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Maintain a Good Standing with God
Proverbs 8:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 endowing those who love me with wealth,
and their treasuries I will fill.
Endowing those who love me with wealth: This does literally mean that wisdom can cause those who love (obey) her to inherit wealth (financial security). Here in the Hebrew Old Testament, wealth (יֵשׁ yesh), as a noun, means an abundance of material possessions and resources. This is not a text to be used to support the false teaching of prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel), as is the case with the false teachers within the televangelism industry.
Unlike the patriarchs and the nation of Israel, those who are followers of Jesus Christ have the commission to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:8) Carrying out that commission demands money, time, and effort that may otherwise be used more fully in secular pursuits. Therefore, a person who continues to obsess over his wealth rather than lightening himself enough to be able to use his time and resources to carry out the great commission is really no disciple of Jesus with the prospect of gaining eternal life.
And their treasuries I will fill: Here the plural Hebrew noun rendered treasures (אוֹצָר otsar) refers to a storehouse where wealth and precious objects can be kept safely. Throughout the Scriptures, the importance is placed not on accumulating material riches but rather on good standing with God. This standing is kept strong by a person continuing to listen and obey wisdom by faith in God.
The message here in verses 18-21 is that wisdom results in one growing in righteousness, spiritually, and even financial security, but not through any unrighteous activities of the world. In other words, this one is not getting himself and his family involved in “get rich schemes,” cheating on taxes, making dishonest business transactions, obsessing with his career, or the like. Alternatively, he is living a life that is on the path of justice, walking in the way of righteousness. Financial security and honor come from one’s righteous conduct, and wisdom can bring one material wealth, but not if their heart is in the pursuit of riches. If we pursue and chase wealth, we have not heard or understood one word that wisdom has uttered. Any material wealth that one may gain results from heeding wisdom in all things; wisdom is not in and of itself a guide to wealth; the wealth comes incidentally because we properly and effectively use godly wisdom.
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