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No Amount of Ill-Gotten Gain Is Going to Give You Protection In the End
Proverbs 10:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 Treasures of wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
Treasures of wickedness do not profit: The Hebrew (אוֹצָר otsar) rendered treasures means an accumulated wealth in the form of jewelry, money, or other valuables, such as food or property. Here, it refers to a material gain of value or benefit, such as wealth or goods. This wealth being of wickedness means that it was obtained in some unjust or dishonest manner or some moral or ethical wrong way of making the earnings; namely, it is an ill-gotten gain. The Hebrew (יַעַל yaal) that is translated as profit means to profit, to benefit, to get a profit of some value or benefit. In this context, do not profit means that it is of no real advantage or that, in the end, it will do you no good. In other words, these ill-gotten gains are of no real advantage to you in the end.
but righteousness delivers from death: Here, the Hebrew (צְדָקָה tsedaqah) rendered righteousness is when someone adheres to the moral standard set out in God’s Word. (Prov. 2:9) In line one, wickedness referred to every manner of unjust, unfair, or dishonest way of obtaining wealth, so the contrast here is righteousness referring to one who is good, fair, just, or honest in his dealings with others. The other contrast here is that if you are adhering to the moral standard set out in God’s Word, living a good life, being just, fair, and honest as opposed to unjust, unfair, or dishonest, ignoring wisdom, your life will be more meaningful, healthier, and potentially longer if there is no unexpected tragedy. Moreover, you will be on the path (way) to eternal life, not death.
One may become wealthy through some dishonest means, but the money has no real advantage in the end. Yes, you may have a big, beautiful home, the best clothes and jewelry, and the ability to travel in luxury, but wealth cannot stop sickness, old age, or death. Moreover, it cannot give you eternal life. In the end, at the Great Tribulation and Armageddon, there is no amount of ill-gotten gain that is going to give you protection from facing a condemnatory judgment. You will want to continue to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) This proverb is similar to all Bible verses that deal with wealth and riches. It talks about ill-gotten gain through dishonest means and the love of money. Biblically, there is nothing wrong with being wealthy, prosperous, and affluent. Suppose it came through honest means, and you are not ignoring your working on behalf of God, taking care of your family’s spiritual needs. In that case, money does buy a measure of security and healthcare in Satan’s world and benefits your family, friends, neighbors, those who might need help, and your ministry.