Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but only wisdom can save your life.
~Ecclesiastes 7:12, NLT
Wealth is the slave of the wise and the master of the fool.
I am no great fan of Solomon; he brought child-sacrificing pagan worship to Jerusalem which marked the beginning of the end but he was a very bright man and God used him and is still using him to help those of us who are not so bright. Ron Dunn said there are two things in life you had better understand unless you want to become bitter:  Man is fickle and absolutely unreliable and  God is faithful and absolutely reliable. All humans are subject to let us down but we must not discount God’s incredible ability to use flawed instruments. I am absolutely amazed at how greatly God used Solomon, warts and all. Solomon believed that wisdom and money are beneficial to life and I am in full agreement but of the two, he considered wisdom the greatest; again, I would have to agree.
Why would he put wisdom and wealth together? Because wisdom is beneficial in all things but especially in handling or managing wealth. Fools handle money in one of two ways:  They either squander it like the prodigal son or  they horde it like the rich fool in Luke 12. The Prodigal spent all and the Rich Fool tried to keep it all. Wealth is a temporary commodity; like the manna in the Old Testament, you cannot keep wealth. You can use it but you cannot keep it. Many of you understand exactly what I am talking about but a fool doesn’t: he or she thinks they will beat the system. What happened to the Rich Fool? In trying to keep it all for himself, he lost everything. Someone said, “Wisdom and knowledge are two sides of one coin. On one side you have discovery or awareness and on the other you have application or implementation.” Some people ‘know’ how to make money, they ‘know’ how to accumulate wealth but they do not know how to manage it; the management aspect takes wisdom.
Again, I point to the Rich Fool in Luke chapter twelve. The primary reason for the fools wealth was God’s blessings on his crops, yet the fool does not acknowledge God’s gracious hand in his abundance. In his effort to keep everything [100%] for himself, he plans to tear down all his old barns and build bigger better new barns. What a fool! Why not just build a couple of new barns? Better still, why not fill all the old barns and give the surplus to the poor [to missions, church, St. Jude’s, etc]. This would have saved him millions of dollars and it would have helped others at the same time but it was not an option to this man and why not? Because he lacked wisdom, he was a fool. Is it wrong to squander money? Yes, and I wish all the money going to Tunica and Talladega was going to Guatemala to build houses or put to some redemptive purpose but the other extreme is not a good option either. Hundreds of professing Christians could be using their wealth to help others but instead, they are hording God’s resources. When you bury God’s resources by taking them out of circulation, you are a fool and trust me folks, the woods are full of them. Wealth is a responsibility and it takes wisdom to manage it. I pray that God will give you that wisdom and I hope that you will throw it right back at me because I need wisdom.
- I keep forgetting to share this: I read about five different devotions and the other day one of them was about prayer and the privilege we have to approach the Creator of the universe. Anyway, the question presented in the devotion was: if you could spend an hour in conversation with a VIP, who would the top five be on your list? That was a week ago and I only have three names.
- Benjamin Natanyahu
- Franklin Graham
- Nick Saban
- The delimma in the above question is there are not many great men in our generation, at least not ones we are aware of. Of course I would have loved to spent an hour with Ronald Reagan, Dallas Willard or C.S. Lewis but they are all departed. There is no one is Washington I want to spend an hour with other than maybe the president and his wife. There is certainly no one in Hollywood or the media. To be honest, Nick Saban probably should not be on the list. You give it a try, see how long it takes you to come up with five names.