Proverbs 24:4

And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

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Lasting wealth is built by wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. There are no shortcuts; cheaters lose in the end; folly only seems to work; riches by vanity disappear. The good life for a family or a nation is only as far away as wisdom. It is the many errors of human thinking that cause economic and financial trouble at any level of society.

The previous verse provides the first half to this proverb. Here is the full rule: “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Pr 24:3-4). Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are the factors that make estates rich and prosperous.

Earlier (Pr 24:1-2), Solomon warned against envying wicked men, for they use deceit, violence, and other sins to get ahead financially. To comfort and encourage his readers, he promised a substantial and pleasant estate for those living by wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. The wicked may succeed temporarily; the righteous will win in the end.

A godly man will apply this proverb by first fearing God, for that is the foundation of knowledge. He will then rule his affairs by the wisdom of scripture and godly counselors (Pr 24:5-6). Some godly men are poor, because they are financially foolish; some financially wise men are poor, because they neglect godliness. Full success requires both.

The Bible, especially Proverbs, is full of practical wisdom for business, career, or money management. It praises diligence, savings, honesty, investment, planning, disciplined spending, etc. It condemns slothfulness and waste, and it warns against excessive debt, risk, sleep, and spending. It teaches respect and service to those in authority; it gives secrets of the power of charity and generosity; it details how to both buy and sell fairly.

Choose wisdom by rejecting the world’s ideas and trusting Solomon’s inspired advice. Success will come. Ignore foolish and vain claims for business opportunities (network marketing), investment deals (Ponzi schemes), debt pyramiding, luxurious living, cornering markets, extorting sellers, or selfishly defending yourself. The economic condition of the world’s greatest nations indicates that they are bankrupt in more ways than financial. They believe and promote lies, and they are reaping the consequences.

This proverb applies to families and nations. If men in this generation were to hate debt and love thrift, two simple rules of wisdom taught in the Bible, they would quickly get ahead of those men and governments borrowing and spending heavily, which results in economic fluctuations and dangerous levels of risk, interest payments, and debt service.

The book of Proverbs should be required reading for every student and government official in every nation. Even without humility and fearing God, the principles of godly economic and financial management would work. Instead, every nation supplies their schools with textbooks and their officials with manuals teaching the opposite of wisdom.

Reader, what are you doing about the Bible’s practical wisdom? If you are struggling financially, there are reasons for it. Have you diligently studied Proverbs to see what you are doing wrong? Or is there a problem at a higher level – neglecting the Lord of heaven and His religion, resulting in Him blowing against your efforts (Hag 1:4-11; Matt 6:33)?

The rule here also works for spiritual riches. By learning about scripture and Jesus Christ, the chambers of the soul will be filled with the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:37-38; Rom 5:5). “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom 15:13).