“In those days Israel had
everyone
Judges 17:6
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
Jack Monroe
The Guardian, 19th
Feb 2014
Edwina Currie
Manchester Evening News
...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
In much of the UK, people's incomes are well below the EU average - in some
ar...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
– Laziness produces poverty, Proverbs 24
“I passed by the field of ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
– Laziness produces poverty
– Laziness WANTS IT BADLY … but doesn’t...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
– Laziness produces poverty
– Laziness WANTS IT BADLY … but doesn’t...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
– This blessing often accompanies hard ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
– This blessing often accompanies hard ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
– This blessing often accompanies hard ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
– This blessing often accompanies hard ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
– ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
– ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
– ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
– ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
• ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
• ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
• ...
Poverty & Riches in Proverbs
• Introduction
• Laziness
• God’s blessing makes rich
• Riches and wickedness can co-habit
• ...
Poverty and riches in proverbs
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Poverty and riches in proverbs

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  • So here is the question for today.What is the answer to the poverty problem that has been growing in the UK since 2008?More relevant to us, what has the Bible got to say on this?The problem is all over the papers and a number of research findings paint a stark enough picture …
  • The Daily Mail website on Friday had the story that …Parts of Britain are now poorer than Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, official figures reveal.People in the Welsh Valleys and Cornwall - Britain’s two poorest areas - scrape by on less than £14,300 a year on average.Because Britain is so expensive, this leaves families in these areas worse off than those vast swathes of Eastern Europe, according to an EU study.Let me just draw your attention to the ‘West Wales & the Valleys’ area of this map … incomes 36% below the EU average.HERE.In Lincolnshire and Durham, the next two poorest areas in Britain, people live on less than £16,500 a year.This puts them in the same bracket as Estonians and rural Poles, once prices are taken into account.And this figure is propped up by Europe’s runaway richest region – inner London. In the heart of the capital the average GDP per person is £71,000 a year.This is 321 per cent of the average across the EU, according to Brussels’s official statistics arm Eurostat.Britain as a whole fares a little better, with average earnings of £23,300 - just over the EU average of £20,750. But this still leaves us out of the top 10 wealthiest countries in the EU.Now, before we all start taking refuge in the idea that what we need to do is crack down a bit because this is all down to a bunch of wasters living comfortably on the dole wrecking the national economy, here’s a diagram that puts an interesting perspective on things …
  • Now, it must be clear that the situation is not getting reported to us in a balanced way … you must judge for yourselves WHY that might be … here’s a diagram that I haven’t yet seen in the tabloids …
  • It’s been fascinating how many people I’ve spoken to about the Food Bank have stated people getting what they shouldn’t as their first concern.We are ALL naturally concerned about that.But where money’s being lost to the economy may not actually be where it’s mainly perceived to be!{Diagram}That figure for ‘wasters’ claiming money that they shouldn’t is serious at £1.2 bn, but the size of that against lots of other figures there also needs bearing in mind.Much more charitable and much more generally realistic was Abp of York John Sentamu’s comment on Twitter 08-05-14:“Parents want to make the best choices for their family, but low wages, expensive childcare & inflexible jobs make this very difficult”So what is the Biblical position on poverty and riches?It really shouldn’t be such a hot potato …I came across a quote while preparing that I wanted to find a good excuse to share with you … but I didn’t find one so here is the quote anyway:"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." Dorothy ParkerProverbs is an ancient book, written as mainly a collection of little principles – some witty – distilling wisdom on the practical questions of life and it has at least four interesting things to say on this issue …
  • It is (firstly) ever so forthright about laziness.We read in Proverbs 24:30-34, “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” The lazy person protests: just a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more time to relax.It’s very easy to see people who don’t have a job in these terms, but it’s easy to be over-indulgent of the indigent too.What has Proverbs got to say about laziness?
  • Firstly it wants to say that laziness produces poverty.That’s not to say that poverty is always the product of laziness … but laziness DOES produce poverty.We read in Proverbs 24:30-34, “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” The lazy person protests: just a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more time to relax.Proverbs says like laziness is actually CRAZY, and Solomon (who I reckon wrote it) pokes fun at the sluggard, so …The sluggard, the lazy person, makes wild and hilarious excuses for not working, so he says, ‘I can’t go outside because there are lions in the street and they will kill me’ (Proverbs 22:13).The lazy person finds all sorts of daft and spurious – laughable – post hoc justifications for his laziness.It gets more ridiculous …“The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth” (Proverbs 19:24). He finds it oh so tiring to lift his arm from his food to his mouth. Madness!We even read in Proverbs 6 that the sluggard doesn’t learn even from so lowly a creature as the ant how to work … but just wants to sleep, sleep, sleep. Proverbs 19:15 says, “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.” And Proverbs 20:13 says, “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.” The message could be misunderstood: we need sleep and rest to recharge ourselves. But we sleep to energize ourselves for work, and those who love sleep too much fail to work diligently. So (with the effect that is obviously so ridiculous in the quote on this slide) the lazy person protests: just a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more time to relax.Now, let’s be absolutely clear, human nature has a tendency and that tendency is to chose sin and part of that tendency is to reject the work in the Garden that God has made humanity for and decreed that humanity should do.Human nature has a tendency to that laziness which rebels against God’s plan that human beings should glorify their creature through dignified but diligent work!Why did God put Adam & Eve in the Garden?Genesis 2:15-17 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”So human nature expresses its rebellion against living under the authority of God the Creator NOT by refusing the rest He ordained, but by laziness during the other six days of the week!It is NATURAL.It is (fallen) human, to be LAZY … to want what it gets regardless of hard work, to want something for nothing …It’s a theme addressed simply and straightforwardly in the NT when Paul writes to the early Christians in Thessalonica as they worked out how they should address their response to meeting the needs of the poor …2 Thess. 3:10: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”Proverbs 20:4, “The sluggard doesn’t plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” The sluggard doesn’t work when he should. Since he doesn’t work when he should, he doesn’t get the food he needs. When he should be working, he is surfing the net or chatting it up with other employees or wasting his time on other things. Proverbs 28:19 says he follows “worthless pursuits.”It isn’t as if the sluggard doesn’t have aspirations and dreams for his life. He is full of desires and longings and spends his days dreaming about what he would like to do. His dreams and desires are as big as the sky. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing.” He longs for the good things in life but refuses to work for them.
  • It isn’t as if the sluggard doesn’t have aspirations and dreams for his life. He is full of desires and longings and spends his days dreaming about what he would like to do. His dreams and desires are as big as the sky. Proverbs 13:4 says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing.” He longs for the good things in life but refuses to work for them.As Proverbs 21:25-26 says, “The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labour. All day long he craves and craves.” Desires without discipline lead nowhere. Desires without work are worthless. The sluggard is always looking for a hand-out and constantly begs for help. Proverbs 30:15 says, “The leech has two daughters: Give and Give.” But as we just saw, Paul lays it on the line for the early church in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone is not willing to work, don’t let him eat.” Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to refuse to help someone … if it can get them jolted out of longing into labouring for the thing that is longed for!
  • The Bible also says laziness is a form of theft. As Proverbs 18:9 says, “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” The lazy person might say, “I am not doing any harm, I’m just chilling out.” But the idea here is that the lazy rob others even if they don’t know it. I wonder if it is possible that there are instances of this within OUR welfare system, and if so then Proverbs would seem to say that this is unacceptable.But it’s ethically unacceptable in WORK too …For instance, that road would be built and that project would be done if people actually worked hard. If you are an employee and aren’t working as you should, then you are actually stealing from your employer.But there really is more to it than that.There’s a Godward element to this thing too.God has made mankind in His image in a certain place in creation to glorify Him by its labour, by its endeavour and by its productivity …Laziness easily equates to robbery from God.We’ll look a bit more at that idea in a short while …But look, there’s a really important point to make here … I don’t often get to quote from Malcolm X!
  • I’m suggesting we need to get our views from better sources than the tabloids …A new survey for the Royal Statistical Society and King's College London (quoted in the Independent May 9th) shows public opinion is repeatedly off the mark on issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration.Benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. Official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent - so the public conception is out by a factor of 34.Among the other surprising figures are that 26 per cent of people think foreign aid is in the top three items the Government spends money on (it actually makes up just 1.1 per cent of expenditure), and that 29 per cent of people think more is spent on Jobseekers' Allowance than pensions.In fact we spend 15 times more on pensions - £4.9 billion on JSA vs £74.2 billion on pensions.Hetan Shah, executive director of the Royal Statistical Society, said: ” "We need to see three things happen. First, politicians need to be better at talking about the real state of affairs of the country, rather than spinning the numbers. Secondly, the media has to try and genuinely illuminate issues, rather than use statistics to sensationalise."And finally we need better teaching of statistical literacy in schools, so that people get more comfortable in understanding evidence."I‘d want to add Christians need to get their viewpoint from the Bible, and churches may need to get better at teaching statistical literacy!(But I’m NOT saying that’s necessarily a job for me!)Now here’s something you will find in the Bible that you DEFINITELY won’t be getting from the tabloids …
  • The second truth we see here is that riches are a blessing from God. Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Riches aren’t a curse but a blessing.HAVING wealth in itself is certainly not something to feel guilty of!John Schneider wrote a book called Godly Materialism in 1994, reminding us that God often blesses his children by giving them wealth.Have material isn’t ungodly – it’s being UNGODLY with it that is actually ungodly!As 1 Timothy 6 says God has given us everything richly to enjoy. We don’t hold to the health and wealth gospel, but we do rejoice in the good things God gives us. If we have wealth, it is the gift of God, thank him for what you have … there’s more to say about this and the Bible balances this principle with other concerns, but as Proverbs 15:6 says, “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure.”Let’s be absolutely clear … there are advantages to having money!Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Riches bring some temporary security in life. As Proverbs 10:15 says, “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin.”
  • We can also say the blessing of prosperity often belongs to those who work hard. Proverbs 28:19 says, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread.” The diligent worker is the one who prospers. Those who prosper don’t only work hard, but they are also wise. They anticipate the future. They plan, invest, and strategize for the future. They invest in what is profitable so that they will have enough in the future. Proverbs 27:23-27 makes this clear, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, 24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? 25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,26 the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. 27 There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls.” The wise worker knows the condition of the business and considers what will bring a profit in the future. As one author says, “To build businesses, and build savings and build real wealth, spiritual as well as material, requires patience and sacrifice.”
  • Furthermore, the wise avoid get rich schemes. They don’t seek to gain wealth on the cheap: “An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end” (Proverbs 20:21). Riches come from planning and hard work.  Steady and faithful work week in and week out, year in and year out leads to prosperity. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5). We are to use common sense and wisdom. We don’t buy a car we can’t afford. We don’t ring up huge debts we can’t pay back. We don’t buy the nicer settee if we can’t afford the payments. We don’t go out to eat if we will go into debt by doing so. We don’t take out student debts that are so high that they hang like a chain around our necks. We don’t go shopping if we know it will lead us to spend money we don’t have. Proverbs 24:27 says, “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” Concentrate your energies wisely. Make sure the top priorities are taken care of first. Otherwise, you may build a house and lack the means to pay for it.
  • But Proverbs goes on to spell out that those who are rich are also to be compassionate to the poor. These blessings are not to be simply used to feed excess.Proverbs 22:9 says, “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 28:27 says “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.” We must not hide our eyes from the suffering of others, but ask God to give us a heart for those who are suffering. Even at a young age, children, can be generous with others by sharing their toys or other good things God has given them.That’s just a good training for life, isn’t it?!And all of us should pray about how we can help the poor with our money. Are we doing anything to help those who are suffering economically?  It is a complex world, and so you may need to research to ensure you are giving to an organization that truly helps the poor and is devoted to the gospel, just as we need to be sure that giving to street beggars isn’t fuelling modern slavery, crime or addiction.But turning mere wealth into a rich life requires compassion.
  • When we think of riches we should think of God. Scripture says that God is rich in mercy, for we deserve his judgment as sinners, but he richly pours his mercy out on us. Romans 2:4 warns us about presuming on the riches of his kindness, for the kindness of God is intended to lead us to repentance. The riches of God’s kindness are poured out so we will see our spiritual poverty. But how is God kind to us? Through his Son Jesus Christ! 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”… but as we’ve seen, moving from wealth to riches is the crucial thing!The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was rich as the second person of the Trinity. But though he was rich, he became poor for our sake. He became poor, not by giving up his deity, but by assuming humanity. And he became poor by giving himself over to death, by humbling himself to death, even death on the cross. He became poor so that we might become rich. If we repent of our sins and turn to God in faith and give ourselves to Christ, we become rich through him. The greatest riches of all belong to us when we know God’s kindness to us in Christ.Before we go any further, it is important to remember that Proverbs are generalizations. We could easily misunderstand what Proverbs says about riches and poverty. Proverbs isn’t simplistic. Solomon recognizes that a person may be rich and wicked. Riches are a blessing from God, and yet they may be obtained wrongly or trusted in wrongly, which brings us to our third truth …
  • A person may be rich but wicked. We read in Proverbs 11:28, “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” If God has given us riches, we may begin to trust in our wealth instead of putting our trust in God. God may take our wealth away in an instant, showing us what we truly relied upon. Riches are God’s blessing, but they can easily become our god. Wealth and comfort may draw us away from God, and so we are never to put our trust in what God has given us. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because someone’s wealthy, he’s wise.It is slightly alarming when you look into the composition of lay leadership teams in the churches … there’s often an evident assumption that those who are wealthy are wise!(Those that are INTELLIGENT are wise … that’s another howler, but that will have to wait for another day!)Riches and wickedness can cohabit.
  • That’s obvious because in some instances, people get rich through crime, extortion and violence. Proverbs 11:16 says “violent men get riches” – but there it’s only talking about MONEY.Wickedness and money can live in the same house. Proverbs says some fascinating things about bribes as well. Remember, Proverbs often records what works in life. Solomon isn’t naïve, he knows the real world. The world of the mafia, of government corruption, of evil business practices would not surprise him in the least. In Proverbs 17:8 he says, “A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it; wherever he turns he prospers.” In other words, bribes often work! Doors may open for us when we offer a bribe.Until God catches up with us and shuts us down!(It doesn’t look so very clever then.)
  • We see the same thing in Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.” We all know that those who give gifts can find themselves in positions of influence and power. We all know that money talks. How many people get plumb government positions or government contracts in countries all over the world because they make the necessary donation? But, just because bribes work, it doesn’t follow that they are right. Proverbs 17:23 makes this very clear, “The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice.” Bribing and accepting bribes perverts justice, even if it works. Sometimes those who get rich get rich by evil means. They may bribe their way to the top, but in doing so they have given themselves over to evil.
  • It’s another grimey feature of money in this world that the rich often feel free to mistreat the poor. Proverbs 22:2 says, “Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate.” So, one may get rich by robbing the poor. The rich may work the market in such a way that they make more money, while in the process they are defrauding others. Proverbs 11:26 says, “The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.” Obviously, the rich are holding back grain to make more money and such a ploy often works, but such an endeavour is not pleasing to God.Profits shouldn’t be our only consideration.The well-being of the poor must also be taken into account.We read in Proverbs 30:14, “There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind.” Solomon teaches that the rich may get their money unjustly or they may oppress the poor. But in oppressing the poor, the rich act against God.
  • Proverbs 17:5 is a sobering word, “Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” God will not abandon the poor. Ultimately, the rich will pay for their mistreatment of those who have less. So, we are reminded that wealth will not rescue us from God’s wrath on the day of judgment. Proverbs 11:4 says, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Comfort in this world doesn’t mean we will find comfort in the next.
  • Finally, the righteous may be poor. Proverbs 28:6 says, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” Proverbs makes it very clear here that one can be poor and a person of integrity. We see the same thing in Proverbs 19:1, “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.” One may be poor and enjoy very little of the world’s goods and yet be righteous and happy in the Lord. We must not be simplistic! The current political discourse about poverty and welfare needs to take this important thing on board from Proverbs: poverty isn’t always due to laziness. It has many causes. Proverbs 15:16-17 tells us, “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.” There are many houses in Wales where there are luxuries and material things and sumptuous meals, and yet hatred and fighting and quarrelling dominate the house.And there are many godly who have very little but have joy in God. We see the same sentiment in Proverbs 16:8, “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.” So, Proverbs doesn’t teach that all those who are poor are lazy and sluggards … in fact Proverbs in particular and the Bible in general very clearly teach us it can be the OPPOSITE!
  • Poverty may come from oppression or other circumstances beyond our control. In closing, we are reminded that riches must not be our aim in life. The stance of Proverbs on wealth is captured well by Proverbs 23:4-5, “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.”  Wealth is a blessing from God, but we must not set our hearts on it or work to the bone to obtain it, for wealth is temporary. If we make comfort and riches our God, we will be deeply disappointed. We thank God for wealth if he gives it, but we don’t set our hearts on it.
  • Firstly it’s about garnering God’s garden … Proverbs is clear about working hard at the purpose of mankind set out in Genesis …Genesis 2:5 – “2:5 Now  no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field 14  had yetsprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.”Genesis 2:8 – “ The Lord God planted an orchard in the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man he had formed”Genesis 2: 15 ff. “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the orchard in Eden to care for it and to maintain it. 2:16 Then the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.”Blessedness, riches, are decreed by God for garnering God’s garden, you see?The point, the plan, the purpose and the place of happiness and wholesomeness DOES lie in doing your part in God’s good creation … God has ordained productive work for mankind!That has implications for those who lack it and want it, as well as for those who rebel against God’s purpose and reject productive work they COULD have … which is why simply giving food to poor people is not an adequate response in itself, and why addressing the need for God-ordained productiveness HAS to concern us as well.But assuming that work has been found that s profitable, the Bible’s teachng about poverty and wealth is (secondly) about being God’s good steward with all of the stuff that you’ve garnered!So the Bible describes several possibilities of response to the good things we’ve got ….It describes …Righteous rich stewards – Biblical examples of righteous rich stewards include Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job (both before and after his life tragedy and season of poverty), Joseph of Arimathea (who gave Jesus his personal tomb), Lydia (who funded much of Paul’s ministry), and Dorcas (who often helped the poor).Righteous poor stewards – Biblical examples of righteous poor stewards include Ruth and Naomi, Jesus Christ, the widow who gave her mite, the Macedonian church, and Paul, who often knew want and hunger.Unrighteous rich stewards – Biblical examples of unrighteous rich stewards include Laban, Esau, Nabal, Haman, the rich young ruler, and Judas Iscariot.Unrighteous poor stewards – Biblical examples of unrighteous poor stewards include the sluggard and the fool, who are repeatedly renounced throughout the book of Proverbs.
  • Proverbs 30:7-9 captures how we should respond to riches and poverty. “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 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.”  Godliness in poverty or wealth is fundamentally true riches.Too much wealth may lead to self-satisfaction so that we cease trusting in the Lord and rely on riches instead.  On the other hand, extreme poverty may have the same effect; we may become desperate and turn to sin to support ourselves.  So, let us ask God to give us our daily bread … but most of all to give us that godliness with contentment that 1 Timothy 6:6 teaches us is actually trye riches, or as Paul puts it, ‘great gain’.
  • Poverty and riches in proverbs

    1. 1. “In those days Israel had everyone Judges 17:6
    2. 2. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction Jack Monroe The Guardian, 19th Feb 2014 Edwina Currie Manchester Evening News 7th Feb 2014
    3. 3. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction In much of the UK, people's incomes are well below the EU average - in some areas by as much as a third. In the map (above) Britain's poorest regions are highlighted, showing how far below the European average incomes have fallen. The Cornish, for example, are 36 per cent less well-off than the EU norm. Families in Slovenia meanwhile are just 16 per cent poorer - and in Portugal 23 per cent
    4. 4. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction
    5. 5. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction
    6. 6. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness
    7. 7. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness – Laziness produces poverty, Proverbs 24 “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
    8. 8. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness – Laziness produces poverty – Laziness WANTS IT BADLY … but doesn’t ACT
    9. 9. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness – Laziness produces poverty – Laziness WANTS IT BADLY … but doesn’t ACT – Laziness easily equates to theft
    10. 10. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich
    11. 11. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich – This blessing often accompanies hard work Proverbs 28:19 :
    12. 12. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich – This blessing often accompanies hard work – Wisdom works for its wealth
    13. 13. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich – This blessing often accompanies hard work – Wisdom works for its wealth – Turning wealth into riches requires compassion
    14. 14. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich – This blessing often accompanies hard work – Wisdom works for its wealth – Turning wealth into riches requires compassion – Turning wealth into riches requires Christ!
    15. 15. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit
    16. 16. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit – Violence can bring riches
    17. 17. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit – Violence can bring riches – Corruption can bring riches
    18. 18. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit – Violence can bring riches – Corruption can bring riches – Mistreating the poor can bring riches
    19. 19. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit – Violence can bring riches – Corruption can bring riches – Mistreating the poor can bring riches – Having wealth is not the same as prospering
    20. 20. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit • Righteousness & poverty can co-habit – Righteous people can be materially poor
    21. 21. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit • Righteousness & poverty can co-habit – Righteous people can be materially poor – Poverty can arise from oppression
    22. 22. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit • Righteousness & poverty can co-habit – Righteous people can be materially poor – Poverty can arise from oppression – Blessed are the poor
    23. 23. Poverty & Riches in Proverbs • Introduction • Laziness • God’s blessing makes rich • Riches and wickedness can co-habit • Righteousness & poverty can co-habit • Conclusion
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