Proverbs 10:15 says:
The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
I have to admit that this verse really stopped me in my tracks. Not because it was so profound though it did turn out to be. It stopped me because I did not understand it.
You have to understand that when it comes to most of what I read in Proverbs I understand. It might be profound and cause me to rethink much in my life (which it should), I still understand it. This one got me. The first part was easy for me to understand. The second part was muddy water.
When it comes to the wealthy, they hide behind their money. All of us have seen and heard about the rich using their money to avoid legal problems and to build up power and protection. Though the wealthy will meet judgment in the end, it is common for them to hide behind their money here in this world. They do not hide behind honor or ethics. They hide behind their money.
I do want to not here that never should we assume from this that all the rich are evil and selfish. Many times God has blessed someone with wealth because they were so faithful and true to Him. It is only when riches are obtained through corrupt manners and/or used for corrupt means that wealth then becomes a sinful tool. Being rich is not sinful.
“….poverty is the ruin of the poor.” Does being poor mean that you are ruined? Does it mean that there is no hope? Does being poor mean that you are not saved? I was so confused.
There are many Christians that believe all rich are unsaved. There are many that believe all poor are unsaved. So, I guess only the middle class is saved. Wrong. Never did God say that. Don’t agree with me? Read Genesis through Revelation and weigh it all together.
So, how does this poverty verse fit in? As the wealthy can hide behind their riches, the poor do not have that protection. They cannot afford the right attorneys or use their money to get what they need. Poverty hurts.
How many of you have been without money? No money means noodles with nothing else for dinner if you are lucky. No money means no medications that will keep you from dying. No money means that you cannot fix your car to get a job. No money means no heat in the winter. No money means the law treats you harshly. The poor has no protection. The fact that there is poverty opens up the door for ruin.
We live in an imperfect world. The rich will seemingly go through life with no harm to them and getting with murder. The money appears to protect them. The poor will seemingly go through life being trampled on including by those who call themselves children of God. Their poverty appears to make them vulnerable to everyone.
How do we use wealthy and poverty? Do we use it as a way to move up in the world? Whether we have the wealth ourselves or hang on the coattails of others that do, money becomes a protector for us. We look to those with money to help us out. How do we view poverty? As a way to look down on people and “help” them so that we feel better.
Take some time and see how you react to those that have money and to those that have none. How differently do you act with them? How differently do you view them? How differently does the world view them? How does God view them?