Proverbs 28:20

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.


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Which won in Aesop’s fable – the hare or tortoise? The tortoise! Who wins in business – the steady Eddie or an ambitious dreamer? Eddie wins! But worse than losing, the impulsive dreamer that wants to get rich quickly also falls into sinful temptations that corrupt and destroy men. You can lose, and you can lose-lose. Choose today to win.

Do you want to get rich quickly? Repent! It is a sinful desire, and it will ruin you. It will distort your judgment, create temptations for your soul, and bring both supernatural and natural laws against you financially. Instead, work hard at a noble and useful job or business and wait for natural and supernatural blessings to multiply you (Pr 28:19,21-22).

There is context for this proverb. The faithful man here is a financially faithful man, one rejecting vain persons and working diligently at a farm (Pr 28:19,21-22). God promises prosperity to men who do not get distracted by delusions for quick financial success. But he warns greedy men, who grasp at get-rich-quick ideas, of their coming judgment.

Faithfulness here is diligent, persevering, and virtuous effort at a trade or business. It is contrasted to the impulsive and imprudent actions of an impatient man, who is greedy to get ahead at any cost. Solomon knew men could be tempted to despise boring jobs and/or follow business and investment scams, so he warned you (Pr 12:11; 13:23; 14:23; 28:19).

Haste distorts judgment: it narrows perspective and shortens timing, ruining the greater potential of a long-term plan (Pr 6:6-8; 12:11; 13:4,23; 14:4; 30:25). Second, it suggests temptations that destroy greedy men (Pr 14:15; 15:27; 22:3; 28:21; I Tim 6:6-10). Third, it brings natural and divine judgment (Pr 20:21; 23:4-5; Eccl 5:13; Luke 12:15-21).

Grasp the lesson. Some greedy persons buy lottery tickets or gamble in casinos. Both are guaranteed confiscation leading to financial ruin. The only winner is the state or casino. They may even think they will quit as soon as they hit the jackpot. But the money lost came out of savings, which forfeits future investments. The delusion of “winners” makes it addictive. They hate their real job and paycheck. These are foolish wasters (Pr 18:9).

These fools cannot see that lotteries are a device to tax the poor, who have no income or assets to tax (or smarts to know they are being taxed). The longest lines for lottery tickets are always in the poorest areas. The governmental unit gets these poor to voluntarily pay extra taxes out of their meager means by regularly hyping the amount in the jackpot. What is the bottom line, every time? The state wins, and the poor get poorer, every time.

Casinos appeal to the more sophisticated, who also have more money to be confiscated. Las Vegas and Macau have lots of glitter, posh rooms, live entertainment, food buffets, and free drinks to loosen your purse. Based on carefully calculated statistics, the house allows winning often enough to keep you playing until they take everything you had.

Consider another example. A man wanting to get ahead quickly decides he cannot afford to give money to the Lord. He reasons that he will be a big giver once he is financially comfortable. By stealing from God, he activates divine laws that will reduce him to poverty, no matter how hard and smart he works (Pr 11:24; Hag 1:5-10; Mal 3:8-12).

Another man lets his medical insurance policy lapse. After all, he has had no claims on it in three years. He puts the premium money to work in several network marketing ideas. Having violated a law of prudence by exposing himself unnecessarily to risk, he is bankrupt the next year due to his wife’s emergency mastectomy (Pr 6:1-5; 27:12-13).

Another man frets about interest. When banks are paying 3% annually, an email arrives offering a 10% monthly return, guaranteed! He blesses himself and invests in the Ponzi scheme, showing his family the Porsche he will buy in three months. When the FBI calls, the 3% looks like gold. But it is too late. His haste drove him to believe the impossible!

A conservative man laughs at these examples. He is too smart for any scams. He will not cheat the Lord. He gives 12% every year (which only costs him 7% after taxes). He ridicules lottery tickets and Ponzi schemes. He works diligently – at two jobs – until he wakes up one day with a heart attack, divorce papers, and children that hate him.

Another man decides saving cramps his lifestyle. He stops saving and trades up in house and cars. He wants the good life now. When a great business deal comes along, he has no capital to invest in it. When he loses his job due to a corporate takeover, he has no emergency fund. When the housing market declines, he is forced to move and pay the bank for the privilege. He and his wife end up washing dishes in a fast food restaurant.

Another man is an accountant. He burns with ambition to be the controller. When the CFO offers him the promotion to inflate earnings for the financial statements, he reasons that he can correct the lie and theft from his new position. It is just a temporary sin. But for some reason, the CFO wants it done again next year. He is damned in his dream job.

A judge with a covetous heart is offered a bribe to fudge a widow’s estate in probate. He makes sure that the woman will get enough to live comfortably, but he interprets the will in the favor of his benefactor. He died just two years later from slow and painful brain cancer. His last thought? Why did I forget the Judge of all judges (Ps 68:5; Eccl 5:8)?

A truck driver hated being known as a truck driver. He got no professional respect. He began to despise his job. When a Rolex-wearing, convertible-driving, always-smiling man told him about multi-level riches in overpriced soap, he sold his rig and jumped in with both feet. He was last seen digging graves by hand, with a garage full of soap!

Another man assessed his finances at year-end. His balance sheet showed little progress. How could he get rich at this pace? The next day was tax day. Surprise! God and the devil were tempting him – God to perfect him, the devil to destroy him. He fudged his tax return just a little. He was last seen in federal prison, without a garage full of soap!

A faithful man accepts the boring job God gave him, works diligently and patiently, saves and gives liberally, hates lies and scams, chooses contentment, avoids risk, is scrupulously honest, cares for friends and enemies, and trusts the Lord for daily bread. He was last seen with a sizable estate, living in contented peace with his only wife, and enjoying many grandchildren. His friends were God Himself and the best of godly men (Jas 2:23; Ps 101:6), and he was realizing the promised blessings of Psalms 112 and 128.