The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
Wisdom gets results! A wise man works diligently and prudently; he avoids unnecessary risks and scams; he achieves economic success and prosperity. He fears God and obeys His commandments, which brings divine favor and blessings upon his life. His financial progress confirms his wisdom, honors his efforts, and shows the Lord’s approval.
Folly also gets results! A fool may be slothful or wasteful; he may hastily or ignorantly pursue vain ideas; he never achieves much economically; he remains poor and despised. He does not fear God or keep His commandments, and the Lord blows against his weak efforts. His folly and foolish choices are obvious to everyone. He is known as a fool.
God has not promised riches to all His children. In fact, most of them are the poor of this world (I Cor 1:26-29; Jas 2:5). He tests and perfects many of them by economic difficulties. However, all other things being equal, wisdom will eventually and surely bring progress, success, and wealth. But folly will just as certainly bring decline, destruction, poverty, and trouble. Both wisdom and folly get results. Choose wisdom!
Wisdom also directs. A wise man with riches knows how to use his money for benefit to others and honor to himself. David was rich, and he crowned himself gloriously by using his wealth to pay for a magnificent temple in Jerusalem. Job was rich, and he was honored by all for his faithful and generous care of the poor. Barnabas used his real estate holdings to provide for the poor in the church at Jerusalem. And Philemon did the same.
Folly confuses. A rich fool is more prone to foolishness than a poor fool barely surviving. The rich fool has farther to fall and is tempted more to be foolish. Nabal’s prosperity caused his folly to burst forth against David. Rehoboam was so puffed up by riches that he lost the rule of ten tribes. Belshazzar gloried in his riches and lost an impregnable city in one night. And a rich young ruler forfeited the kingdom of heaven for his riches.
In general, all other things being equal, wisdom produces financial success, and folly produces poverty. Furthermore, riches are a great advantage and tool for good to wise men, which crowns their character again. But riches provoke fools to even greater folly, for position and wealth increase their arrogance and blind their judgment. Wisdom is better than riches, leads to riches, and knows how to use riches. Choose wisdom!
Wisdom gets results, and the results crown the owner with honor. Wisdom also leads men to use results for God’s glory and man’s benefit. Folly exposes fools to the shame of their own foolishness, and it causes them to misuse any advantage they have. You can watch the results in others or see them in your own life. Choose wisdom! Hate foolishness!
What about Jesus Christ? He was full of wisdom and perfectly fulfilled His Father’s will in every way, including giving up His life for His sheep. After His ascension into heaven, God crowned Him with glory and honor and riches untold (Heb 1:1-5; 2:5-9; Re 5:1-14). He rules the universe today, and He is coming soon for all those who love and obey Him.