God Decides Our Material Well-Being

Yael Eckstein  |  April 1, 2022

Close up image of one and five dollar bills.

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
    do not trust your own cleverness.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
    for they will surely sprout wings
    and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
— Proverbs 23:4-5

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

One of the most fundamental beliefs that I inherited from my parents and that I try to pass on to my children is recognizing that God decides what we will have, in terms of material possessions, not us. Yes, it is our job to work hard and do our best to be productive every single day. But in the end, God alone determines what our material wealth and well-being will be.

We all know the stories of wealthy people who suddenly lost everything, as well as the stories of poor people who somehow became rich beyond anybody’s expectations. The bottom line is that as much as we try to understand, it is God, and God alone, who decides our material well-being.

As Proverbs teaches us, there are two sides to the lesson of trusting in God for our material well-being. We read, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness.”

God Decides Our Material Well-Being

This verse describes two ways that we fall into the wrong attitude about wealth. Some people are so worried about money that they literally wear themselves out. They neglect their families, their spiritual life, and their relationships to community because all they can think about is how to make more money.

On the other hand, there are people who do manage to achieve great wealth. All too often, the challenge for the financially successful is that they become prideful and start to believe that their own intelligence and superiority is the cause of their riches.

Proverbs teaches us that neither of these attitudes is appropriate for people of faith. To the workaholic who wears himself out as well as to the prideful success story, the message is the same. Do your best, work hard, but faithfully and humbly understand that only God decides what the results will be. In the end, we must trust God for our material well-being.

Your Turn:

Take some prayer time today to thank God for all He has given you and let Him know that you accept His will.