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                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                         Wisdom Regarding Money


1. People often have conflicting ideas about money...
   a. Some say that it is sinful to be rich; others, that it is a virtue
      to be poor
   b. Many think that money provides the ultimate security

2. The Bible says a great deal about money...
   a. It speaks about earning and spending, saving and giving
   b. It even warns about wasting our money

3. The Book of Proverbs in particular discusses issues related to
   a. Such as wealth and poverty
   b. Such as generosity and greed

[What wisdom can be gleaned from Proverbs concerning money?  Let's first
consider what is said regarding...]


      1. Wealth does have its advantages
         a. A degree of security - Pr 10:15; 18:11; e.g., 13:8
         b. Companionship of 'friends' - Pr 14:20; 19:4,6-7
         c. Power or influence - Pr 22:7
         d. The ability to speak more freely - Pr 18:23
      2. But wealth does not provide everything
         a. It does not deliver us from death - Pr 10:2; 11:4
         b. Those who trust in their riches will fall - Pr 11:28
      3. The acquisition of wealth
         a. Must be gained honestly, such as through labor - Pr 13:11
         b. Best if by labor, not inherited - Pr 20:21
         c. Best if gained gradually, not with haste - Pr 28:20,22
         d. Wealth acquired unscrupulously is temporary and bitter - Pro
            20:17; 21:5-6; 28:8
      4. Keeping wealth in perspective
         a. Do not overwork to be rich - Pr 23:4
         b. Riches easily disappear - Pr 23:5
      -- Wealth can be blessing, but it can easily become a curse;
         wisdom makes the difference!

      1. Some are poor because of circumstances beyond their control
         a. The greed of others - Pr 30:14
         b. Usury and extortion - Pr 28:8
      2. Others are poor because of their own sinful conduct
         a. Laziness - Pr 6:6-11; 10:4; 14:23; 20:13; 24:30-34
         b. Refusing to heed correction - Pr 13:18
         c. Pleasure seeking - Pr 21:17
         d. Drunkenness, gluttony - Pr 23:21
         e. Wasting time on frivolous things - Pr 12:11; 28:19
      -- Poverty is not always self-inflicted, but in many cases it is!

[Poverty also comes from other causes (natural disasters, God's
chastisement, persecution, even voluntary choice).  But as most
Christians today are blessed with relative wealth, let's now consider
what wisdom can be gleaned from Proverbs regarding the use of our


      1. The expression of generosity
         a. Toward the needy (giving to the poor) - Pr 28:27
         b. Toward the Lord (honoring Him with our first fruits) - Pro
      2. The benefits of generosity
         a. Natural benefits (the inherent joy of giving) - Pr 11:17;
         b. Divine benefits (the blessing of the Lord) - Pr 3:10; 11:
            24-25; 19:17
      -- For true happiness, with the Lord as our Benefactor, we must be

      1. The qualities of greed
         a. Insatiable desires (like a leech) - Pr 30:15-16
         b. Laziness - Pr 21:25-26
         c. Hypocrisy - Pr 23:6-8
      2. The danger of greed
         a. Troubles one's self - Pr 1:19
         b. Troubles one's family - Pr 15:27
   -- To avoid misery, for ourselves and others, we must not be greedy


1. With the aid of the Book of Proverbs, we can have wisdom regarding...
   a. Wealth and poverty
   b. Generosity and greed

2. With the blessing of the Lord, we can experience both...
   a. Wealth that comes from honest labor
   b. Generosity that springs from a merciful heart

Certainly there is no place for arrogance and abuse when we have been
materially blessed:

   The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker
   of them all. - Pr 22:2

   He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors
   Him has mercy on the needy. - Pr 14:31

May the Lord give us the wisdom and grace to use our wealth properly...!
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