Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. 23 The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.
Injustice And Giving
Today's verses speak various kinds of increases and decreases in a mans life. It seems Solomon is mentioning some of the insights he gained about people as he observed their everyday life in his kingdom. Maybe when he looked out his window or when he sat in judgment before individuals and heard their stories… You know… underlying every observation we make in life there is a truth where we can gain insight. But like Solomon, we must make our deductions with discernment. We need the Lords help with that.
So looking to the Lord for guidance, let’s think about what Solomon has said.
He tells us how a good man leaves some kind of inheritance to his children’s children… Inheritances usually consist of things like houses, money and land. He likely witnessed men who did this very thing. They were honest men who were not lazy… they worked hard and treated their neighbor justly… He watched how they didn’t spend their paychecks on wine and women or the home shopping network of their day (traveling merchant caravans).... but rather they worshiped the true God of Israel. They provided for their family, they helped those in need, they invested wisely and saved for their children… These were good men (not perfect) but they made good choices with their life and with their income. Solomon saw a truth… a principal we can adopt for our good in the lives of these kinds of men.
But then in the same verse Solomon shares something which at first glance is kind of strange to me… He says that the wealth of sinners makes its way to them who are righteous. How might this happen?
Proverbs 28:8 says: Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
This goes along with the point Solomon is making in todays verse but it extends the benefits that come to the good man beyond his children’s children to the poor. Somehow the hard working wise righteous man is always blessed enough to provide for his family and to help the needy.
Solomon probably witnessed these men giving freely to the poor and yet by some miracle God always refilled their life with blessings so they could keep giving. Gods math works differently than mans.
2nd Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Is this the health and wealth gospel we sometimes hear preached? No, that is a false gospel… this is different. It’s something different… It’s real and amazing and for the glory of God.
In 2nd Corinthians Paul is of course writing to the church in Corinth but he has been presenting the churches of Macedonia to them as an example of how God wants to work in their lives which goes along with our Proverbs passage.
In chapter 8 Paul writes this: 1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
These were poor people… poor but good people because of the righteousness of Jesus upon their life. God uses his miracle math to keep blessing them enough to give to help the believers who were hurting in Jerusalem.
Did God make them rich physically? No it seems not, there is no indication of that. He just kept blessing them in whatever way he decided so they could abound in every good work.
Were all the good people in Solomon's day rich? I think not… the very next verse in today's passage says: 23 The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.
So Solomon observed the truth in this as well. Like the believers in Macedonia and those in Jerusalem who were treated unjustly for being Christians, Solomon likely saw some godly people in Israel who were treated unjustly by the powerful.
So then, are the godly people who are poor because of injustice able to leave an inheritance to family like the good man in the previous verse? And is the sinners wealth laid up for the those who are righteous but treated unjustly by being kept poor?
Yes! Thankfully Gods math is the same miracle math taught in the kingdom of God. Even in this world not only do we receive an earnest kind of down payment of our spiritual inheritance, but God intersects and quickens our physical lives in various ways with blessings that sustain us and bless others and glorify him.
As the Macedonians helped the believers in various ways who were treated unjustly in Jerusalem by forwarding them the things God intentionally multiplied into their life, God multiplies blessings upon us whether we are rich or poor in physical things… He gives so we can give in his name… These are differing blessings… kingdom blessings… sometimes spiritual, sometimes physical… He gives so we can bless and give to the needy around us and even to our own family... our children and children children. And you know... we are able to leave the greatest inheritance ever known to our loved ones. An inheritance full of unsearchable riches that points them to Jesus as the greatest treasure in the Universe.
Let me close with another favorite verse of mine that comes from 2nd Corinthians 9 as Paul was making the case we looked at:
2nd Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.