Trusting in Riches

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city … ”

- Proverbs 10:15; 11:4, 28

Because fallen man does not put his confidence in God, he finds it necessary to put his confidence in something. More often than not, this “something” is material wealth. Have you ever put your trust and hope in worldly possessions? Do you know people who have made a god of their money? You don’t have to be rich to fall into this category. A poor person can just as easily make a god out of money as a wealthy person. The poor person might imagine that all their problems would be solved if only they could accumulate enough money. We too quickly equate satisfaction with prosperity.

The reason money so often becomes the strong tower and confidence of people is that it does actually rid life of many trials and tribulations. It keeps you warm with clothing, nourished with food, sheltered, protected from the tyranny and abuse of others. The list could go on and on. But herein lies the deception: While money can provide many things, it guarantees nothing. Your wealth can be taken away just as easily as it was given—Job is the classic example of this. Only God remains the same from age to age. Only He provides lasting protection, nourishment, and care. And most importantly, wealth cannot be taken beyond the grave. Upon death, every man will stand barren and empty before the throne of God. Only those who are clothed in the righteousness of Christ will be spared from eternal torment. Only those who put their trust in God will truly know what it means to be rich and to have their portion filled forever.

Those who put their trust in riches do not give a thought to the fleeting quality of this life. They do not peer into the chasm of eternity and consider what awaits them beyond the grave. They have been duped by their own idolatrous notions to trust in themselves and to pursue wealth and pleasure as the surety for life. “Little does he think, that in a moment they may crumble to the dust, and leave him in the fearful ruin of an unsheltered state,” Bridges wrote. “‘Trouble will find an entrance into his castle. Death will storm, and take it. And judgment will sweep both him and it into perdition.’” Hear the plea of the Gospel. Do not put your trust in this world, but trust in Christ who alone gives life everlasting.

Coram Deo

Read Matthew 19:16–30. Why would the young man not follow Christ? Why is wealth such a trap for so many people? Be specific in your answer. In what ways do you put your trust in money instead of Christ? What practical steps can you take to rid yourself of this unhealthy dependence? What do you need to give up for Christ?

Passages for Further Study

Job 31
Psalm 52
Proverbs 18:11
1 Timothy 6:17

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343