Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:4-5)
The Wings Of Money
An animal walks through a river stream seeking for food. His eye catches the gleam of a golden nugget glistening in the sand. He looks around and sees a multitude of gold gems filling the river stream. His heart begins to pound fiercely but it has nothing to do with the gold he has found. He is hungry and wants to find food to fill his stomach. Another animal walks through the same stream. He sees the gold filling the riverbed. His heart begins to pound and screams are heard as he frantically scoops up the gold. He will sacrifice life to gain this gold. Hiding the news from others he hurries to buy the land so he can fill his stomach with the manna of worldly riches. Wars will be fought to possess this gold. Lives destroyed to pursue more gold. The first animal is a bear foraging for food. The second animal is a man made in the image of God.
The bear will find food and be content. Man will find gold and never find contentment. It is more precious to him than food. The creator provides everything the bear needs to sustain life. Each day will be filled with the necessities of life provided through the marvelous world of creation. The creature made in the image of God has less sense than the bear because he will spend his life pursuing something that has no real value in the quality of life.
The accumulation of stuff is the driving force for many in life. Keeping up with ‘the Joneses’ is the goal of life not knowing the Jones family moved away last year. Riches have intrinsic value only for the purpose they serve. There is a need to work and provide for the family. Children of God work so they can also give to those who have need (see Ephesians 4:28). Beyond the needs of life riches have wings that fly away. For a brief moment in life the value of money seems like the greatest joy and when spent loses its splendor. Is not life more than the pursuit of riches? All wealth comes with wings.
The wise man did not say to refrain from working. He said not to OVERWORK to be rich because we waste our lives seeking something that comes with the wings of a butterfly that will fly away in short time. And then what? If you want to seek after something of true value, seek eternal life. That will not go away if we embrace it.