555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

393. Is Wealth an Evil or a Blessing?




There are many passages in the Bible relative to riches and its opposite, poverty. Nowhere is poverty spoken of as a blessing, but rather as a trial and discipline ; yet wealth is to be regarded either as a blessing or the reverse, according to circumstances. Riches that are gotten and not by right can never bring happiness or satisfaction, and therefore result in sorrow or disappointment (Jer. 17:11). Christ taught his followers not to lay up for themselves "treasures on earth." He repeatedly warned them against the allurements of wealth. He declared wealth to be a great barrier to many—a hindrance to their eternal welfare. He taught his followers to set their minds on things above, and to take no thought of amassing riches or goods. Usurers, brokers, exchangers, and mere money-getters—those who set their hearts on wealth and made gold their god—he specially denounced. Yet he never spoke, even by implication, a word against the reward of honest industry, but on the contrary commended it. Voluntary poverty was assumed by the earliest disciples and fathers in the Christian Church. There is no duty of this character specifically enjoined, and we are told to "seek first the kingdom" and all needful things will be added. "Neither riches nor poverty" is the ideal meant for a contented Christian, life. This is finely set forth in the beautiful prayer in Proverbs 30:8, Agur, the supplicant, being, as is supposed, a symbolical name for Solomon.