05 August 2008

Durable Riches – 7.22.08

Proverbs 8:18

Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

The economics course I took at a local community college was definitely one of the best and most enjoyable classes I took in college. The teacher was a little Italian guy from Chicago who never wore a belt or socks, never fixed his hair, and was Catholic. The tests and assignments were challenging, but he knew and enjoyed his subject enough to make them seem easy.

I was reminded of one of those economics lessons when reading Proverbs 8, where wisdom is personified, and the Lord gives us a beautiful description of both its value and of its benefits.

Think back a few Sunday mornings ago and remember the biblical definition of wisdom. It is the application of knowledge; the exercise of judgment in avoiding evil (prudence) and attempting good; a fear of the Lord that results in adherence to God's commands.

According to Proverbs 8, one of the blessings associated with this principal virtue is durable riches and righteousness.

Now, in economics, a durable good (or hard good) is a good that does not quickly wear out or one that yields service or utility over time rather than being completely used up all at once. A car, a refrigerator, a copy machine, a couch, a computer, a house, a gun would all be example of durable goods.

Nondurable goods (or soft goods) on the other hand are those goods that are used up when once used or have a lifespan of less than 3 years. Gas, food, shoes, detergent, envelopes are all examples of nondurable goods.

A perfectly durable good would be one that never wears out.

Look again at Proverbs 8. Wisdom is associated with durable riches. I believe we could classify these as perfectly durable riches. You see, the benefits of possessing enough wisdom to do what's right are reaped both now throughout eternity.

On the other hand, the "benefits" of folly, of walking after the lusts of the flesh, would definitely be nondurable. They are quick; fleeting; here today, gone tomorrow; lasting only a season. The Bible says, treasures of wickedness profit nothing (Proverbs 10:2). They are consumed. They simply do not last.

So let's determine to seek wisdom. Let's choose to claim the riches that will last forever.

The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)

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