Wisdom about Wealth from Solomon

All scripture references are taken from the book of Proverbs, English Standard Version.1

 

Solomon was a very wealthy man.

 

Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. Every one of them brought his present, articles of silver and gold, garments, Myrrh, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year…. And the king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. –1 Kings 10:23-25, 27

Some things are more valuable than wealth.

 

Wisdom (see also 4:7; 8:10-11, 17-21; 16:16; 17:16)

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. –3:13-16

Integrity (see also 11:4, 18; 19:1)

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways. –28:6

Humility 

It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. –16:19

 Domestic tranquility

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. –17:1

 A good name

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. –22:1

 Discernment

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out. –28:11

Contentment

Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.–30:8-9

An excellent wife

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. –31:10-11

There are principles for growing wealth.

 

The ability to generate wealth is a blessing of the Lord. 

The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. –10:22

Wealth generation is not the Lord’s only blessing, nor his greatest.

          See above.

Wisdom for all of life is the foundation upon which wealth generation rests.

The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.–14:24

Establish your life on godly principles of wisdom. 

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. –3:1-2

Honor the Lord with your wealth. 

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. –3:9-10

Don’t take responsibility for other people’s decisions. You don’t control other people’s decisions, or the outcomes of their decisions. (see also 6:1-5; 17:18; 22:26-27)

Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure. –11:15

Work hard. (see also 6:6-11; 14:23; 31:17-19)

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. –10:4-5

Be honest. 

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight. –11:1

Give freely. 

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. –11:24-25

Don’t live beyond your means. (see also 12:9)

One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. –13:7

Don’t chase fantasies. (see also 28:19)

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. –12:11

Take care of what you have.  (see also 12:27)

Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? –27:23-24

Wealth creation is an orderly process involving many decisions over time. 

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. –13:11

Avoid haste; think and plan for the long haul.  

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. –21:5

Plan to bless future generations with your wealth. (see also 19:14)

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. –13:22

Consume less than you have. 

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. –21:20

Live in humility and the fear of the Lord. 

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life. –22:4

Don’t be naïve about debt. 

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. –22:7

Be generous.  (see also 31:20)

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. –22:9

Cultivate expertise in your work. 

Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. –22:29

Establish wise, disciplined, unselfish priorities. 

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. –24:27

Make wise investments. 

She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard…. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. –31:16, 18

There are evils to avoid in wealth generation.

 

Turmoil 

Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. –15:16

Hatred 

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. –15:17

Greed (see also 28:25)

Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live. –15:27

Injustice 

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.–16:8

Cheating (see also 20:10)

A just balance and scales are the LORD’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. –16:11

Strife 

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. –17:1

Obsession with wealth generation (see also 28:20)

Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. –23:4

Taking advantage of others 

Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor. –28:8

There are ways in which wealth can be lost.

 

Trusting in riches 

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. –11:28

Ignoring correction 

Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. –13:18

Laziness (see also 19:15; 21:25-26; 24:33-34)

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. –20:4

Hasty decisions 

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. –21:5

The love of pleasure (see also 23:20-21)

Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. –21:17

Exploiting the poor 

Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, for the LORD will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them. –22:22-23

Boasting about tomorrow 

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.–27:1

Here are principles to follow in giving.

 

Honor the Lord with your wealth; give the firstfruits of your labor to him. 

Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. –3:9-10

Give to the poor. (see also 19:17; 21:13; 28:27; 31:20)

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needs honors him. –14:31

Give generously. 

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. –11:24-25

1Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version© (ESV©), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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