Proverbs 10:22b

Blessings Without Sorrow

 

Introduction:

1. God’s blessings make “rich”…

2. All the blessing we have in life have GOD as their ultimate source.

3. Of course, vs. 4 indicates that the hand of the diligent makes rich. BOTH are true… Solomon writes of the human and the divine side of prospering financially…

4. Oftentimes, God in His sovereignty allows the wicked to prosper.

5. God also allows diligent workers to fail at times. (The race is not always to the swift; the battle not always to the strong…)

6. But the rule is… the proverb states that diligence results in riches… AND God’s blessing results in riches… two sides of one coin.

7. Now Solomon states that when God blesses with riches… there is no sorrow added to it!

Sorrow often accompanies riches…

1. There is a right way to obtain riches and material goods and there are MANY wrong ways. (lying; cheating; stealing; bribing; extortion; begging; misrepresentation; taking advantage of the weak; pyramid schemes; gambling; fraud; selling drugs; selling your body; etc…)

2. However, riches obtained by these means are often accompanied by sorrow…

3. When we leave God out and seek riches on our own, it may be accompanied by much sorrow and grief!

4. I Tim. 6:9-10 – we may or may not obtain the wealth—but the end is that we are pierced with many sorrows… regrets…

a. When we prosper in the same way as the wicked prosper—leaving God out, that will always be accompanied by grief and sorrow… regrets…

b. Those who WILL be rich…
• This is not talking about rich people necessarily. Poor people could fall into this category… and DO quite often!
• Will be rich = desire or intend to be rich… those who long to be rich…
• Rich people long to be rich. So do many poor people… perhaps more poor than rich!
• What Paul is about to say concerning wealth is not a criticism about the wealthy, but rather a criticism about the WANNA Bes
• He is speaking against the LOVE of money… the LUST for riches… not the possession of them.

c. Hurtful lusts:
• Lusts: desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust
• Hurtful = injurious; painful
• Paul states that people who long to be rich, lust after riches to their own detriment…
• Eventually it will cause them hurtful lusts…
• A hurtful lust is a lust that goes unsatisfied.
• Prov. 13:4 – the sluggard has strong desires for riches, but does not work… and thus never satisfies those longings. Those lusts are the source of much hurt to him!
• Prov. 10:4 – he becomes poor… and if on the inside you desperately LONG for riches… that is a painful position to be in!
• The stronger your WILL to be rich… the more painful your poverty will be!
• I Kings 21:1-4 – consider the hurtful lusts of King Ahab! He had the whole kingdom except for this little garden plot… and he could not be happy until he had it. His lust wasn’t satisfied, and he went into depression! What folly!
• The stronger our lust for things… the more hurtful it becomes when not satisfied!
• Even when riches are obtained, rich men STILL lust to KEEP their riches. They are painfully aware that riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Prov. 23:4)
• They worry that their riches will be stolen… rust… corrupt…

d. Fall into many temptations…
• Those who long to be rich will find themselves tempted in ways others are not…
• Tempted to steal… to lie… to cheat… to misrepresent… to get ahead! The desire to get rich is behind many of those temptations!
• There is the added temptation to forget about the Lord… for when one is faithful in serving the Lord and faithful to His house, you are losing overtime! Your co-worker and not you might get that promotion and raise!
• There is the temptation to cut corners spiritually…

e. Drown men in destruction and perdition…
• Men who LONG to be rich often find themselves drowning… overwhelmed in destruction…(drown: to plunge into the deep, to sink)
• They sacrifice their marriage in order to make it in the world… they risk losing their kids in order to advance at work… they may even risk their health or their lives in order to make it…
• Destruction: destruction or ruin…
• Perdition: a perishing, ruin, utter destruction; (more intense—this term sometimes speaks of eternal ruin in hell… but not always!)
• Many men and women have RUINED their families and utterly destroyed their lives in order to make it rich.
• Read some of the accounts of hardships that men put themselves through in the days of the gold rush—especially the Alaskan gold rush! Men tortured themselves… and most did not make it rich.
• The desire to make it rich has resulted in many men plunging into the deep… and brought destruction and ruin to their lives.
• Most never make it rich… but even those who do, do so at a great price… to themselves and/or their families.
• Prov. 20:28 – A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
» Many men will resort to unlawful means in order to make money… and make it fast…
» Rather than earn it the old fashioned way, they resort to all kinds of evil… but in the end, it catches up to them… destruction and ruin… to their home… their name… their business…

f. Pierced themselves through with many sorrows…
• More strong language about those who long to be rich…
• Here they are described as those who LOVE MONEY…$
• One often thinks of love as something warm and wonderful.
• This love pierces with sorrows… many sorrows…
• Pierce: to pierce through; metaph. to torture one’s soul with sorrows
• Sorrows: consuming grief, pain, sorrow
• Paul uses extremely strong language to describe the pain brought to one’s soul because of a love of money…

g. George McGovern – out of selfish ambition devoted his life to becoming president and lost his daughter to drugs and alcohol.
• His success politically came with many regrets and sorrows.
• He wishes he could do it over… but you don’t get a second chance.
• He was out seeking to advance himself… but his kids paid the price.
• Countless times that scenario has been repeated… a longing to “make it” can bring ruin and destruction and many sorrows to one’s life.
• What irony—the very thing we THINK will bring us joy and happiness turns out to be the source of our most painful hurts and sorrows instead!!

5. Gen. 13:10 – Lot lifted up his eyes—and made his decision based upon his eyes… what LOOKED good physically to him.

a. vs. 14 – note that Abraham waited until the Lord told him to lift up his eyes.

b. Lot’s choice was materially prosperous for him… but spiritually, poverty stricken!

c. II Peter 2:8 – Peter tells us that Lot’s righteous soul was vexed daily because of the deeds of the men of Sodom. It was his longing to prosper that brought him to that place.

d. He became rich and successful… he sat at the gate of the city… but it was accompanied by much sorrow.

e. He too lost his wife and his family in the process.

f. He was pierced with many sorrows… vexed daily… because of his longing for riches…

But when God blesses with riches, there is no sorrow with it!

1. The blessings that come from the Lord are truly BLESSINGS… occasions for joy…

a. When we obtain riches the wrong way… or when we lust after riches the wrong way, we will experience sorrow.

b. But when we obtain blessings the right way… there IS no sorrow attached!

c. Prov. 10:4 – When we do our best… put in diligent effort… work in dependence upon the Lord… and do so gladly and cheerfully… THEN, when God blesses the finished product (building a church; building a business; or building a family)… there is no sorrow with it!

d. There is no sorrow with the outcome when we do our part, joyfully dependent upon the Lord.

2. When God blesses, there is no sorrow with it. It is a TRUE blessing.

a. There is no regret… no second thoughts… no grief… no guilt…

b. God’s blessings are to be enjoyed!

c. And God blesses us with poverty, He is able to make our little cabin a palace… (Prov. 17:1)

d. I Tim. 6:17 – when God blesses, there is no sorrow with it.
• He intends for us to ENJOY His blessings…
• And to use them wisely for His glory. (vs.18-19)

3. The reason the Lord’s blessings and riches add no sorrow with them is because the experience of the joy of the Lord is not sourced in the blessings… but in the One who blesses!

a. Hab. 3:17-19 – Even when we are diligent and faithful and never obtain physical blessings or riches… we can STILL rejoice…

b. Our rejoicing is not in the Blessings, but in the Lord who gave them.

c. That no one can take from us… the Lord never changes…

d. The real blessing is that we know God… and can walk with Him and trust in Him… regardless of the economy… or our wallet… Wall Street… or a bountiful harvest time…

e. Whether rich or poor, the believer can rejoice in the Lord.

f. We can learn to abound and to suffer want… and still have the joy of the Lord in it…

g. If God blesses us with poverty or if God blesses us with riches… He adds no sorrow with it.

h. If we work hard and do our best and we are still poor, then you can sleep at night and enjoy the Lord.

i. If we work hard and do our best and become rich… then we can enjoy those riches and use them for God’s glory. There need be no guilt… no sorrow… it is all the Lord’s doing… blessed be the name of the Lord.

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