"Do Not Be Afraid When a Man Becomes Rich" (4/24)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Psalm 43-45, 49, 84-85, 87.

Many in our society seem to be so concerned with others becoming (or having already become) rich. They are so worried that other’s wealth will somehow bring harm to them that they want to see something done to limit the amount of wealth one can obtain, or confiscate the wealth one has already obtained – often by using the force of government.

David expressed a very different attitude toward those who become wealthy. Rather than worrying about them and fearing them, we should just leave them to their own devices.

Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives he congratulates himself—and though men praise you when you do well for yourself—he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see the light. Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:16-20).


It is common for a rich man to think highly of himself. It is also common to see that others think of him as being important on account of his great wealth. Yet in the end, his fate is the same as ours.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Riches often serve to distract one from following the word of God (Luke 8:14). Without understanding the truth of God’s word, the rich man, despite his great wealth, is no better than the beasts.

Rather than concerning ourselves with those who are rich in the things of this world, we should work to “store up… treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21).

Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Chronicles 3-5

[I’m using the Chronological reading plan on the Bible Gateway website if you’d like to follow along, too.]


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