Let’s turn now in our Bibles to the book of Proverbs, beginning tonight in chapter nineteen. As again, we receive instruction of wisdom, of justice, of judgment, of fairness, as Solomon talks about life, and the various aspects of life. He puts truth into the form of a proverb, in order to instruct, and teach us in the way of righteousness, and judgment, and truth, and integrity, and the various subjects that he broaches in the proverbs.
Solomon was the wealthiest man in the world, of his day. The scriptures speak of the tremendous wealth that Solomon had amassed. Where silver became as common as rocks in Jerusalem. His wealth, and glory of his kingdom was world renowned. Yet Solomon had an interest, and a concern for the poor. Because he knew that God had an interest, and a concern for the poor.
Poverty isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. There are a lot of things that are worse than poverty. So he makes a lot of different, and interesting comparisons of things that you might have, that would be worse than being poor. So the first proverb of chapter nineteen deals with this kind of a contrast.
Better is the poor [with] who walks [with, or] in his integrity, [A man who is honest, and yet he is poor.] he is better off than the fellow who is perverse with his lips, or the man who is [conniving, scheming, lying, cheating, for he is,] a fool (19:1).
Because the riches that are gotten by crooked methods will be lost, as a general rule, by the same way. As I shared awhile back, there, this fellow who was part of the Mafia, who had come to Calvary Chapel for a time, who opened his faith, and showed me this big wad of hundred dollar bills, and said there was a hundred thousand dollars there. I had no reason to question that. He said, “I’m holding it right now”. He said, “I just had a scam, and I ripped off this guy”, and, and, so he said, “I get to hold this money for awhile. But”, he said, “they all know that I have it now”. He said, “It just passes in a circle”, and he said, “The guys are just all of them figuring out some scam, and they’re gonna try and rip me off for it. One of them will make it, and It’ll pass to him for awhile, and then we’ll all be after him. Because we know he’s got the wad”. He said, “We just sort of pass this around in a circle”. So, you can create a scam, you can get money by ill gain, by perverseness of lips, but you’d be better off to be an honest person, and be poor, than to have those kinds of riches.