Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22 "The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it."
Proverbs 10:22 Christian Baptist Church Buffalo NY
Despite the propaganda of the televangelists, the Bible does not teach that God wants His children to be wealthy.  It certainly doesn’t teach the Prosperity Gospel, that God is determined to make His children wealthy.  Jesus Christ Himself was severely impoverished while in our world saying, “the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20).  According to Luke 2:24, the woman in whose womb God chose to place His Son was impoverished.  When Paul the Apostle gave His life to Christ, he forfeited his prosperity and God did nothing to preserve it.  In 2 Corinthians 11, he wrote of being “in perils of robbers” and of being “in hunger and thirst” often.

While I have strong objections to the unbiblical propagation of the Prosperity Gospel, I strongly believe that God is in the blessing business.  God is not opposed to wealth. He is not against having nice and even expensive things.  The Bible doesn’t condemn riches or prosperity.  Based on Scriptural principles and Scripture examples, God clearly blesses men and women with riches.  No one knew this better than Solomon.  When he responded to God’s blank check with a request for wisdom, God blessed him with riches since he didn’t ask for wealth.  God didn’t just make Solomon comfortable.  God didn’t just give Solomon a steady paycheck.  God didn’t just give Solomon a nice house and a couple of luxurious chariots.  According to 1 Kings 10:23, God made Solomon the wealthiest man in the world, #1 on Forbes list of billionaires.  Solomon knew by experience and by knowledge of Scripture that God blesses people with riches.  He did so with Abraham, with Isaac, with Job and with plenty of others.

In this proverb, Solomon is differentiating the wealth that comes from the blessing of God from the wealth that comes from all other sources.  Wealth can be accessed by many roads but only one of those roads is smooth.  The blessing of God can bring wealth and when it does, God doesn’t add any sorrow to it.  The wording is intentional because sorrow accompanies everything in this life.  Moses alluded to the inevitability of sorrow in his psalm when he wrote, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and SORROW” (Psalms 90:10).  Sorrow is a part of life because sin is a part of life.  Sorrow is unavoidable because sinners are unavoidable.  God “blessed” Isaac in Genesis 26 and “it made him rich.” But because people are jealous, envious and insecure by nature, the Philistines treated Isaac poorly and forced him out of town.  Isaac experienced sorrow as a result of having people in his life, not because of the blessing of God in his life.  Isaac had sorrow but God’s blessing didn’t “add” sorrow to his life – the Philistines did.

We don’t need the blessing of God to get rich but when we obtain riches by any other means, WE ADD SORROW to our lives.  We can obtain wealth by working excessively but that wealth comes at a high and SAD cost.  Working excessive hours always costs relationships and at the end of life, the wealthy are full of regret and sorrow.  The man who works to excessively fill up his bank account or to accrue massive amounts of retirement funds will do so at the expense of his marriage and family.  The woman who works excessive hours or jobs to afford a big house or a closet full of clothes will do so at the expense of her marriage and family.  The single person who consumes all of their time training to make money or working to make money will forfeit opportunities to establish relationships that could lead to a lifetime of loneliness.  If you are “rich” but your marriage is suffering because of your riches, you’re not experiencing the blessing of God.  If you are “well off” but your relationship with your children is suffering because of long hours at work, you’re not experiencing the blessing of God.  This is precisely why Solomon would later write, “labour not to be rich” (Proverbs 23:4).  For the person who wants to be rich, Solomon wrote that “there is no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches” (Ecclesiastes 4:8).  The person who wants to be rich will work all the overtime he can, as many side jobs as he can and as many jobs as he can.  This person may be hard-working but he is misguided.  Riches obtained by labor will bring sorrow because it will cost relationships.
Wealth in itself is never a clear indication of God’s blessing.

Wealth can be an indication of the blessing of God and it can be an indication of the curse of God.  We see someone winning the lottery as winning the favor of Heaven when in reality, it is almost always indicative of earning the disfavor of Heaven.  Someone plays the lottery because they want to get rich quick.  According to the Bible, someone who wants to get rich quick has an “EVIL eye” (Proverbs 28:22).  Someone who has an “EVIL eye” attracts God’s disapproving attention.  There may be no better way to punish someone’s evil eye than to give them wealth.  Wealth in the wrong hands and in the wrong heart is absolutely destructive.  History proves this fact and Scripture supports this truth.  Paul wrote, “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (1 Timothy 6:9).  Wealth obtained by lottery or by some other event of “chance” may not be the result of God’s blessing but instead be the result of God’s curse.  This is discernable by the resulting and eventual level of sorrow in your life.  If your wealth results in increased sorrow at any point in your life, you’re not experiencing the blessing of the Lord.  If your wealth results in lost relationships, lost character, lost opportunities or lost joy, you’ve obtained wealth by some other means than the blessing of the Lord.
 
If you’re ever going to be wealthy, make sure it is the result of the blessing of God and only the blessing of God.  You’d rather be poor with the blessing of God than be rich without the blessing of God.  You can’t put a price on joy, peace and happiness.  You can’t put a price on relationships. 

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