"Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom."
Today: What is Worth Spending our Lives Working For?
Do you want to be rich? We live in a day of “get rich quick schemes” and countless “techniques” for increasing wealth. People are obsessed with getting money and living the “good life.” If you are looking in this devotion for secrets to getting this world’s wealth, you will be sorely disappointed. But if you are willing to follow God’s Word, you will learn something from Him. What does the inspired guidance of the richest man on earth, in his day, tell us? What does Solomon advise his own son about going after riches? Let’s see —
With these words, can’t you hear a lazy person say with joy, “The Bible says ‘labor not!’ See, I don’t need to work!” Not so fast! That is definitely not what Solomon is saying, for he has said many things about work and being industrious. “Go to the ant, thou sluggard!” (Proverbs 6:6). The Bible teaches us to be diligent workers.
These words “labor not” in the ancient text mean “weary not thyself.” What does that mean? Those are the same words that describe Eleazar, one of David’s mighty men, as he fought against the Philistines,
“He arose and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to spoil” (2 Samuel 23:10).
Eleazer had fought so hard that his hand was so weary he could not let go of his sword. That was an intense battle!
Isaiah also uses those words to describe the young people who are not “waiting on the Lord.”
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31).
What is there that is worth spending your time and energy on? We need to pay close attention to these warnings in the Bible and think about what is really at stake here.
“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death” (Proverbs 10:2).
Jesus said, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27).
“The labor of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin” (Proverbs 10:16).
We should not be wearing ourselves out trying to get rich. Still, we should be seeking God’s righteousness. The labor of searching for wisdom is worth the effort!
Why are these warnings in the Bible anyway? Because riches in this life are only temporary, and they can distract our eyes from what is essential — everything eternal. We must not spend our lives only for the earthly and temporal.
Come back tomorrow as we continue to talk about God’s ideas about going after riches.
Quote: “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!” (Psalm 52:7, ESV).
 See Proverbs 10:4; 12:24; 12:27; 13:4; 22:29; 27:23.
 See the Cambridge Bible notes. Cambridge Bible, the electronic version in eSword. Proverbs 23:4.
 ESV is the English Standard Version of the Bible.