Daily Archives: January 15, 2007

Questions a 13 year old ask…


A while back my son asks:

Is it a sin to be rich? And

Can rich people be Christians?

So I embarked on a word study of rich, riches, wealth, money.

We find That Boaz and Abram were wealthy. Also Job. Solomon. Ruth 2:1 and Gen 13:2

We also find that God:

makes the rich and the poor He brings low, He also exalts. (Hannah’s song of thanksgiving in 1 Samuel)

The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
       he humbles and he exalts. 1 samuel 2:7

Rich and poor have this in common:
       The LORD is the Maker of them all. Proverbs 22:2

Is he not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’
       and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’

    19 who shows no partiality to princes
       and does not favor the rich over the poor,
       for they are all the work of his hands? Job 34:18-19

19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. Eccl 5:19

the ‘evil or folly’ of money:

Ecclesiastes;  all of chapter 5

The Big One – 1 Timothy 6:10 ”for the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil”

Proverbs 11:28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
       but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

Psalm 49:16-20 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
       when the splendor of his house increases;

    17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
       his splendor will not descend with him.

    18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
       and men praise you when you prosper-

    19 he will join the generation of his fathers,
       who will never see the light of life .

    20 A man who has riches without understanding
       is like the beasts that perish.

Luke 6:24-26    24“But woe to you who are rich,
      for you have already received your comfort.
    25Woe to you who are well fed now,
      for you will go hungry.
   Woe to you who laugh now,
      for you will mourn and weep.
    26Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
      for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

*(the woes of vv 24-26 are not pronounced on unbelievers but selfish believers in contrast to sacrificial believers in vv 20-23. bible commentary)

James 5:1-3 1Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

What God says about us and Him, and what we are to do/think/act out about money/riches/wealth:

The Parable of the Minas Luke 19:11-27 *commentary on Luke 19:11-27 ‘All that we have has been given from God and we are responsible for it.’

Proverbs 3:9-10   9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
       with the firstfruits of all your crops;

    10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
       and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Isaiah 33:6   6 He will be the sure foundation for your times,
       a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
       the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.

2 Corin 8:2.  in affliction and poverty {the church of Macedonia} they gave to the saints.

1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.

Phil 4:19. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Proverb 11:4, 30:8.  4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
       but righteousness delivers from death.

   7 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
       do not refuse me before I die:

    8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
       give me neither poverty nor riches,
       but give me only my daily bread.

    9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
       and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’
       Or I may become poor and steal,
       and so dishonor the name of my God.

1Timothy 6:17-19 17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

[Iknow, there is tons more stuff in the bible about riches and money, but I didn’t have time for all of them]

Ok, that is a lot of info. and it does not really answer the questions, does it?

If one is rich and a christian, does he give all his money away? Does he keep just enough for his family, then give the rest to the poor?

What about just being good stewards of the money and possessions we have?

What about when Jesus sent the disciples out with nothing but the clothes on their back?

I think if we put more time and energy making money, worrying about getting money, hoarding our money, not taking care of our own families with our money and not being good stewards of the money God allows us to make [by giving to the less fortunate], then we are sinning because we are putting money and riches first before our God, who is the owner of all things anyway.

Sometimes I can’t answer my 13 year olds questions about God.

Comments, please, if you can help. There are plenty of wiser folks out there highly capable to answer this seemingly simple question.