(Proverbs 10:15 KJV) The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
This seems like a simple statement, too simple. How does this apply to me, and you, today?
We see two different groups of people, the “rich man” (6223) and the “poor” (1800b). At first glance there is no criticism here, only comment, but this is the inspired word, so lets assume that God has a message for us. I think that Solomon is pointing out the flaws in the thinking of both groups.
Rich people tend to feel like their “wealth” (1952) gives them strength. They stand behind it as if it will really protect them. It becomes their “fortress” (7151/5797). Most people who have a computer and an internet connection would be classified as rich on a Biblical standard. Keep in mind that the rich of those days did not usually have indoor plumbing, A/C, instant communications, broadcast TV (let alone satellite), root canals, appendectomies...the list can go on. When you have money in the bank and canned goods on the shelf it is hard to remember that it is God who brings the harvest and gives the increase. Are you more concerned about getting a RIF notice or having God write Ichabod over your house? What is your fortress?
Most of us think we are closer to being “poor” (1800b) than being rich. The danger for the truly poor or the emotionally poor is that they focus on their “poverty” (7389). I have always liked a statement that someone’s grandmother was supposed to have said, “We aren’t poor, we just don’t have any money.” Poor is often an attitude. It is an attitude of hopelessness. Did you see the movie “Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith? I hated it and loved it. I hated it because I don’t like seeing people go through pain. I loved it because it showed what hard work and perseverance can do in a life. God can change our attitudes and our future. Don’t let your bank balance “ruin” (4288) you.
So? We sang it last week. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way...” Works for me and I am a teacher in California where the state is on the verge of bankruptcy, everyone is mad at public sector employees and Christians are fair game.