Great Riches Prov. 13: 7 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There is a seeming paradox in Prov 13:7 which says, there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. That statement doesn’t make logical sense. Like so many things with God this statement is absolutely contrary to the world’s philosophy of how to get great riches. But the truth about the world’s philosophy of obtaining and retaining wealth is that it results in nothing. There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing.
The classic examples of those who make themselves rich but who end up with nothing are:
The devil – Ezek 28:4-5, the devil by wisdom, understanding, and traffick obtained great riches; Lk 4:5-6 he procured the power and glory of all the kingdoms of the world; Mk 8:36 he truly has gained the whole world but as Jesus said he lost his own soul; Ezek 28:15-19 his body will spontaneously combust into ashes, his wealth will be taken from him and his soul will be cast into the bottomless pit and then into the lake of fire [Rev 20:1-2, 10] – he made himself rich but he has nothing.
The church of the Laodiceans – Rev 3:14-17, they are rich, increased with goods and have need of nothing and yet they are poor – in spite of all their wealth they had nothing – you could never convince a man who had gained so much wealth that he had need of nothing that he was poor – he would think you are crazy – and yet he is bankrupt by God’s measure.
The classic examples of those who make themselves poor but who end up with great riches are:
Jesus Christ – 2 Cor 8:9 – Jesus Christ left his throne of glory to come to this world and be born into a carpenter’s family – he was born in a stable, never owned a home, had to borrow a donkey to make his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and died without a single possession in this world – yet he rose King of kings and Lord of lords, he has a name above every name, he is exalted far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth – he gained millions of brethren, children of God, and secured for Israel their eternal inheritance in the earth – none of this could have been done if he had not become poor – his wealth surpasses the devil’s wealth and he retains it.
The churches of Macedonia – 2 Cor 8:2 – these churches went through deep poverty and yet abounded unto the riches of their liberality – they realized one of the greatest truths in the Bible – you lose it to gain it, Mk 8:35 – they learned this truth from the Lord Jesus Christ – if you want to keep it, let go of it – that’s what Jesus told the rich young ruler [Mk 10:21-22] – it seems so paradoxical that it cannot be true – but it is true – Jesus said, Give and it shall be given unto you [Lk 6:38] – the Macedonians believed that and lived it.
The Church in Smyrna – Rev 2:8-9 – the Lord said, “I know thy poverty, (but thou are rich)” – Jas 2:5 will show you what God saw that their banker couldn’t see – they were rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom – they recognized after the pattern of Jesus that accumulating wealth down here was not great riches – the great riches are accumulated in the kingdom to come!!
Paul the apostle – Acts 18:1-3 and 1 Cor 3:9-11 – Paul didn’t try to amass wealth in his occupation as a tentmaker – he made tents so that he and the people who traveled with him could eat whenever they were ministering in areas where they did not want to exercise their power as ministers to eat of the gospel – he dedicated himself as a wise master builder to the construction of the temple and household of God – he knew the real riches were those which he would receive from the Lord Jesus Christ at the judgment seat of Christ [1 Cor 3:11-15]
Conclusion: so the question is which example are you going to follow? Are you going to follow the devil and the church of the Laodiceans and attempt to amass earthly fortunes which leave you bankrupt in eternity? Or are you going to follow Jesus, the churches of Macedonia, the church in Smyrna and Paul the apostle and forgo the earthly wealth for the true and durable riches of the kingdom to come? In my book, the choice is very simple!!