King Solomon was blessed with great wealth. This benefit was bestowed upon him because of his humble request for wisdom rather than for fame or fortune. “And God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life-but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king- wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12 NKJV) Solomon recognized wealth as a blessing from God. “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19 NKJV)

Wealth attracts the attention of those who wish to benefit from it. A lifestyle of luxury and decadence has strong appeal. Friendships based on economics fail when fortunes are reversed. “Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend.” (Proverbs 19:4 NKJV) Wealth also appeals to our desire to be independent and self-sufficient. The rich fool in Luke chapter twelve pronounced his independence from God at the end of a tremendous harvest. God demanded a reckoning from him that very night. (Luke 12:20) One must deliberately choose the object of their loyalty when it comes to wealth. “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV)

Wealth has its benefits and its privileges, but it also brings difficulties. Greed leads to trouble. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV) English author Samuel Johnson observed that “Riches exclude only one inconvenience, and that is poverty.” Should we repudiate riches considering strong temptation, high taxation, and fair-weather friends? To do so would be to reject God’s blessings. It would also limit our ability to provide benevolence. Our labor is to provide for our families and to those who have need. (Ephesians 4:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:12)

Managing abundance becomes easier when one learns how to be content. A lesson the Apostle Paul had learned. “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” (Philippians 4:11 NKJV) Contentment comes from absolute trust in God to provide. “If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. “For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:28-31 NKJV) Paul, like Moses, is a wonderful example of giving up power and position because he trusted in a higher purpose. (Hebrews 11:24-25) “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26 NKJV)

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold. The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all. A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished. By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:1-4 NKJV) Fearing God provides access to true riches. (Luke 16:1-15) “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:4-8 NKJV) Our greatest wealth is reverence for our God. That is our duty and our treasure. (Proverbs 22:4, Ecclesiastes 12:13) “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV)

(Ken Fleeman 1/16/2022)

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