Devotional Readings

Proverbs 13 – Dabbling in Foolish Thoughts and the Poor

Reading chapter 13 of Proverbs I was struck by these words which are used more than a hundred times in the book.

Pro 13:7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

Pro 13:8 The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

Pro 13:16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

Pro 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Pro 13:19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Pro 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Pro 13:23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

On the first verse quoted Gill writes…refering to the rich who fake poverty or those who miss true riches.

there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches; there are some, on the other hand, who greatly degrade themselves; live in a very mean way, as though they were very poor; either through covetousness, or because they would not draw upon them the envy of their neighbours, or encourage their friends to borrow of them, or invite thieves to steal from them, or for some low end or another: the pope of Rome sometimes affects to seem poor, though at other times, and in other respects, he would be thought rich; at the Lateran procession the newly elected pope scatters pieces of brass money among the people, saying, as Peter, whose successor he pretends to be, did, “Silver and gold have I none”, Act 3:6; yet comes into great riches.

These words may be applied spiritually, in a good sense; there are some who are sensible of their spiritual poverty, and own it; they ingenuously express the sense they have of their own nothingness and unworthiness; they declare they have nothing, and can do nothing; they renounce all their own works in the business of salvation, and ascribe it wholly to the grace of God; they have very mean thoughts, and speak very meanly of themselves, as less than the least of saints, and the chief of sinners: yea, some carry the matter too far in the expressions of their poverty; will not be persuaded that they have the true riches of grace, at least will not own it; but give way to their doubts and fears about it, when they are possessed of much; to whom some think these words are applicable.

However, they are to such who are “poor in spirit”, Mat 5:3, as before described; who have, notwithstanding, “great riches”, the riches of justifying grace, the riches of Christ’s righteousness: the riches of pardoning grace, a large share thereof, much being forgiven them; the riches of sanctifying grace, faith, more precious than that of gold that perisheth, with all other graces; the riches of spiritual knowledge, preferable to gold and silver: they have Christ, and all things along with him; they have God to be their portion, and exceeding great reward; they have a large estate, an incorruptible inheritance, in heaven; they have a better and a more enduring substance there; “theirs is the kingdom of heaven”, Mat 5:3; it is prepared for them, and given to them; compare with this 2Co 6:10.

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