Solomon warns against get rich quick schemes. These most probably include lottery and sweepstakes gains. Little by little is the way we earn, and keep it.
We are still going to stick with the single proverb progress today. I thought about putting this one with the next but I though their lessons were too important to cover in one go. Let’s see where the Spirit takes us today with this lesson.
Oh how I have longed to have the Publisher’s Clearing House van turn up in my driveway. Especially since they have been promising me a visit for YEARS. My husband STRONGLY encourages me to enter every time I get one of those enticing letters. I admit to having done so MANY times, including ordering one of their advertised items. But they still haven’t rewarded me for my persistence. I don’t believe they ever will.
The lottery sign I pass every time I leave town is another big draw. Right now it is over 200 million. If I could just win that “all my worries would be over” and I “would be set for life.”
According to Solomon and God, both these dreams would quickly end in disappointment. Sudden wealth dropped on you has a tendency to be spent with abandon. New cars, new house, new… you name it. The money doesn’t have as much value to you as what you have worked hard to gain. Don’t believe me? How many of us have received big tax return checks and have them spent within months, if not weeks. Yes, this was your hard earned money, but it isn’t the same as the little by little you get along the way. Most lottery winners go broke in a very short time too. Our hands don’t seem to be able to hold the influx. Our hearts too.
While thinking about this, I realized that this concept goes beyond money. It also applies to lessons learned and wisdom gained. The lessons we learn best are the ones that we have walked through ourselves. Even if someone imparts ALL their wisdom to us, it doesn’t stick. We might hang onto a few nuggets but most of it will wash away with the cares of the world or even fade with sleep.
I have to plunge my hands into the task myself to truly learn the art of it. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” Benjamin Franklin. “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.” Xunzi (340-245 BC). Apparently I’m not the first one to recognize this concept.
I wonder if this concept is why Solomon was able to forget how precious a relationship with God is. He didn’t have to work for the wisdom he received, it was a gift of God. His wealth and fame were gifts too. He used his wisdom immensely but he forgot one critical lesson; “Thou shall have no other gods before Me.” He also forgot God’s words about the life of a king, especially that of him not having many wives. David forgot that lesson too. Both men’s relationships caused them problems. Solomon’s relationships had consequences on ALL of Israel.
The wisest man who ever lived forgot the most important lesson ever taught. It slipped through his fingers because he didn’t have to work hard to gain it.
What lessons have I let slip through my fingers because they were not hard earned? One that I let nearly fall through will be covered tomorrow. It is one that I will NEVER forget again! It had to do with “hope” from something besides the Lord. I thought the “hope” was from the Lord but it was a trick of Satan.
Father God, thank You for EVERY hard earned lesson I have received. The hardest ones seem to stick the best. I wish I wasn’t so hard headed that I needed such intense lessons. THANK YOU for the one ‘health’ lesson that You are still working on with me and that it hasn’t caused permanent damage to my body. I’m sorry I’m still learning that one Father. I know I should be done with it by now, but… Help me with the “but…”
I would love to be able to try Solomon’s wisdom regarding large sums of money for myself. I have thought often of what that kind of windfall could do for my whole family. But I trust You in knowing what I can and can’t handle. I’ll be satisfied with what You bring me now and stop making ‘pipe dreams’.