The Diamonds of Proverbs

Continuing in a series on Proverbs & money.

"The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”
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.
Proverbs 10:3-5

We discussed last time in Proverbs 10:2 that the short term gains of the wicked cannot be sustained in the long run, but the righteous will reap eternal returns as God delivers them from death. The next set of verses deal with our relationship with money as well, but before we go any further, it is worth noting how we might best interpret the Proverbs. It may be helpful to think of the Proverbs as diamonds that refract the light of God’s wisdom in such a way that when turned in the hand of His children provide unique, but inter-dependent glimpses of God’s brilliance. I believe there are 3 main refraction points within the Proverbial diamond which display 1) the temporal benefits of God’s wisdom, 2) the eternal benefits of God’s wisdom, and 3) the fulfillment of God’s wisdom in Christ.

As it relates to the first point in the spectrum above, note that the temporal benefits of applying God’s wisdom are generally fulfilled over the long term of our earthly life, but are NOT necessarily a guilt-edge guarantee in every circumstance. For example, wise men at times go hungry or experience earthly deficiencies. We only have to look as far as the apostle Paul for proof of that, or even Jesus who was “worse off” than the foxes and birds in being without a place to lay his head. Nevertheless, God’s wisdom is evident in universal truisms that when followed, generally produce repeated benefits, whether for an individual or a community.

Yet, even if the temporary, earthly benefits of living a life of practical wisdom are not always guaranteed, the eternal benefits are assured for those who have internalized God’s wisdom! They are secure because these benefits go beyond that which is passing away; namely this earth and all that is in it. The eternal benefits are not playing unlimited golf and riding 4-wheelers on streets of gold, but the gaining of God himself.

Finally, the only way to secure any real and lasting benefit, for here or in eternity, is to cover yourself with the ultimate fulfillment of God’s wisdom. Christ alone perfectly fulfilled every implication of the Proverbs. First Corinthians 1:30 says that this “Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption”.

I apologize for the sidebar. We’ll get back to looking at specific Proverbs next week and discover if our earthly work and how we do it matters to God.

No comments: