In Proverbs 11, we encounter a passage that we might have heard expressed in the form of another “old adage.” In this case, the old addage is “You can’t take it with you.” The passage in Proverbs reads:
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. – Proverbs 11:4 NKJV
The precept is that no matter how much earthly wealth we accumulate before the end of our physical lives, it is insufficient to pay our sin debt. The only thing capable of paying our sin debt, and thereby save us from death, is the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Matthew records Jesus asking the question “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul…?” (Matthew 16:26) The hard fact is that when we give an account for our lives, which we every one of us will, the question will not be: “How much wealth did you accumulate…?” the question will be: “Have you been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ…?” If the answer is yes, then believers are made righteous by that atoning sacrifice, and God’s wrath against our sin is appeased. If not, we are on our own, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).
Today, let us not be consumed by the desire to accumulate wealth. As Job said, naked came I into this world and naked will I leave it, but the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21). The only right response for us to a perfect and holy God is submission and obedience. Our wealth is not enough to appease God’s wrath against our sin, and we can’t take our wealth with us. It is the righteousness we receive by the shed blood of Jesus Christ that delivers us from death.
© Written by Tracy Edward Tucker, copyright 2012, all right reserved