DAILY DEVOTIONAL WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021

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Young Christians AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

Lasting Values

Proverbs 8:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.

Riches and honor are with me: While there is no verb in the Hebrew of this verse the context of with me suggests that wisdom is saying that she has financial security and honor, which she can bestow upon those who seek her and listen to her.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES

Enduring wealth and righteousness: Here wealth that endures is a hereditary wealth or values (Wealth and Poverty in the Book of Proverbs by R. N. Whybray). When God chose to give mankind the Word of God, it certainly contained a wealth of true values. These values have been passed on as a legacy to thousands of future generations from Moses, who penned the first five books (1500 B.C.E.), to the apostle John, who penned the last five books (96-98 C.E.),[1] to the present generation. The advice that Moses gave Israel after telling them to obey the Law is still applicable today in reference to the entire sixty-six books of the Bible. “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your sons, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty [valueless] word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” – Deuteronomy 32:46-47.

Some eight centuries later Proverbs is referring to the words, Word of God as enduring wealth or lasting values. Yes, it is true that verse 18 is literally talking about enduring wealth, in the sense of lasting financial security, but at the same time, Solomon’s words ring true as a principle of life as well. “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to discernment; For if you cry for discernment and raise your voice for understanding, if you keep seeking her like silver and searching for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God.” – Proverbs 2:1-5.

There are certainly material benefits to wisdom. Wisdom can and does deliver wealth by a righteous means to those that love her. Some may take this to mean spiritual prosperity. Which is somewhat true, because not all wealth is speaking of financial prosperity? However, it should be understood literally as well. Wise persons do ascertain wealth or prosperity because they make wise decisions when it comes to their finances.

The Epistle to the Hebrews Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

Enduringrighteousness is the literal rendering of (Heb. tsedaqah), which some have rendered as prosperity. (NIV, RSV, NRSV, GNT, REB) This has brought about two main different interpretations. The dynamic equivalent (interpretive) translations see it as success in life or favorable outcomes. In other words, being righteous will result in prosperity. The literal translations (ASV, NASB, and UASV) and semi-literal translations (ESV, CSB) hold with the literal rendering of righteousness. William McKane argues “What wisdom gives essentially is a way of life which possesses ethical fitness and equity.”[2]

[1] B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”

[2] William McKane, Old Testament Library: Proverbs, (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1970), 350.

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