15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
This is a good proverb about the vanity and foolishness of man. When we are financially secure, we fool ourselves into thinking that we are safe. We can rest easy, knowing that our bills are going to be paid, our comfortable lifestyle maintained, and any financial burden to come will be met with little to no hassle.
In the United States, we have great wealth. Even those in poverty are rich when compared to many others throughout the world. We have shelter, electricity, plumbing, a variety of food, comfortable clothing, and all kinds of modern riches like the internet, mobile phones, and all sorts of gadgetry—of which we are a slave to.
How rich are we really? How free? Aren’t we slaves to it all?
Take away just one of our modern comforts—like toilet paper for example—and we lose our minds.
What would happen if we could not go to the local grocery store and buy food? What would happen if our food storage ran dry? What would happen if we did not have running water or electricity? What would happen if the internet shut down? What about healthcare? Education?
Riches in this world and a false sense of safety go hand-in-hand. The powers over us know this all too well. We will fight each other over our greed and envy. We will pledge allegiance to anyone who offers us more “free” things.
There is no such thing as “free.”
If we keep taking the “free” things, we will find ourselves so deeply entrenched in slavery to our leaders that there is no way out. We will also find that our riches are turned into poverty—not just in the things of this world, but in spirit. Maybe the latter would be good for many. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Yet, for many, poverty will be their destruction.
The more dependent we become on wealth as a form of security the poorer we become regardless of the “riches” we gain. We are already greatly dependent. Our modern world is hinged on riches. Take just one of these away and there is mass chaos that puts any other “pandemic” to shame. Pair this with a lack of trust in Jesus, and there would be little to no hope.
However, with trust in Jesus, such a time might be quite liberating. An end to the rat race of life. That might sound crazy to some. For others who seem to eat, drink, sleep, and breathe a life of constant work and stress just to maintain the most basic of these comforts might feel a kind of release when the “end times” really begin. Maybe that’s foolishness. That is a time of darkness, destruction, and much sorrow.
Maybe it’s not so foolish. Not for those who belong to the Lord, Jesus. We know that our earthly riches have become our poverty—robbing our hearts and minds of the true riches of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The poor know their poverty. They know that death lies at the door. Maybe they will look up and see the One who holds their soul in His hand, and in Him alone find real riches. Real safety.
Those who trust in Jesus will find freedom. Those who trust in this world will find false security only—one that leads to an allegiance with Death.