Proverbs 13:22 – “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” NKJV
We can strictly make this about money and miss the message of this passage. I hold the view that prosperity is about far more than possessions but what possess us. It is my conviction that true prosperity begins on the inside and the flows to the outside. A good man in the broadest sense of this word is someone who seeks good and desires to do and be right. I acknowledge that this passage is most assuredly about money and possessions and while I contend it goes far beyond that reality it is still a reality.
Leaving an inheritance is not the same as leaving a heritage because a rich heritage with a biblical foundation will provide the needed stability for the recipient to handle it rightly and not be overwhelmed with possessions. Even the pagans realized that “ill-gotten gain” frequently failed to reach the 3rd generation. There is a quote I have heard “De male quaesitis non gaudet tertius haeres” which translated means, “The third generation shall not possess the goods that have been unjustly acquired.” Ill-gotten gain is a curse, not a blessing.
I know many of my fellow believers lay claim to the second portion of this passage citing it as a declaration that they will one day be rich. I believe they miss sometimes miss the mark of what and why the “wealth of the sinner” is stored up for the righteous. If God’s purpose and the objective were simply to make His children rich, we would all be wealthy because truly He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and all the earth is His. That cannot be his purpose to simply have us live in the lap of luxury and remain consistent with the message of the Bible. When I think of the many places in scripture that speak of money, talent, and increase I find a consistent theme that the heart is the Kingdom, not Mammon or Possessions. We have a commission and a mission and that requires finances to fulfill, therefore, God has determined that “ill-gotten gain” will be lost by the wicked and that loss will fall to the righteous through right paths. Job 27 declared, “The innocent shall divide the silver…” In Exodus 12 we read that the Israelites would spoil the Egyptians and “eat the riches of the gentiles.”
I believe we must read this in context else we could develop a misguided and erroneous interpretation of God’s promise here. Justice is always part of God’s purpose and plan as is discipline and correction. If we train our children in the right path and teach them to teach their children the right paths we will leave a heritage that enables them to walk in any abundance that comes to them without developing a “mammon mentality”. In verse 25 we read, “The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, but the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.” Many things can be said here but sufficient it to say that “Contentment” is the key. We become as Paul declared, “content with whatever state we find ourselves” and “confident in the ability and reality of God’s provision.” A contented mind is a place of peace but one that devises schemes and through deceit and wickedness seeks to secure gain will always be in turmoil and live in constant fear of someone taking from them what they have. Through deceit and corruption, they acquired, therefore they view everyone as themselves and trust no one and fear everyone. There is no real peace for the wicked.
If I leave my children and grandchildren a heritage of righteousness, not just wealth I have given them something which will lead them to the Light and Life. I have provided something far more valuable than money or possessions. I desire to give them an inheritance that enhances their lives materially but mostly I desire to leave them a heritage of godliness that will lead them to life spiritually. So, I will leave an inheritance but in that inheritance, I desire to leave a heritage.
God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Christ!