Proverbs 13:7 (ESV) "One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth."
I was not sure what this verse meant when I was reading in back in February, so I checked the Matthew Henry Commentary on Gateway.com. This is what it said.
"This observation is applicable,
I. To men’s worldly estate. The world is a great cheat, not only the things of the world, but the men of the world. All men are liars. Here is an instance in two sore evils under the sun:—1. Some that are really poor would be thought to be rich and are thought to be so; they trade and spend as if they were rich, make a great bustle and a great show as if they had hidden treasures, when perhaps, if all their debts were paid, they are not worth a groat. This is sin, and will be shame; many a one hereby ruins his family and brings reproach upon his profession of religion. Those that thus live above what they have choose to be subject to their own pride rather than to God’s providence, and it will end accordingly. 2. Some that are really rich would be thought to be poor, and are thought to be so, because they sordidly and meanly live below what God has given them, and choose rather to bury it than to use it, Eccl. 6:1, 2. In this there is an ingratitude to God, injustice to the family and neighbourhood, and uncharitableness to the poor.
My take on the verses and commentaryII. To their spiritual state. Grace is the riches of the soul; it is true riches; but men commonly misrepresent themselves, either designedly or through mistake and ignorance of themselves. 1. There are many presuming hypocrites, that are really poor and empty of grace and yet either think themselves rich, and will not be convinced of their poverty, or pretend themselves rich, and will not own their poverty. 2. There are many timorous trembling Christians, that are spiritually rich, and full of grace, and yet think themselves poor, and will not be persuaded that they are rich, or, at least, will not own it; by their doubts and fears, their complaints and griefs, they make themselves poor. The former mistake is destroying at last; this is disquieting in the mean time. "
Worldly Goods -
One borrows and so looks to others as if they have much, but if they paid their debts they would not be worth anything. This is a sin - the Bible says we ought not owe any man. We should not borrow just so we can "keep up with the Joneses."
One is rich but acts poor. They 'bury' their riches or hide them in banks in other countries instead of sharing with those who have little. Those who have been blessed with much should share with those who don't have much. Acts 2:44-45 "And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
One says they are saved but they are not. They fool others and maybe even themselves, but they are void of the grace of God in their lives. They have never repented and accepted the free gift. They may be good people, they may even go to church. Some, who think they are saved will be surprised to hear God tell them...
Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’I am sure when we get to heaven we will be surprised at who is not there... and at who is there!
Others (like me??) are afratid, but are Christians and spiriturally rich and full of grace. Yet, by doubts and fears, complaints and griefs behave as if they are poor in spirit.
Boy, this last section hit me. Is this me?? Yes, many times it is. I have much power through the Spirit. There are many promises from the Word of God that I can claim as my own. Yet so, so many times I walk around defeated. We have already won the battle friends. I need to act as a fellow heir with Christ. A participant in this great journey and though the way is rough here on earth some days I need not fear. I need to act as if my father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, because He does!!
Do you remember that old chorus. We used to sing it all the time in the church where I grew up. I have not sung that chorus for years but it comes back to me quite easily. I tried to find a copy on YouTube but could not find a good one. Here is a midi file to hear the tune in case you don't know it. It will open in a new tab and play so turn on your speakers and listen.... then I listed the lyrics in case you need them as well.
"He Owns the Cattle" midi file
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell -
He is my Father so they're mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills -
I know that He will care for me.
God Bless you this coming week.
And, as the president of The King's College (where I went from 1979-1983 and graduated from), Dr. Bob Cook used to say,
"Walk with the King today, and be a blessing"
all content on my blog is ©