Financial Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs – John Boruff

The Book of Proverbs is probably the greatest piece of wisdom literature ever compiled in the history of the world. Most of it was written by King Solomon, the son of King David, who was considered not only the wisest man of his time, but the richest. Being that as it is, it follows that the Book of Proverbs is literally filled with economic directions, financial wisdom, and various sayings by other wise men, including Agur (ch. 30) and King Lemuel (ch. 31). Without being too off topic, although this article will be closely examining the economic subjects in the Book of Proverbs, the book also contains stern warnings AGAINST ADULTERY multiple times, since the book is directed to young men (1:8).

1 Kings 4:29-34: “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite–wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

1 Kings 3:11-15: “God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for–both riches and honor–so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in My ways and obey My statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.’ Then Solomon awoke–and he realized it had been a dream.” 

ESPECIALLY SEE (free pdf): Gary North’s Wisdom and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Proverbs.

See also Steven K. Scott’s The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon’s Secrets to Success, Wealth, and Happiness.

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What Does the Bible Say About Capitalism?

Answer: The dictionary defines Capitalism as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.” While the Bible doesn’t mention Capitalism by name, it does speak a great deal about economic issues. For example, whole sections of the Book of Proverbs and many of the Parables of Jesus deal with economic matters. As such, we learn what our attitude should be toward wealth and how a Christian should handle his finances. The Bible also provides us with a description of our human nature which helps us to evaluate the possible success of and failure of an economic system in society. [Originally from here.]

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DIVINE PROVISION FOR TITHING

3:9-10: “9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES DAILY IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY

3:27-28: “27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” – when you now have it with you.”

AVOID THE TRAP OF CO-SIGNS, LOAN CONTRACTS, AND MORTGAGES

6:1-5: “1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, 2 if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, 3 then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! 4 Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. 5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.”

WORK HARD AND SAVE MONEY
DON’T BE LAZY OR YOU WILL BE POOR

6:6-11: “6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”

WEALTH IS ACQUIRED THROUGH WISDOM

8:1, 18, 21: “1 Does not Wisdom call out?… 18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity…21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.”

MONEY IS WORTHLESS IF ACQUIRED UNETHICALLY
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL NOT GO HUNGRY
LAZY PEOPLE BECOME POOR
HARD WORKERS BECOME RICH
SAVE MONEY
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL HAVE FINANCIAL SECURITY
POVERTY RUINS THE LIVES OF THE POOR
TRIALS DESTROY THE WICKED, BUT THE RIGHTEOUS STAND FIRM
THE FEAR OF THE LORD LENGTHENS THE LIVES OF THE RIGHTEOUS

10:2-6, 9, 15-16, 22, 25, 27: “Ill-gotten treasures are of no value…The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry…4 Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. 5 He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son…Blessings crown the head of the righteous…The man of integrity walks securely…15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. 16 The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment…22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it…25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever…27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.”

GOD DELIGHTS IN FAIR PRICES
THE CITY REJOICES WHEN THE RIGHTEOUS PROSPER
FINANCIAL ADVISORS (OR PLANNERS) MAKE MEN FINANCIALLY SUCCEED
IT IS PAINFUL AND DANGEROUS TO CO-SIGN A LOAN
GOD WITHHOLDS FINANCIAL BLESSING FROM THE STINGY
GOD RELEASES FINANCIAL BLESSING TO THE GENEROUS
THE WICKED WILL FALL: WHO TRUST IN THEIR RICHES INSTEAD OF GOD
THE RIGHTEOUS ARE FINANCIALLY SECURE BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH

11:1, 10-11, 14-15, 24-25, 28, 31: “1 The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight…10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. 11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed…14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure. 15 He who puts up security for another will surely suffer, but whoever refuses to strike hands in pledge is safe…24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed…28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf…the righteous receive their due on earth.”

THE HOUSE OF THE RIGHTEOUS STANDS FIRM
MORE WORK = MORE FOOD
FINANCIAL WISDOM ASSUMES LISTENING TO FINANCIAL ADVICE
HARD WORK LEADS TO MANAGEMENT POSITIONS
LAZINESS ENDS IN MINIMUM WAGE JOBS
LAZY MEN ARE TOO LAZY TO COOK THEIR MEALS–SO THEY HUNGER
HARD WORKERS CHERISH THE POSSESSIONS THEY HAVE EARNED

12:7, 11, 14-15, 21, 24, 27: “The house of the righteous stands firm…He who works his land will have abundant food…the work of his hands rewards him…a wise man listens to advice…No harm befalls the righteous…24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor…27 The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions.”

HARD WORKERS WILL SEE THEIR DESIRES SATISFIED
A WISE, GODLY RICH MAN PRETENDS TO BE POOR IN HIS LIFESTYLE
SAVING SHOULD BE DONE LITTLE BY LITTLE: AND BILLS CAN BE PAID
PROSPERITY IS THE REWARD OF THE RIGHTEOUS
THE GOOD MAN LEAVES AN INHERITANCE FOR HIS GRANDKIDS
EVEN A POOR MAN CAN MAKE MONEY IF HE WORKS HARD AT HIS JOB
THE RIGHTEOUS EAT TO THEIR HEARTS’ CONTENT

13:4, 7, 11, 21-23, 25: “The desires of the diligent are fully satisfied…7 One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow21 Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous. 22 A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. 23 A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away…25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry.”

HARD WORKERS, LIKE OXEN, PRODUCE WEALTH FROM THEIR JOBS
THE HOUSE OF THE RIGHTEOUS IS PRODUCTIVE AND FLOURISHING
THE RIGHTEOUS ARE REWARDED FOR THEIR WORKS
THE RICH HAVE MANY FRIENDS
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE KIND AND GENEROUS TO THE POOR
TALK IS CHEAP–HARD WORK LEADS TO PROFIT
FINANCIAL SECURITY IS FOR THE WISE RICH MAN WHO FEARS GOD
MANAGERS DELIGHT IN WISE EMPLOYEES

14:4, 11, 14, 20-21, 23-24, 26, 31-32, 35: “From the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest…11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish…14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his…20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy…23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty…The wealth of the wise is their crown…He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge…31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. 32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge…A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant incurs his wrath.”

THE HOUSE OF THE RIGHTEOUS CONTAINS TREASURE
BETTER TO BE POOR AND FEAR GOD THAN TO BE RICH AND UNGODLY
RIGHTEOUS MEN (CLEAN THEIR HOUSE): OR CLEAR THE PATHWAY
FINANCIAL PLANNERS LEAD YOU TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS
HE WHO HATES BRIBES WILL LIVE
WISE MEN LISTEN TO LIFE-GIVING REBUKES

15:6, 16-17, 19, 22, 25, 27, 31: “6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble…16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. 17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred…19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway…22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed25 The Lord tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact…27 A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live…31 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.”

DEDICATE YOUR PLANS TO JESUS AND THEY WILL SUCCEED
MEN CAN MAKE PLANS, BUT GOD WORKS OUT THE SPECIFICS
GODLY FINANCIAL WISDOM IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY ITSELF
BETTER TO BE POOR THAN FRIENDS WITH A PROUD RICH MAN
HE WHO OBEYS GODLY FINANCIAL TEACHING WILL BECOME WEALTHY
HUNGER DRIVES MEN TO WORK HARDER FOR THEIR FOOD

16:3, 8-9, 11, 16, 19-20, 26: “3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed…8 Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. 9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps…11 Honest scales and balances are from the Lord; all the weights in the bag are of his making…16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!…19 Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. 20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord…26 The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.”

BETTER TO HAVE LITTLE FOOD & PEACE THAN A BANQUET & STRIFE
FOOLS ARE AWFUL WITH MONEY, BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEEK WISDOM
A MAN OF POOR JUDGMENT SIGNS A CO-SIGN
PERVERTS DO NOT PROSPER
THE WICKED ACCEPT BRIBES TO PERVERT JUSTICE

17:1-2, 16, 18-20, 23: “1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. 2 A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers…16 Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?…18 A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor…he who builds a high gate invites destruction…A man of perverse heart does not prosper…23 A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice.”

IT IS DESTRUCTIVE TO BE LAZY ON THE JOB
THE RICH WRONGLY TRUST IN THEIR WEALTH:–IT CAN BE STOLEN!
GIVING GIFTS OPENS DOORS
IT IS NATURAL FOR THE POOR TO PLEAD FOR MERCY OUT OF HUMILITY
IT IS NATURAL FOR THE RICH TO BE HARSH OUT OF PRIDE

18:9, 11, 16, 23: “9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys…11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall…16 A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great…23 A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.”

GENEROUS RICH MEN HAVE MANY FRIENDS, BUT NOT THE POOR
IT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR A FOOL TO LIVE IN LUXURY
HOUSES AND WEALTH ARE INHERITED FROM PARENTS
THE UNEMPLOYED WILL GO HUNGRY
GIVING TO THE POOR = GIVING TO CHRIST: AND GOD WILL REWARD YOU
BETTER TO BE POOR THAN A WEALTHY LIAR
HE WHO ROBS HIS FATHER BRINGS SHAME ON HIMSELF

19:1, 4, 6-8, 10, 14-15, 17, 22, 24, 26: “1 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse…4 Wealth brings many friends, but a poor man’s friend deserts him…everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts. 7 A poor man is shunned by all his relatives-how much more do his friends avoid him! Though he pursues them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found…he who cherishes understanding prospers…It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury…Houses and wealth are inherited from parents…15 Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry…17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done…better to be poor than a liar…24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!…26 He who robs his father and drives out his mother is a son who brings shame and disgrace.”

LAZY MEN DON’T WORK HARD–SO THEY REAP NO FINANCIAL REWARDS
GOD HATES UNFAIR PRICES
STAYING AWAKE + WORKING = WEALTH AND FOOD
GODLY FINANCIAL WISDOM IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY
MONEY GAINED BY LYING AND FRAUD:–ITS FOOD WILL TASTE BAD
GET A FINANCIAL PLANNER

20:4, 10, 13-15, 17-18, 21, 23: “4 A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing…10 Differing weights and differing measures-the Lord detests them both…13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. 14 “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer; then off he goes and boasts about his purchase. 15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel…17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel. 18 Make plans by seeking advice21 An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end…23 The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.”

THE PLANS OF HARD WORKERS LEAD TO PROFIT
A FORTUNE MADE BY LIES QUICKLY DISAPPEARS AND IS A DEADLY TRAP
HE WHO IGNORES THE CRIES OF THE POOR WILL ALSO BE IGNORED
A GIFT GIVEN IN SECRET SOOTHES ANGER
HE WHO LOVES PLEASURE, OIL, AND WINE WILL ALWAYS BE POOR
LAZY MEN STARVE TO DEATH BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO GET A JOB
THE RIGHTEOUS ARE GENEROUS AND GIVE WITHOUT SPARING

21:5-6, 13-14, 17, 25-26: “5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. 6 A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare…13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. 14 A gift given in secret soothes anger…17 He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich…25 The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. 26 All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.”

A GOOD REPUTATION IS MORE VALUABLE THAN RICHES
GOD MADE ALL MEN: BOTH THE RICH AND THE POOR
A PRUDENT MAN SEES DANGER AND GETS INSURANCE, ETC.
HUMILITY AND THE FEAR OF GOD BRING WEALTH, HONOR, AND LIFE
THE RICH RULE OVER THE POOR
THE BORROWER IS SERVANT TO LOANS, MORTGAGES, ETC
GOD FINANCIALLY BLESSES THOSE WHO SHARE FOOD WITH THE POOR
LAZY MEN STAY INSIDE AND REFUSE TO WORK BECAUSE OF FEAR
OPPRESSORS OF THE POOR AND BRIBERS OF THE RICH–WILL BE POOR
DO NOT EXPLOIT THE POOR, BECAUSE GOD WILL DEFEND THEM
DO NOT SIGN A CO-SIGN OR GET A LOAN
BE CONTENT WITH THE PRIVATE PROPERTY YOU HAVE INHERITED
SKILLED EMPLOYEES WILL WORK FOR WEALTHY MEN

22:1-4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 22-23, 26-29: “1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. 2 Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all. 3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. 4 Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!” or, “I will be murdered in the streets!”…16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty22 Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, 23 for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them26 Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; 27 if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you. 28 Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers. 29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”

22:26, NLT: “Do not co-sign another person’s note or put up a guarantee for someone else’s loan.”

SHOW SELF-CONTROL IN YOUR WORK ETHIC AND IN PURSUING WEALTH
RICHES ARE HERE TODAY AND GONE TOMORROW
DO NOT EAT THE FOOD OF A STINGY MAN
DO NOT TAKE THE LAND OF AN ORPHAN, BECAUSE GOD WILL DEFEND IT
DO NOT ENVY SINNERS, BUT ZEALOUSLY FEAR GOD
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE:–OR BE FUTURE-ORIENTED
DRUNKARDS AND GLUTTONS BECOME LAZY AND POOR

23:4-8, 10-11, 17-18, 20-21: “4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. 6 Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; 7 for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. 8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten and will have wasted your compliments…10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, 11 for their Defender is strong; He will take up their case against you…17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. 18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off20 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, 21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

HOUSES SHOULD BE BUILT WITH CAREFUL PLANNING
WEALTH IS ACQUIRED THROUGH FINANCIAL WISDOM
IS YOU WANT “SUCCESS,” THEN YOU NEED MANY FINANCIAL PLANNERS
BIBLICAL WISDOM WILL SECURE A SOLID HOPE FOR YOUR FUTURE
WORK HARD AND SAVE MONEY –> BUY A LOT –> BUILD YOUR HOUSE
THE MORE YOU SLEEP, THE LESS YOU WORK, THE POORER YOU ARE

24:3-4, 6, 14, 27, 30-34: “3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures…6 for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers14 Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off27 Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house30 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; 31 thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. 32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-34 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”

AN EMPTY-HEADED MAN BOASTS OF RICHES HE DOESN’T HAVE
FEED YOUR ENEMY; AND HE MIGHT COME UNDER CONVICTION OF SIN

25:14, 21-22: “14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give…21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

LAZY MEN STAY HOME, SLEEP, WON’T EAT, AND THINK THEY ARE WISE

26:13-16: “13 The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!’ 14 As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. 15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. 16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.”

PRUDENT MEN GET INSURANCE
KNOW THE CONDITION OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AND STOCKS

27:12, 23-27: “12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it…23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; 24 for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. 25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, 26 the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. 27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed you and your family and to nourish your servant girls.”

BETTER TO BE POOR AND RIGHTEOUS…THAN TO BE RICH AND WICKED
HIGH-INTEREST MONEYLENDERS WILL BE JUDGED BY GOD (SCROOGE)
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL RECEIVE A GOOD INHERITANCE
BIBLICALLY WISE POOR MEN CAN SEE THROUGH THE EVILS OF THE RICH
HE WHO HATES ILL-GOTTEN GAIN WILL LIVE LONG
HARD WORKING MEN CAN PROVIDE, BUT NOT FANTASY-CHASERS
LONG-TERM EMPLOYEES WILL BE FINANCIALLY BLESSED
GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEMERS AND THE STINGY WILL BE PUNISHED
IT IS WRONG AND DESTRUCTIVE TO ROB YOUR PARENTS
GREEDY MEN ARE TROUBLE-MAKERS
HE WHO TRUSTS IN THE LORD WILL PROSPER
HE WHO GIVES TO THE POOR WILL LACK NOTHING

28:3, 6, 8, 10-12, 16, 19-20, 22, 24-25, 27: “3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops…6 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse8 He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor…the blameless will receive a good inheritance. 11 A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation…he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 20 A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished22 A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him24 He who robs his father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong”–he is partner to him who destroys. 25 A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.”

MEN WHO GO TO PROSTITUTES SQUANDER THEIR WEALTH
THE RIGHTEOUS CARE ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR THE POOR

29:2-4, 7, 13-14: “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice…a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth4 By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down…7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern…13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both. 14 If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.”

THE LOWER MIDDLE CLASS LIFESTYLE IS BIBLICAL AND RIGHTEOUS
DO NOT TELL A LIE ABOUT A CO-WORKER TO HIS BOSS
DON’T BE A LEECH OR A BEGGAR; RATHER, BE A HARD WORKER
ANTS ARE A GOOD PICTURE OF THE BIBLICAL WORK ETHIC

30:8-10, 14-15, 24-26: “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. 10 “Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it…14 those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from among mankind. 15 “The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry…24 “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: 25 Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer; 26 coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags.”

KINGS SHOULD NOT DRINK ALCOHOL OR THEY WILL FORGET THE LAW
A LITTLE ALCOHOL CAN ALLEVIATE PAIN AND SUFFERING
[BUT GETTING DRUNK IS A DAMNABLE SIN (LUKE 21:34; ROMANS 13:13)]
DEFEND THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF THE POOR AND NEEDY

31:4-9, 10-20, 24-25, 27: “4 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel-not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

THE PROVERBS 31 WOMAN: A WORK-AT-HOME MOM
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren’s Work at Home Now, chs 6-12

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

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About John Boruff

John Boruff is the founder of WesleyGospel.com, a husband, father, and sometimes an open air preacher. He graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2008 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and views himself as a Wesleyan Pentecostal. As a Christian, he feels connected with all members of the body of Christ, but can identify the most with churches like the Assemblies of God and the Vineyard. In 2015, he released "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," which is meant to be a Bible study for open air preaching. For his other writings, search articles on this site or see the E-Books section.
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