There is a great danger when Americans ignore those verses in the Bible which discuss the dangers of riches. The average annual income in America is about $47,000. That number is the gross amount you receive, not the amount you bring home after the deductions at work. With that in mind consider the following. If you make $41,000 each year you are in the top 3% of the wealthiest people living on the earth. There are approximately seven billion people on the earth and three billion of them make less than $2 per day! This means that over forty percent of people earn less than $14 per day or less than $800 per year. Those verses about riches apply to all of us!
The dangers of riches. The wisdom of Solomon so vividly describes the dangers that Americans face. He asked the Lord to grant him two things. One was that he would not be poor and be tempted to become a thief. The other concerned riches. “Give me neither poverty nor riches—feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord’” (Prov. 30:8-9). His words are easily understood, yet difficult for Americans to apply since so few realize that most of the world knows we are rich.
Riches are not sinful. Having money is not sinful. Abraham, the friend of God, was very rich. His wealth was described by his servant. “He has become rich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys” (Gen. 24:35). This is further seen in the fact that he had 318 men who were trained and able to go to war to rescue Lot (Gen. 14:14). Job was also an extremely wealthy man who was described by God as a “…man that was blameless and upright,” and yet his wealth made him “…the greatest of all the people of the east” (Job 1:1-3).
God’s special message to “rich” Americans. The Lord gives nine direct commands to those who are rich (1 Tim. 6:17-19). I beg that you prayerfully consider them.
1. Do not become haughty because you are rich.
2. Do not trust in uncertain riches.
3. Do trust in God.
4. Do good by using your money.
5. Be rich in good works, not just rich.
6. Always be ready to give.
7. Always be willing to share.
8. Use your money to store up treasures in heaven.
9. Use your money to lay hold on eternal life.