In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked. (Proverbs 15:6, English Standard Version)
Sometimes while reading the Bible a particular word or phrase will catch my attention and cause me to pause and reflect. Many times, it’s just what I need for that day’s encouragement. While reading Proverbs 15, I stopped abruptly at verse 6, which says, “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure.”
Treasure. The word brought to mind items of great value—silver, gold, jewels—things that we can touch and hold. Looking around my rather modest home, I came up short. While God has blessed me with all the necessities of life, and even more, nothing I own could be described as “of great value.” Yet, I do feel rich.
As I sat reading that morning, I realized that the riches I possess are quite different from what the world counts as wealth. Luke 12:15 says that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” There is nothing inherently wrong with wealth, but it is important to keep our priorities straight. Everything we own has been provided by the Lord and is given for us to use wisely.
We must not measure our fortune by the lavishness of our home, the size of our investment portfolio, or the balance in our bank accounts. As Matthew 6:19-21 reminds us, these things can quickly slip away. They are fleeting at best.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
True riches, however, are enduring. How can we place a monetary value on God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, and the greatest love imaginable? We cannot hold them in our hands like gold or jewels, but they are more precious than either. Second Corinthians 4:18 describes it this way:
“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
As I examine my life, I realize that compared to much of the world I am rich in material goods. But most of all I am thankful that I have riches beyond compare in God. These are the things that cannot be taken away. These are my treasures.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the many blessings You provide each day. Let my focus be on eternal treasures rather than the temporal possessions of this life. Help me to not be distracted by desires for wealth here on earth, for I will leave all that behind. My true treasures are with You.