In a Conversation with the Lord, I asked, “What is true wealth and what is it for?” I immediately thought of the Patriarchs whom God had given great wealth, flocks, herds and abundance. I imagined our present society against these men who were truly blessed by God. We are focused on our appetites and a multitude of toys our decadent society provides. The ultra rich fly in a rocket to space just to experience weightlessness! What could be purchased with flocks and herds to satisfy such consumerism? The answer came back, Wealth is for others, when visitors or strangers passed by, the Patriarchs would prepare a feast and share his wealth with weary travelers. When friends and relatives visited, they could be well treated. When people were met with hard times, famine, or blight there was help from their surplus. This action belies a frame of mind and heart of gratitude felt, love expressed, honor shown, compassion released, joy shared, and God pleased.
Wealth should be relegated for service, rather than hoarded or used to build selfish empires. Solomon learned that wealth could not bring satisfaction, nor real joy. Yeshua said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21)
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:33-34) Wealth is deceptive, never saying enough, the cause of much wickedness and a cruel idol. It’s purpose it to be given away as nothing, dishonored, simply a tool with which to break up fallow ground. Remember, the words of the Priest to Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” after giving him two silver candlesticks he forgot to steal, “Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I buy from you; I withdraw it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.”