Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

9 September 2021

Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor,
    and the borrower is slave to the lender.

The rich man rules over the poor man who is dependent upon him. The lender has control over the man who borrows from him. This is the disadvantage we should strive to avoid. What difference does it make that I owe money to someone else? That someone else has a claim on me. In a sense I work for him, for I am earning money to turn over to him.

Desire for comforts and pleasures leads us into indebtedness and keeps us from financial independence. But that very desire then is frustrated because we must work all the harder to satisfy the debt it has created. The rich man and the lender are the ones who get their desire through our labor.

What then do we do? For one, we should follow the teachings of the proverbs to be industrious, to build wealth slowly, and to walk along the righteous path. And then we would do well to follow James’ admonition: “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,” i.e. in his standing in Christ (James 1:9). In Christ we are free; in Christ we are rich. If we would see who we are and what we have in him, then our desire for worldly gain and pleasure would diminish; then, oddly enough, we will do the things that actually lead to greater security and freedom.

For in truth, it is what gives us most pleasure that we become slaves to. If it is of the world, then we become slaves of the world and its lenders; if our pleasure is in Christ, then we become his slaves where we find ultimate freedom.

 

Psalm 59

Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
    be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
Deliver me from evildoers
    and save me from those who are after my blood.

See how they lie in wait for me!
    Fierce men conspire against me
    for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
    Arise to help me; look on my plight!
You, Lord God Almighty,
    you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
    show no mercy to wicked traitors.[c]

They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
See what they spew from their mouths—
    the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
    and they think, “Who can hear us?”
But you laugh at them, Lord;
    you scoff at all those nations.

You are my strength, I watch for you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
10     my God on whom I can rely.

God will go before me
    and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
11 But do not kill them, Lord our shield,[d]
    or my people will forget.
In your might uproot them
    and bring them down.
12 For the sins of their mouths,
    for the words of their lips,
    let them be caught in their pride.
For the curses and lies they utter,
13     consume them in your wrath,
    consume them till they are no more.
Then it will be known to the ends of the earth
    that God rules over Jacob.

14 They return at evening,
    snarling like dogs,
    and prowl about the city.
15 They wander about for food
    and howl if not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.