10 Oct 2014

7 KJV Bible Verses About Money That Are Paradoxes (I)

Pro 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Pro 26:5  Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
I first read these two paradoxical verses when I was in JSS 1. And to say that I was confused is an understatement.
Today, I will share with you 7 bible verses about money from the King James’ Version that sound paradoxical at first reading, and offer some concise explanations.
1.       Prov 13:7  There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
This is one of my favorite bible verses about money. It talks about poor people who put up an ostentatious show of wealth to fool people into believing they are rich, while the truly rich people don’t show it. For you to fully understand this verse, let me show you the NLT translation of it: “Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich, pretend to be poor.”  
 The best book that typifies this verse is “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. It is a book about a 20 year survey of Millionaires in America. When the authors started their survey, they went to the rich neighbourhoods- more like going to Maitama in Abuja or VI in Lagos in order to study millionaires. But they quickly found out that most of the people there were actually poor networth people with high income (UAWs). They dressed rich, drove big cars, but were living from paycheck to paycheck. They found that most American millionaires were in the ordinary neighbourhoods (PAWs). More like finding more millionaires (in networth) in Surulere or Ojota, and Kubwa in Abuja. [If you have not read it and you don’t mind reading the e-copy, you can contact me for it]
2.       Ps 127:2  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.  This sounds ironical at first, until you read it in context, starting at vs 1. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain that build it. To disregard God in our finances, or plans to get wealth is akin to disregarding the architect when attempting to build a house he designed, or disregarding Apple (principles) when attempting to use a Mac/iPhone, or ignoring Windows’ instructions when trying to install their software. You will only end up being a frustrated user!

3.       Mat 19:24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  This is probably the most misunderstood scripture in the bible regarding wealth used by many ministers in the past to prove that God doesn’t want any ‘rich men’ in the Kingdom. In Israel then, being rich was seen as a blessing from God, so to be rich then was to be truly spiritual. But for Jesus to now say it was a hard thing for a rich man to see God's kingdom went against prevailing sense.
      There are at least two explanations given for this saying of Jesus:

a.       The first and easily explainable is that there used to be a very small gate called the eye of the needle in Jerusalem. When the merchants came in from their journey at night (after the bigger gates were already closed), they needed to unload their camels, and make each camel go through the gate on its knees to enter the city. So Jesus was trying to say in essence that for a rich man to enter into the kingdom, he must be stripped of his wealth first. That of course is a very hard thing (who wants to lose his wealth)!

b.       Cyril of Alexandria claimed that “Carmel” is a greek misprint of Kamilos instead of Kamelos meaning rope or cable. In Aramaic too, ‘gamla’ the word interpreted for camel, also means a large rope, or a beam, and when used together with the needle, it meant rope, not camel. For it to pass through the eye of a tailor's needle, it will first need to be unwound.
Either way, the salvation of a rich man is a miracle, impossible for man, but possible for God. 

Trusting God with your money is one of the highest forms of trust. Like I said a few days ago (Day 5), if you want to know how much influence you have on a person/group of people, ask them for their money. If they give it to you willingly, you have influence over them.

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