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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
October 14, 2012
Proverbs on Economics
This morning we are going to examine the book of Proverbs on the subject of economics. This is a subject over which most people have strong opinions, but which few seem to actually understand from a Biblical perspective. There are few things that are more irrelevant from an eternal perspective since as Job 1:21 points out you enter this world naked and you will depart the same way. At the same time, there are few things that are more revealing about your spiritual condition than your use of finances.
Not long after I first came to this church, I had a lot of pressure put on me by the chairman of the Deacons at that time to speak about giving since the church finances were extremely low. I still remember his shock when my first sermon in a series on finances was entitled, “God Doesn’t Need Your Money.” Since I have given multiple sermon series on finances in the past (See: Finances & Stewardship), a single sermon on the subject will be by contrast quite limited by time constraints. However, that does not mean that Proverbs does not have a lot to say about finances.
I found over 200 Proverbs that touch on topics related to economics such as wealth, its source, wisdom and foolishness in the use of finances, business practices, planning, gambling, generosity, greed, diligence, sloth, honesty, cheating, loans, surety and inheritance. These Proverbs are directed at micro-economics (personal finances), but the principles certainly apply to macro-economics (community and national finances). This truth is born out in that both historically and in the present, for those nations that have followed Biblical principles have done well economically, and those that have not have done poorly over time. I have to add the time factor in because there have been governments that have done well economically in the short term by stealing the wealth from its citizens or others to finance their programs. That has been common in communist nations and it was also true of Nazi Germany. However, the stolen wealth is usually quickly squandered and unless there are continually new sources of revenue, their systems collapse upon themselves as we saw occur in the former Soviet empire and its Eastern European satellite nations.
This morning we will be focusing just on the various verses in Proverbs related to economics. If the principles in them are understood, then it should not be hard for you to apply them in your own life and also see their ramifications in national policy.
Rich vs Poor
We will start with some of the general statements about the rich and poor only because there are still many that have the idea that the poor are superior to the rich. The supposed basis of this is Jesus’ statement in Luke 6:20, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” Because of this, some people will take vows of poverty in order to gain the spiritual reward they seek. The rest of Jesus’ teachings make it clear that neither poverty nor wealth assures entrance into God’s kingdom. That is a matter of believing and following the Lord Jesus Christ. Others take this idea and twist it so that while believing the poor have a spiritual advantage, they also believe the rich are supposed to supply the needs of the poor. It is hard to know if that twisted idea is a jealous attack on the rich or an effort to keep the poor from reaping too much spiritual benefit.
Proverbs makes it clear that there are definite advantages to having wealth. Proverbs 10:15, “The rich man’s wealth is his fortress, The ruin of the poor is their poverty.” Proverbs 19:4, “Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend.” Proverbs 14:20, “The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many.”
While the rich have an advantage, Proverbs 22:2 points out their equality before God, “The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all.” Their wealth can even hinder them in what is actually important. Proverbs 18:11, “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination.” Trusting riches is a false hope that can be dangerous – “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf,” (Proverbs 11:28). The pride that can arise with wealth can blind them, “The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him,” (Proverbs 28:11).
Better than Wealth
In our materialistic society there are many that pursue wealth, and being rich has its advantages, but it should always be kept in mind that there are many things that are more important. Here are some of them. Wisdom and understanding – Proverbs 3:13-15, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.” (See also Proverbs 8:1-11,18-21; 16:16, 20:15). The fear of the Lord – Proverbs 15:16, “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord Than great treasure and turmoil with it.” Integrity and a good name – Proverbs 28:6, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than he who is crooked though he be rich,”and Proverbs 22:1″A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” (Also Proverbs 19:1). Humility and righteousness – Proverbs 16:19, “It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud,” Proverbs 16:8, “Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice.” Love and quietness – Proverbs 15:17, “Better is a dish of vegetables where love is Than a fattened ox served with hatred,” and Proverbs 17:1, “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife.”
Source of Wealth
Part of the problem in economics is what people pursue in order to gain wealth. People can become personally rich through evil means such as murder and stealing as warned about in Proverbs 1:10-19, but such people place their own lives at risk. Proverbs 13:7 warns that “wealth obtained by fraud dwindles.” Proverbs 28:8 warns that “He who increases his wealth by interest and usury Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.” When the means of gaining wealth is at the unjust expense of others, there is a net loss in the economy and the sinful individual places himself under God’s wrath.
There are righteous ways in which to gain wealth through God’s blessing. Proverbs 10:22, “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.” Several Proverbs point out these means. Wisdom speaks in Proverbs 8:18 proclaiming, “Riches and honor ar
e with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness. Knowledge – Proverbs 24:4, “And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Humility – Proverbs 22:4, “The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor and life.” Righteousness – Proverbs 11:18b, “. . . he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.” and 15:6,“Great wealth is in the house of the righteous . . .”. Work – Proverbs 13:11b, “. . . the one who gathers by labor increases [wealth].” Diligence – Proverbs 10:4, “. . . the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Faithfulness – Proverbs 28:20a, “A faithful man will abound with blessings . . .” Inheritance – Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children . . .”
The greatest blessing is not the amount of wealth, but contentment with what God has provided. Proverbs 18:20, “With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.” Jesus’ point in Matthew 6:19-34 is that God will provide for the righteous so our focus can be on His kingdom and righteousness and not on gaining wealth or even what we need for daily life. Proverbs 13:25, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need.” Proverbs 10:3, “The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked.”
Planning vs Haste
Another area that has an effect on the ability to gain wealth is planning verses being hasty. Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” This occurs in Proverbs 20:21 which brings to mind Jesus’ story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, “An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end.” A wicked element in the hurry to gain wealth will bring about even greater negative consequences – Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.” This is one of the many things wrong with gambling.
Proverbs 24:27 explains the need for planning, “Prepare your work outside And make it ready for yourself in the field; Afterwards, then, build your house.” Planning puts things in proper priority, and it is more important to have a source of food and income than a comfortable house. It is important that we plan according to God’s priorities – Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established.”
Wisdom & Righteousness vs. Foolishness & Wickedness
Throughout Proverbs there is a contrast between wisdom and its related attributes and foolishness and its related characteristics. It is no surprise then that there are many such Proverbs that do this in relationship to financial issues. Sound economics and business practices arise out of wisdom and righteousness while poor economics and unethical business practices follow foolishness and wickedness.
From the very first chapter, Proverbs calls on the reader to follow wisdom (vs. 2-9) and avoid the foolishness of the wicked (vs. 10-19). Wisdom shouts to the naive, fools and scoffers to turn to her and learn. Sadly, few do and so their waywardness and complacency lead to their own destruction (vs. 32).
The prosperity of the righteous begins with their honoring the Lord – Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.” The wealth of an agricultural community is contained in the storage of what they have grown. How is the Lord honored from your wealth? The reference “to the first of all your produce” specifically refers to the first fruit tithe mentioned in Exodus 22:29; 23:19; etc. Honoring the Lord with wealth would include everything mentioned in Deuteronomy 12:6 – offerings, sacrifices, tithes, contributions, votive offerings, freewill offerings as well as the first offspring of the animals.
As Christians under the New Covenant, we are not under the Law and its required tithes and sacrifices, but we are to give freely and cheerfully. The principles are laid down for us in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Giving is a voluntary act of worship, so your attitude is important. It is to be done with joy and not out as an oppressive obligation. You give as you decide, but it would be a great error to think that withholding giving to the Lord will free up your finances. As already pointed out, wealth is a blessing from the Lord that He extends to the righteous. Hoarding your wealth or spending it on yourself shows selfishness which the Lord will not bless. Proverbs 14:11″The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish.”
Proverbs 3:27-33 explains further the necessity of doing good and avoiding evil. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you. Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. For the devious are an abomination to the Lord; But He is intimate with the upright. The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.”
Even apart from the Lord’s blessing or curses, righteousness and wickedness earn opposite wages. Proverbs 10:16, “The wages of the righteous is life, The income of the wicked, punishment.” Proverbs 11:18, “The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.” Proverbs 15:6, “Great wealth is in the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked.”
Proverbs also explains some of the reasons the wicked have such troubles. First, they do not do what they should and reject correction – Proverbs 13:18, “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.” Second, they use what they do have foolishly – Proverbs 21:20, “There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up.” Third, it gets even worse for them according to Proverbs 13:21, “Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.” The wicked not only earn their troubles, but evil will also pursue them.
The wicked also get into trouble because they place their hope in their wealth which is a weak protection. Proverbs 18:11, “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination.” His wealth gives him a delusion of protection, but it will crash. Proverbs 11:28, “He who trusts in his riches will fall . . .”
Proverbs 11:4, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath . . .” Proverbs 28:22, “A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.” The contrast for the righteous in these same passages, “But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf,” (11:28), “But righteousness delivers from death,” (11:4), “The name of the Lord is a st
rong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe,” (18:10).
Good vs Unethical Business Practices
How a person conducts their business will reveal their character whether it is righteousness or wicked. The wicked think they will gain more through unethical business practices, and they might in the short term, but the price is high and it will eventually collapse on them. And let me be clear that these principles apply not only to commercial businesses, but also to non-profits and government. The greater difficulty when government practices are unethical is that they do not go out of business as quickly since they can raise taxes, or in the case of Federal governments, print money, to cover the costs of their corruption and losses.
We start with the Lord’s concern about basic honesty. Proverbs 16:11, “A just balance and scales belong to the Lord; All the weights of the bag are His concern.” Proverbs 11:1; 20:10 and 20:23 also deal with balances and scales for measuring. A false balance and differing weights and measures are abominations to him while “a just weight is His delight.” No one wants to pay for 15 gallons of gasoline and only get 14 nor purchase a 10 lb roast and take home one that is only 9 lbs. We seek to protect ourselves from the unscrupulous by having various agencies certify scales and measures, but the unethical have other ways to beat the system.
Lying is practiced in many forms. The Lord hates a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:17) with Proverbs 21:6 warning, “The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.”
Falsehood, or what we might call deceptive advertising, is also lying, and remember such lying can be done by either buyer or the seller.
Proverbs 20:14, ““Bad, bad,” says the buyer, But when he goes his way, then he boasts.” Proverbs 20:17 warns about the negative consequences – “Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.”
Another form of lying is fraud, an intentional perversion of the truth to deceive or misrepresent. Proverbs 13:11, “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it.” The word translated “fraud” means vanity and is also translated as flattery such as in Proverbs 26:28 – “A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin” and 29:5, “A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.” These are people that appeal to your ego as a means to set you up so they can exploit you.
Lying, falsehood and fraud has been such a common practice among used car salesmen that they have become the caricature of it, but in my own experience, the promises made by politicians to get elected make them appear as amateurs.
Another unethical business practice is changing the rules or manipulating the law to bring about injustice in your favor. Proverbs 22:28, “Do not move the ancient boundary Which your fathers have set,” (See also 23:10-11). Ancient boundaries were usually marked by a pillar or heap of stones. If you moved the stones, you changed the boundary and increased your land by stealing it from your neighbor. This was strictly prohibited in Deuteronomy 19:14. Land boundaries are still marked by various things, but the lines are also now usually recorded on survey maps. That makes it more difficult, but land is still stolen through corrupt surveyors or manipulation of the laws. The principle here extends beyond land to any practice that manipulates the rules or laws to bring about injustice. Remember, that just because something is legal does not make it ethical or just. God is the final judge who determines justice, not man. Proverbs 13:23 makes an interesting statement about this, “Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice.” In this case, some injustice is keeping the poor from using their own land to grow food. Similar things still occur that keep people from using their own land productively. (Farmers who can no longer till a field because EPA found an “endangered species” on it. Houses built with all required permits, then told it is on “wetlands” and can’t live there).
The blatantly wicked will be obvious, but those who cooperate with them are also guilty. Proverbs 29:24, “He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He hears the oath but tells nothing.” This Proverbs shows that the one that covers up the crime is as culpable and subject to punishment as the one that committed the crime.
Wickedness and its unethical business practices may work in the short term, but not in the long. Proverbs 28:22, “A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.” It also brings with it trouble and the Lord will judge. Proverbs 15:27, “He who profits illicitly troubles his own house . . .”
Proverbs 22:22-23, “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Or crush the afflicted at the gate; For the Lord will plead their case And take the life of those who rob them.” Proverbs 10:2, “Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death.”
Diligence vs. Sluggards
Another element that reveals righteousness or wickedness and will have a direct effect on finances is the approach to labor. Proverbs 14:23, “In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 6:6-11 is the most extensive passage, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?, “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest” Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.” (See also 24:30-34).
Consider these portions of various Proverbs that point out the blessings of being diligent. “. . .the hand of the diligent makes rich”
(10:4), “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread . . .” (12:11 & 28:19), “He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored” (27:18), “. . .the soul of the diligent is made fat” (13:4). Remember that such diligence can create a mess that will have to be cleaned up later – Proverbs 14:4, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.” So, be thankful for such messes.
Consider these portions of various Proverbs that point out the consequences of being a sluggard. “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand . . .” (10:4), “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing . . .” (13:4), “Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline . . .” (13:18), “. . .he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty” (15:19), “Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger” (19:15), “The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work” (21:25). The sluggard finds any excuse to keep from working (22:13, 26:13), and he cannot be corrected – Proverbs 26:16, “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.”
Generosity vs. Greed & Gluttony
Whether a person is generous, greedy or gluttonous will also reveal their character, good or bad, and have an effect on their finances. Greed and gluttony are both selfish, but greed hoards while gluttony consumes. Proverbs 11:24, “There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.”
It would seem counterintuitive that being generous and giving to those in need will result in your own increase, but that is the Lord’s blessing. These Proverbs or portion
s express this truth. “The generous man will be prosperous . . .” (11:25), “. . . he who is gracious to the needy honors [his Maker]” (14:31), “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed” (19:17), “He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor” (22:9), “He who gives to the poor will never want . . .” (28:27). This kindness and generosity even extends to enemies – Proverbs 25:21-22, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the Lord will reward you.” Paul quotes this verse in Romans 12:20 and Jesus expands on the principle in Matthew 5:44-48.
Man’s selfish bent leads him to believe that greed and gluttony should lead to his happiness, but they do not. Friendship with selfish people does not lead to your happiness either (Proverbs 23:6-8). Even if the greedy gain wealth, it can quickly disappear in a multitude of ways – Proverbs 23:4-5, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.” Hedonists consume the wealth they gain and so lose the means to gain more pleasure – Proverbs 21:17, “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.” Beware that friendship with heavy drinkers and gluttons can lead to your own poverty (Proverbs 23:17-21).And because the eyes of man are never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20), even the satisfaction of what is gained by the greedy or the glutton will only be brief. Those who shut their eyes and ears to the poor will have many curses and will also cry themselves and not be answered (Proverbs 21:13 & 28:17).
Loans & Surety
One last area I want to touch on at least briefly are loans and surety. It is not a sin to lend or borrow, but there are dangers. We have already seen that the righteous are generous. Those that make loans must be helpful and not oppressive to those to whom they have lent. Proverbs 22:16, “He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.” Proverbs 28:8, “He who increases his wealth by interest and usury Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.” Usury is excessive interest. A good example of this is credit card rates verses bank loan rates. Never lend or invest what you cannot afford to lose.
If you are the borrower, then you place yourself at risk – Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” This is because you are obligated to pay it back even if your circumstances are poor. It is the wicked that do not repay (Psalms 37:21). This means that there is less risk with the more collateral you have against the loan, and more risk with little collateral. That is why consumer loans (credit cards, car loans, etc.) are more risky and foolish than capital loans (house, land, etc.). Loans should be taken only with great caution, and loans to fulfill desires instead of actual real needs is foolish.
There is also the issue of surety which we more commonly refer to as co-signing for a loan. This can easily become a problem as pointed out in Proverbs 22:26-27, “Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?” You place yourself at risk without being able to control the situation. This is why Proverbs 6:1-5 is a plea from a father to his son to find a way to deliver himself from such a pledge and Proverbs 17:18 warns, “A man lacking in sense pledges And becomes guarantor in the presence of his neighbor.”
This was a brief overview for any of these areas could be easily expanded. (Jim Pagones will be doing that in the Adult Sunday School Series beginning November 4). The issues related to economics boil down to righteousness and wisdom, not financial acumen. People who are shrewd financially but are also wicked may be able to gain wealth in the short term, but that success is short lived. Their selfishness removes contentment and robs them of the joy and satisfaction that should be theirs and even their wealth may be soon stolen, squandered or destroyed. And in the end, they still have to face God’s judgment.
If you want to be a success economically, then pursue wisdom and righteousness and let God’s blessing make you rich in all the things that are truly important both here on this earth and in eternity.
Proverbs 3:13-15, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.” [The Lord] blesses the dwelling of the righteous – Proverbs 3:33
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how man times “wealth” or “riches” is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about the relationship between righteousness and wealth.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Are either the rich or the poor superior to the other? Explain. What advantages belong to the rich? What disadvantages? What things are better than wealth? List and explain why. List at least 4 of the 8 righteous sources of wealth listed in Proverbs. Why is contentment better than wealth? What is the basis of contentment? Why is it so economically important to plan and keep God’s priorities? What are the dangers of being hasty in trying to gain wealth? What is the relationship between wisdom and righteousness to wealth? What is the relationship between foolishness and wickedness and poverty? What wages do each earn? How do you honor the Lord from your wealth? Is the Lord concerned about ethical business practices? Explain. Why is lying in all its forms (including falsehood and fraud / flattery) dangerous to those who do it? What is the relationship between legal manipulation and injustice? What is its consequence on the poor? Why is a person who cooperates with the wicked also guilty? Unethical business practices may work in the short term, but what are their long term consequences? What are the positive economic results of diligence and labor? What are the negative consequences of being a sluggard? How does the Lord bless the generous economically? What do greed and gluttony have in common? How are they different? What are their economic consequences? Why can’t they produce contentment? What are the restrictions on making loans? What are the dangers of borrowing? What are the dangers of surety (co-signing)? What are the keys to becoming economically successful?
Sermon Notes – 10/14/2012
Proverbs on Economics – Selected Proverbs
There are more than ____________ Proverbs that touch on topics related to economics
The ____________ in these Proverbs apply to both personal and national finances
Rich vs Poor
There are definite _______________ to having wealth – Proverbs 10:15; 19:4; 14:20
Rich & poor are __________before God – Prov. 22:2, but wealth can hinder – Prov. 18:11; 11:28; 28:11
Better than Wealth
_________& Understanding – Prov. 3:13-15
The Fear of the ____________- Prov. 15:16
; _________& a Good Name – Prov. 28:6
______________ & Righteousness – Prov. 16:19
_________& Quietness – Prov. 15:17, 17:1
Source of Wealth
Wealth can be gained by _______means, but there are negative consequences – Prov. 1:10-19; 13:7; 28:8
Righteous way to gain wealth through God’s ____________ (Prov. 10:22) include:
_________- Prov. 8:18
Knowledge – Prov 24:4
Humility – Prov. 22:4
_____________- Prov. 11:18b
_________- Prov 13:11b
Diligence – Prov. 10:4
Faithfulness – Prov. 28:20a ____________- Prov. 13:22
____________with God’s provision is the better blessing – Prov. 18:20; Matt. 6:19-34; Prov. 13:25, 10:3
Planning vs Haste
Proverbs 21:5 Proverbs 20:21 cf Luke 15:11-12 Proverbs 28:20
The need for planning and keeping God’s _____________- Proverbs 24:27; 16:3
Wisdom & Righteousness vs. Foolishness & Wickedness
Proverbs calls people to follow wisdom (1:2-9) and avoid foolishness (1:10-19) – sadly, ________ (1:32)
Prosperity begins by ____________the Lord from your wealth, Prov 3:9-10, see Ex. 23:19 & Deut. 12:6
Christians are to give voluntarily and ________________ – 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
It is necessary to ______________ and avoid evil – Proverbs 3:27-33
Righteousness and wickedness earn opposite ______________ – Proverbs 10:16; 11:18; 15:16
The wicked __________discipline (13:18), spend foolishly (21:20) and are pursued by adversity (13:21)
Hope in wealth is a _____________ protection – Proverbs 18:11; 11:28; 11:4; 28:22.
Hope in righteousness is a _____________ protection – Proverbs 11:28; 11:4; 18:10
Good vs Unethical Business Practices
The Lord is concerned about basic _______________ – Proverbs 16:11; 11:1; 20:10, 23
The Lord hates _____________ and fraud – Proverbs 6:17; 21:6; 20:14, 17
Fraud (flattery) intentionally ______________ the truth in order to deceive – Prov. 13:11; 26:28; 29:5
Changing rules / manipulating laws is ___________- Prov. 22:28; 23:10-11; cf Deut. 19:14; Prov. 13:23
Those who cooperate with the wicked are also _____________- Proverbs 29:24
Unethical business eventually bring _______& God’s judgment – Proverbs 28:22; 15:27; 22:22-23, 10:2
Diligence vs. Sluggards
Diligence contrasted with the _____________ – Proverbs 14:23; 6:6-11
__________upon the diligent – Proverbs 10:4; 12:11; 28:19; 27:18; 13:4; 14:4
______________to sluggards – Proverbs 10:4; 13:4; 13:18; 15:19; 19:15; 21:25; 22:13; 26:13; 26:16
Generosity vs. Greed & Gluttony
Greed and gluttony are both _____________- greed hoards while gluttony consumes – Proverbs 11:24
The Lord ________the generous – Proverbs 11:25; 14:31; 19:17; 22:9; 28:27; 25-21-22 cf. Matt 5:44-48
The Lord __________the greedy and gluttonous – Proverbs 23:4-5; 21:17; 23:17-21; 27:20, 21:13; 28:17
Loans & Surety
Those making loans are not to be oppressive / charge __________ – Proverbs 22:16; 28:8
Those borrowing are at risk – Proverbs 22:7, and must ____________________________- Psalm 37:21
Surety (co-signing) places you at _____- Proverbs 22:26-27 – and so is not wise – Proverbs 6:1-5; 17:18
__________________ removes contentment and robs joy & satisfaction even when there is wealth
The key to financial success is pursuing __________________ and wisdom – Proverbs 3:13-15, 33
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