So here we go starting a new work week. What are your goals for this week? To make so much profit? To make so many sales? To land that one elusive client you’ve been after for months? To finally get the courage to ask your boss for a raise? To finally find a job? None of these in and of themselves are wicked. Goals are not wicked, only hearts are. Goals are, however, fleeting, just as the treasures these goals can bring are fleeting. So what’s the answer?
“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:2-3)
Solomon is teaching not that treasures profit nothing, but those of the wicked are profitless. Why? Because often the wicked will do whatever it takes to make that profit. The Bible calls it unjust gain and clearly shows its worthlessness:
“A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” (Psalm 37:16-17)
In fact, Solomon says that those who will do and say anything to make a buck are delusional and dying:
“He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16)
There are some who think they are on the path of financial greatness and independence and in the end they end up being a fool:
“As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, so is he who gets riches, but not by right; it will leave him in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool.” (Jeremiah 17:11)
You might be thinking the Biblical address of Jeremiah 17:11 seems familiar, but are you not thinking of two verses prior?
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Who can know it? God can know it!
“I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10)
Gosh Bro Dave, you’re not turning into some profit-hating liberal are you? I can assure you that is not what is happening. But as I was reading Proverbs 10 this morning, God impressed upon my heart the many people I know and the numerous accounts in the Bible of the ruin of the wicked seeking unjust gain. Commentators Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown remind us, writing on unjust gain:
“They did not profit the rich fool so as to deliver him from the second death, which is death indeed (Luke 11:19-20). All the profit that Ahab got out of Naboth’s vineyard was the curse of God (1 Kings 21:19-24). Judas’ thirty pieces of silver, gained by betraying the Lord, were the source of despair and remorse, ending in suicide and eternal perdition.”
So how do I start my work week with a mind of righteousness and not wicked intent? The Apostle Paul left us clear instruction:
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:23:25)
Beloved, let’s make this week a good and Godly week, one that our Lord can sign His name to…
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers