Welcome | Latest Image | Random Image | Images by Topic | Verses Used | Log In | Postcards | What I Believe | Help | Contact Me
God and Money

A recent (September 18, 2006) Time magazine carried an article with the title "Does God Want You To Be Rich?" the article highlighted an apparent contradiction in the Bible on this topic which is really worth exploring. On one hand, there are verses in the Bible that indicate the answer is yes. On the other are verses that warn of the perils of wealth. Here are various verses on this topic spilt into these apparent camps:

Wealth is OK
Wealth Warning
  • When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10

  • But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18

  • Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10.

  • Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4

  • The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. Proverbs 14:20

  • The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble. Proverbs 15:6

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

  • Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous. A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:21-22

  • Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

  • Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

  • Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10

  • Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

  • Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? Luke 16:10-12

  • Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:12

  • Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
    who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
    Psalm 112:1-3




  • Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. Psalm 37:16-17

  • Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him. Psalm 49:16-17

  • Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them. Psalm 62:10

  • Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. Proverbs 3:13-17

  • Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 11:4

  • Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28

  • Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:16

  • Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. 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. Proverbs 23:4-5

  • Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? Ecclesiastes 5:10-11

  • Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

  • No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Matthew 6:24

  • Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:23-25

  • The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14

  • Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15

  • People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:9-10

  • Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

  • Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

  • To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3:14-17


Questions:

  • What if the verses on the left are amplified and the verses on the right ignored? Would we put self first and forget the good news of Jesus? How would we treat those less fortunate than ourselves?

  • What if the verses on the right are amplified and the verses on the left ignored? Would we scorn the blessings we receive from God?

Ultimately this is a subject that tests our hearts with one question: whom do we serve? Ourselves or God? I think that the 'Prayer of Jabez' can really illustrate this personally - read here for more.

In conclusion consider:

  • The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 1 Samuel 2:7.

  • I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11

  • I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

And a final prayer:

  • Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 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.
    Proverbs 30:8-9.


John Bell
October 25th 2006
Irvine, California, USA.

 

What I Believe | Contact Me

All images copyright 1998- John Bell

Link to www.jrbell.com with this button

Resources | Bible | Image Licensing Terms | Site Map | BLOG