–or both!].

[20] A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

[21] To show partiality is not good—yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.

[22] A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him. He has neglected his relationship with the Father.

[24] He who robs his father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong”—he is partner to him who destroys. Jesus used this verse to chastise the Pharisees who were giving their wealth to the temple instead of using it to take care of their elderly parents (Matthew 15:1-11).

[25] A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. People often forecast what they think will happen, so in order for things to turn out like they think they should, they “stir the pot” and manipulate circumstances to their own advantage. NOT GOOD!

[27] He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. See verse 25.

Do we trust the LORD to meet our needs? Does He not have our best interests in mind? What if having wealth would become a stumbling block in following Him and trusting in Him? Would we be brave enough to let go of worldly goods?

Jesus said,

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [food, clothing, shelter] will be given to you as well.

Here’s the thing: Even if He didn’t meet our needs and we wind up living in poverty–even dying, we still should be forever grateful for His mercy and grace for our salvation. In fact, we would be more like Jesus then than at any time in our lives!

This section is from

Intersect Project

Jesus’ Poverty

In reading the Gospels, we can focus on Jesus’ poverty. There is a sense in which Christ’s incarnation itself was an impoverishing act. Indeed, in order to take on human flesh and dwell among sinful people and the filth of this world, Jesus had to set aside the wealth of heaven. This was Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:7, where he wrote that Jesus “emptied himself [of his privileges], by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” This same teaching is the essence of this verse,

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

We can also see the level of poverty that Jesus experienced by looking at the material state of his family. Most people are familiar with the details of Christ’s birth since they are recounted and celebrated every Christmas. Jesus’ nativity story includes being born in a foreign city (presumably without family and friends), being placed in a manger (literally a feed trough) and being visited by shepherds— strangers who were considered by most people to be the outcasts of society (see Luke 2:7).

In describing Jesus’ circumcision, Luke reports that Mary and Joseph offered two pigeons as a temple sacrifice for Mary’s purification (see Luke 2:22–24). Leviticus 12:7–8 explains that the usual sacrifice at the time of circumcision was to be a lamb, but if the birth mother could not “afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean” (Leviticus 12:8). Apparently, then, Jesus’ parents were too poor to offer the customary lamb.

Thus Jesus was born into a family that was part of the lower economic class. We see this material status has not changed 30 years later, during Jesus’ earthly ministry. In a recent post, we cited a number of Jesus’ well-known teachings about wealth and poverty at this time. We should note, too, Jesus’ comments on his own economic status, such as when he said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). The Gospel narratives bear out this testimony.

It appears that Christ had very little by way of material possessions during his ministry. Consider the following: Jesus…

• preached from borrowed boats,

• multiplied borrowed food,

• rode on a borrowed colt,

• and was buried in a borrowed tomb.

In fact, most of Jesus’ material needs, as well as those of his disciples, were apparently met by donations from a group of devoted women who accompanied him. In his Gospel, Luke refers to “Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for [Jesus and his disciples] out of their means” (Luke 8:2–3; see also Mark 15:40–41).

Let’s be like Jesus today and focus on that which He leads us to focus instead of allowing “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth to choke us, making us unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22

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