Earthly Wealth/Riches

Daily Scripture readings for January, set #9:

Nehemiah, chapters 1-2
Proverbs 9
Luke 16:1-9
1 Timothy 6:1-10

I don’t think I’ve commented on the Old Covenant vs the New Covenant in quite a few posts. “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem” (vs 26). This, the last verse of Nehemiah 2, cannot be said to Gentiles any longer. Now ALL the nations have a right or claim in Jerusalem, through Christ (Rom 11). An unrelated note on this text: I love how Nehemiah is so ready to pray regarding his situation (Neh 1:4, 2:4).

Proverbs 9:7-9 are a perfect example of why I don’t allow myself to get involved with Facebook discussions surrounding political/controversial/volatile issues. “Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” It’s not that I don’t want to talk about difficult subjects, but rather that the convergence of everyone’s social circles leaves me unsure as to which of the two types of people listed above I may be talking with.

Man… I am baffled after the first read of the parable of the shrewd manager in Luke 16. I remember being baffled last year when I read it too. The story apparently rewards dishonesty. “The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness” (vs 8). A quick google search turned up this helpful explanation.

The first half of 1 Timothy 6:10 is a familiar verse to most Christians, but the surrounding context gives more clarity on the implications of such a statement. “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (vs 9-10). Paul is talking specifically to believers here, warning them to not even DESIRE riches. He says that  these DESIRES are what lead someone to wander away from the faith. This is very potent for me as an American.

Daily Scripture readings for January, set #10:

Nehemiah 3
Proverbs 10:1-16
Luke 16:10-18
1 Timothy 6:11-21

“And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord” (Neh 3:5). I wonder how that worked out for them.

Proverbs 10:4 is an interesting contrast to yesterday’s 1 Timothy warning on desiring riches. “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” How do these verses fit together?

Luke 16:10-15 brings another contribution to the recent theme of money. “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” (vs 11-12). If these verses are about money (and I think they are) then I have two observations: 1) money is “unrighteous” and not “true riches” (vs 11) and, 2) your money is not yours (vs 12).

Paul closes his writings to Timothy with a nice finish for our past two days’ mini-study on money. “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1Tim 6:17-19). This text has so many important reminders for those with wealth.

 

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2 thoughts on “Earthly Wealth/Riches”

  1. So, here’s the question that maybe our conversation last week boils down to: Is it possible to become rich without desiring to be rich? I think I would argue “no” except in the case of an inheritance or something like that.

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