Proverbs 10:15 holds forth a basic truth for the believer in every age: Money gives a man security and confidence in this age, while lack of resources makes a man vulnerable. Say what you want about trusting God for your provisions and the evilness of the “love of money”, but be advised before you speak, that the same God you trust and claim to obey, has advised us here and commands us in other places to gain, manage and use our wealth.
Indeed, Proverbs 10:16, the Proverb that follows, warns that money gained in wickedness carries with it a punishment, but even then it tells us, “the wages of the righteous bring them life.”
"The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death."
- Proverbs 10:16
A man with financial resources is not as easily devastated by daily problems and common misfortunes. While something as minor as a flat tire, a leaking roof or a routine hospital bill can crush a poorer man financially, emotionally, socially and even morally. The temptation (or, the perceived need) to turn to illegal and immoral activity to meet daily financial requirements are more enticing to a man in need of money. But, the wealth of a rich man can be a moral fortification against the temptation to turn to immoral activity.
This proverb remains true even when we read Paul’s words of advice to Timothy for the believers in Ephesus in 1 Timothy 6:9-10. The problem is not with the wealth, but with the man's heart. In
Proverbs 10:16 both the "righteous" and the "wicked" were making money ("wages" and "earnings"), the difference was their heart and behavior. The same is true of Paul's words to Timothy. It is not the rich who are wrong, it is those with a "love of money" and people "eager for money" that "fall into temptation." Poor people can have "love of money" and be so "eager for money" that they are the ones who "fall into temptation" trying to get money. Once again, a "the wealth of the rich is their fortified city" that protects them from these same temptations that attrack any man who loves money and is eager for money. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:9-10:
Even though we agree with Paul’s words, we can be sure that Paul agreed with Wisdom, “Poverty is the ruin of the poor.” There is no honor in being poor. The Word of God tells us that wealth is a fortified city that is able to protect the owner in good and bad times. The wealth of the rich can also provide for others who are in need.
“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”