- Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. (3:9-10)
- Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. (8:10)
- Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. (10:4)
- The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little. (10:20)
- Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. (11:4)
- A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches. (11:16)
- He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. (11:28)
- There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth. (13:7)
- Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it. (13:11)
- Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. (14:4)
- The poor is hated even by his neighbor, But those who love the rich are many. He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor. (14:20-21)
- Great wealth is in the house of the righteous, But trouble is in the income of the wicked. (15:6)
- Better is a little with the fear of the Lord Than great treasure and turmoil with it. (15:16)
- Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. (16:18)
- A rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination. (18:11)
- The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly. (18:23)
- Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. (19:1)
- Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend. (19:4)
- House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord. (19:14)
- One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, And He will repay him for his good deed. (19:17)
- What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it isbetter to be a poor man than a liar. (19:22)
- Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food. (20:13)
- He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered. (21:13)
- He who loves pleasure will becomea poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich. (21:17)
- A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. (22:1)
- The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all. (22:2)
- The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor and life. (22:4)
- He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty. (22:16)
- Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. (23:4-5)
- The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him. (28:11)
- A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him. (28:22)
- Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion. (30:8)
What is righteousness?
Just like the word sounds, it indicates behavior that is morally justifiable or right. Comes from the English word “rightwise,” meaning in the right way.
tsedeq/tsedaqah – honesty, justice, merits, right, righteousness, righteous acts/deeds, vindication. It is a diving attribute and one that humans should strive to develop.
dikaiosune – used to describe conduct in relation to others, especially in business or legal matters. Frequently used as an indication that one is innocent of a crime of which they have been accused. Contrasted with wickedness.
The same word is also translated as “justification,” showing that the two English words, righteousness and justification, refer to two sides of the same idea and are very closely related.
How does righteousness differ from holiness?
The meaning of holiness is associated with being separated or called out. We are called out to be a righteous people, so the words overlap in meaning, but differ in emphasis.
What are “faith-based” and “works-based” righteousness, and what is up with the big discussion surrounding them?
It is important to understand that we could never be righteous on our own:
(Ecclesiastes 7:20) “There is not a righteous man on earth.”
(Psalm 14:2-3) “No one does good, not even one.”
(Romans 3:10) “No one is righteous.”
(James 2:10) if you stumble in one point, you are guilty of breaking the whole law.
Our righteousness is a gift from God:
(Romans 3:21-23) “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
(Romans 3:24) we are “justified by His grace, as a gift.”
(Romans 5:1) “We have been justified by faith.”
(Romans 5:17) “the gift of righteousness…”
(Ephesians 2:8-9) of salvation… “It is the gift of God, not a result of works, that no one may boast.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21) “He made Him who knew no sin… that we might become…”
(Titus 3:5-7) “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
(Genesis 15:6) “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
Trying to earn our salvation by works is pointless, or worse:
(Galatians 5:4) “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
So how do we reconcile this with verses on the importance of righteous actions on our part?
(Romans 8:13) “If you live according to the flesh, you will die.”
(Sermon on the mount) “know them by their fruits… he who does the will of My Father in heaven will enter… he who hears my words and acts on them/does not act on them”
(James 2:17) “Faith without works is dead.”
(1 John 3:9) “No one who is born of God practices sin/will keep on sinning.”
(Hebrews 10:26) “If we keep on sinning deliberately/willfully, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…”
(1 Peter 3:12) “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” The righteous and “those who do evil” are separate groups of people. It appears that you cannot be both.
Why are these verses in the Bible? What do they tell us?
(2 Timothy 2:22) “pursue righteousness…”
(1 Corinthians 9:27) “I discipline my body… so that I myself will not be disqualified.”
An important verse to consider:
(1 John 2:29) “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”
(Philippians 1:11) “Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
What does this verse mean?
(Matthew 5:20) “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Can I be kept out of heaven for being unrighteous, even if I am a baptized believer?
(Revelation 2:5) “repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.”
(Revelation 2:16) “repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.”
(Revelation 2:22) “Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.”
In other words, they need to make things right with God by changing their actions, or else.
What is it that they need to repent of, and how will they know when they have repented? What punishment follows if they do not?
(1 Corinthians 6:9) a whole list of people who do certain actions will not inherit the kingdom of God.
What are the main components of day-to-day righteous living?
It is a practice:
(1 John 3:7) “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.”
We live by principles set up ahead of time:
(Genesis 39:6-10) Joseph did the right thing despite consequences.
(1 Peter 3:14) “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled”
“Do right by” those in your life:
(Isaiah 33:15-16) “He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil.”
(Psalm 106:3) “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!”
(Ezekiel 18:5-9) “If a man is righteous and does what is just and right— if he does not… lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel… does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, does not lend at interest or take any profit, withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord God.”
What are some common but meaningful examples of doing the right thing?
Giving back too much change… etc.
What is “righteous indignation” and should I have it?
(Psalm 7:11) “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” An anger which is right to have.
It may sometimes be appropriate. See thoughts and scriptures on “wrath”
What is humility?
anawah – meekness, denoting the spirit produced under circumstances of suffering, oppression, and affliction. Sometimes translated “poor,” “humble,” or “lowly”.
tapeinophrosune – the state of gratitude where one understands the reception of gifts are by the grace of God—and as such—undeserved by human accomplishment.
Consider that God is referred to as having “anawah” in (2 Samuel 22:36) “And Thou givest to me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy lowliness maketh me great. [YLT]”
And Jesus is described as humbling Himself in places like (Philippians 2): He “emptied Himself” and “humbled Himself” by becoming a man and dying on the cross.
Likewise in (Matthew 11:29-30) “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In the case of God condescending to our level, or of us realizing our spiritual poverty, there is a downward movement.
(Romans 12:3) reinforces this: “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
Likewise (Romans 12:16) “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
(Philippians 2:13) likewise illustrates using position: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
How does humility differ from self-loathing?
Remember that God is said in some sense to be “humble” and Jesus is said to have “humbled” Himself. God and Jesus surely do not think little of themselves or loathe themselves. Rather, they are willing to do what is “beneath them” for the sake of those they love.
It has been said that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
(1 Corinthians 4”:3-4) “to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.” Paul did not base his commendableness on what others thought of him, or even what he though of himself. He just left that judgment to God and did his best.
In (Luke 18:13) the tax collector will not even lift his eyes to heaven, but he is yet bold enough to ask God for mercy and to walk away justified. That his, he does not refuse God’s forgiveness thinking he is too worthless to receive it.
David said “I am a worm and not a man.” Is that a healthy state of mind?
It is sometimes appropriate to be bitterly downcast by the realization of sin.
(James 4:9-10)“Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
However, it would seem that there is such a thing as an unhealthy level of grief over sin. (2 Corinthians 2) “For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.”
A prolonging of excessive feelings of guilt goes beyond the proper duration goes beyond humility and turns into a self-loathing.
(Psalm 30:5) “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.”
How would I know if I was or was not humble?
There is such a thing as a false humility
(Colossians 2:18-23) warns about men who “delight in self-abasement,” but whoa re really “inflated without cause by his fleshly mind…” they have “the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”
In (Luke 18:12) the Pharisee brags about fasting and giving… acts that would perhaps be humble if he did not do them so that he could brag.
“Boasting” is done by those who are not humble.
(Proverbs 27:2) “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.”
(1 Corinthians 1:26-29) “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”
(Jeremiah 9:23-24) “Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.”
(Matthew 6:2) “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
Even the term “arrogant” comes from the verb “arrogate,” to make an unjustified claim, to attribute a certain success to one’s own merits.
(Luke 14:8-11) do not assume that you are going to receive the highest honor, as though you deserved it. Do not take the highest seat for yourself at the banquet.
How can someone be proud of their accomplishments without sacrificing their humility?
God is not against the bestowing of honors:
(Romans 13:7) “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
(1 Timothy 5:17) “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
Remember though, (James 1:17) every good thing comes from God, (Acts 17:28) only in Him do we even have our being. (1 Corinthians 15:10) Even our hard work is attributable to God.
Does the Bible say that Jesus was the humblest man? If so, what does that mean?
(Philippians 2) does hold Him up as an example of humility for us to follow.
(James 4:10) says humble yourself and God will life you up. Jesus was willing to be made so low, and was then rewarded. He was given the name above every name (Philippians 2:9).
(John 13:15) “I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” Jesus condescended to the point of being our servant. None of us can condescend so far because none of us start so high.
(Mark 9:35) the one who wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.
What does it mean that “God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble?” How does that work?
This phrase is in (James 4). The context indicates that prideful individuals are full of plagued by conflicts and murders. The context indicates that those who humbles themselves and weep over there sins find grace from God. The phrase may simply indicate that those who are humble are the only ones able to receive what God offers.
(Proverbs 16:18) famously says pride goes before a fall. Could this simply be a natural consequence of the way the world is structured?
(Proverbs 11:12) “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
(Proverbs 29:23) “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.”
(1 Peter 5:6) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
(Luke 5:4-5) “When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’”
If Peter did not accept fishing advice from the carpenter’s son, but insisted he knew better as a professional fisherman, he would not have been blessed in this way.
What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
Remember that the Hebrew word for humble can also be translated as poor.
Humility can be a recognition of our personal spiritual poverty, a recognition that the source outside of us (James 1:17)
Accept God’s charity: (Ephesians 2:8) “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”
How can I work on being humble?
Humility is commanded in scripture.
(Ephesians 4:2) (Philippians 2:3) (Colossians 3:12) (1 Peter 3:8) (1 Peter 5:6) (James 3:13) (James 4:10)
Make a point of being humble during personal prayer.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) The story of the two men praying in (Luke 18), the instructions to humble ourselves in (James 4) all deal with confession and with prayer.
Since (Romans 13:7) says to give honor where it is due, we can be humble by acknowledging the help we have received from others and from God in each of our own accomplishments. Practice acknowledging the contributions of others.