An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Vapor vs Hands

(Proverbs 13:11 KJV)  Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

The issue here is not having a lot of money, “wealth” (1952), but how you got it.  It is the “by” words that make your net worth righteous or sinful.  The end does not justify the means in the life of the Christian.

On one side you have “vanity” (fraud NASB) (1892).  The word means vapor and can be used of breath.  It is the idea of form without substance.  It is a familiar word to most because it is the “vanity” used by Solomon.
(Ecclesiastes 1:2 KJV)  Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
When you hear people criticizing capitalism as a bunch of stock brokers manipulating the market and producing profit on paper, this is the kind of thing that it represents.  Wealth that requires nothing but fancy book work and clever ploys can disappear as quickly as it comes

On the other side you have “labor” (3027).  The word here means, literally, “hands”.  It refers to the production of something.  This is the other side of capitalism.  This is a business established by hard work and producing a measurable product.  This is a manufacturing plant as opposed to a hedge fund.  This is a CEO as opposed to a speculator.  One increases the quantity of actual useful items, the other is based on people’s confidence.

So?  There is nothing wrong with generating wealth as long as it is based on some kind of labor on your part.  In this verse it is how you make it more than how much you make.  Work hard and prosper. 

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