Get Rich Quick

Proverbs 21:5.

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” (KJV).
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (NLT).

What’s Wrong With That?

It’s amazing to me how many people chase after the latest get-rich quick schemes. “Make money fast from home and become a millionaire this year! Small investment, big return!” And don’t even get me started on lottery tickets: They are aptly named an “idiot tax.”

In the small town that I live in, we have a corner convenience store just down the street from my house, and it’s amazing to me that almost every time I walk in there, someone is buying a lottery ticket or scratch-and-win ticket, hoping to be the next big winner. What’s going on here? It seems we have created an entire culture that is devoted to trying to get something for nothing, to get rich without having to do any work for it. But some might be asking – is there really anything wrong with that? Well, that depends on whether or not you believe the Bible.

Poverty or Prosperity?

In today’s Scripture, Solomon tells us that we can choose plenteousness or want, prosperity or poverty. To reach each destination, there are two very different roads that lead there.

If you want to be prosperous, the road is called good planning and hard work. No shortcuts here! You need to be diligent. Get a job and work hard. And as Matthew Henry says, “The thoughts of the diligent are as necessary as the hand of the diligent. Forecast is as good as work.” It’s good to plan ahead if you want to prosper and do well financially! Plan a budget. Honour the Lord with your tithe. Be generous and give to the poor. All of these will help you succeed.

If you want to be poor, it’s a whole lot easier to get there. Don’t be diligent. Don’t get a job. Don’t work hard. Don’t plan ahead. Spend foolishly. Waste your money on things lottery tickets and other things you don’t really need. You’ll be poor before you know it!

Lord, help us as your people to make good plans and work hard, so you can bless us financially. Not just so we can be blessed, blessed, blessed, but we know you bless us so that we can be a blessing to others. To help the poor. To build the Kingdom of God. To make a difference in the lives of others. Help us to make wise choices with our finances, and be good stewards of all of our resources. In Jesus’ name, amen.


3 responses to “Get Rich Quick

  • smokesagoodpipe

    Once again I agree completely and once again I feel the need to exercise my tendency to over-think,

    Is it possible that (as in countless other proverbs) the writer is speaking both literally and also allegorically about the pursuit of wisdom. In many instances in Proverbs (8:11, 16:16, etc) wisdom is compared to wealth and treasure. I suggest that we the reader are invited to learn to be diligent in seeking wisdom which is the greatest treasure.

    In our society the concept of wisdom has become cheapened but I think that this proverb (any many others) call us back to seeing that true wisdom is not something to be gained but is more like a relationship towards the truth which requires constant hard work.

    • Chris Jordan

      There are definitely different places in Proverbs where the Scripture verse has both a literal and allegorical sense to it. And of course, the main theme of the Book of Proverbs is wisdom and getting all of the wisdom, understanding and knowledge that you can. However, in our focus on the theme of wisdom, we must make sure that we don’t miss some of the equally important sub-themes of Proverbs – i.e. righteousness versus wickedness, diligence versus laziness, prosperity versus poverty, as well as teachings about relationships, family and more.
      Thanks for adding your voice to the discussion – have a great day!

    • Anthony Baker

      By all means, over-think all you want, just as long as you keep coming back here to express the results of your over-thinking tendencies.

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