Proverbs 22:2 The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all. (NKJV)
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In a world of rampant materialism, class envy and status parading, this verse is “the great equalizer”. When wicked and godless people prosper, this verse brings perspective. When all that is right and good is mocked, this verse reminds us that God is in control.
The “rich and poor” is not just a statement about income levels. It is a way of saying “everyone”. Remember, in Biblical times the rich and poor were very distinct and every person was easily identified as one or the other. To be rich meant having more than one day of needs taken care of. If you did not have to worry about the next day’s food and necessities, you were rich. The poor lived from day to day; in a given day earning wages that would buy food for that day.
“The Lord is the maker of them all”… this is a way of saying that God is in control of every person and He is quite aware of what is going on in this world. In other words, we don’t need to worry, fret, be jealous, envious or feel indignant concerning ANY other person or circumstance. God made every single person and thing. He is not only the maker of “them all”; He is the maker of “all”.. He blesses as He sees fits; He punishes, rewards, prospers, chastises and directs as He sees fit. In a nutshell:
God is Lord over every person, every thing; keep that in mind
no matter what life brings your way.
There are many things to consider in this rich little verse:
- Don’t be concerned with how much you have or don’t have, God controls it all.
- Don’t get anxious when the wicked seem to prosper; the same God is Maker of all.
- Don’t get too wrapped up in this life (good or bad), all men have a common Maker and a common destiny.
- There is no need to ever be jealous when others prosper; God determines prosperity according to His glory.
- There is no need to despair if you aren’t living the “good life”; the Lord is your Maker and is in control.
- You don’t have to lose sleep over what seems unfair in this world; God is the maker of all and will make all things “fair” in His time.
- All people regardless of material possession have the same destination: to stand before a Holy God and give account.
- The richest, most powerful person in the world is not any better than the poorest and most destitute person; God is quite capable of giving contentment to either. As well, either person can be equally miserable without God.
- Don’t put too much stock in what the world has to offer and how the world “rewards” (beauty, talent, posessions, etc.); God rewards with perfect righteousness and justice.
Well, you get the point. This verse brings to mind the two competing standards in this world: man’s way versus God’s way. “Rich and poor” has two completely different meanings when you consider “man’s way” or “God’s way”.
- According to man, “rich” means success, privilege and status; rich makes one person more valuable and worthy than another. According to man, “poor” means “too bad for you”. It means you are not “good” enough. It means you are worth little and easily dismissed.
- According to God, “rich” or “poor” provides an equal opportunity for blessing, contentment and glorifying God. Being rich or poor has no bearing on your value as a person because the same saving blood was shed for both.
In fact, it’s only because of “man’s way” that a verse like this is even necessary. God shows no favoritism between “rich and poor” (materially speaking). That is a man-made distinction. In God’s eyes, we are all equally poor in spirit, each of us in equally in need of a Savior. And compared to God, we are all equally poor in material possessions, especially when you consider you can’t take your riches with you when you die, and in the end, all current riches will consumed with fire (2Pet 3.10-13).
If you evaluate this life without considering “the Lord is the maker of them all”, then the unfairness, injustice, cruelty, wickedness and hopelessness could overwhelm you if you are “poor”; and the pride, egotism, materialism and haughtiness could destroy you if you are “rich”. That is what happens when MAN is in charge.
But “the Lord is the Maker of them all”… and thank God!!! We can evaluate life based on this great truth! If you are “poor”, don’t worry. God will reward and bless your righteousness no matter what happens in this life. You might very well remain “poor” materially during this lifetime, but you can be spiritually rich under any circumstances; and your dedication to God will make you unfathomably rich for all eternity in ways that far exceed anything you can imagine.
What if you are “rich”? Remember, “the Lord is the Maker of them all”. Use your blessings and prosperity to honor and glorify the One who made you. Never for one moment believe that your posessions or the privilege that it brings somehow makes you greater, more spiritual or more more favored by God than others.
Being “rich” doesn’t apply to you, right? Remember the Biblical definition of a “rich” person: one who has more than one day of needs taken care of. Are you rich or poor? The real point is: it doesn’t matter. The Lord is the Maker of us all, and our life should be based on that fact alone.
Lord God, Help us to always remember that our status in this world does not determine our value. Whether rich or poor, we can live a holy life and glorify God. Whether rich or poor, we can be content and happy. Thank You, O Great God for revealing this truth to us. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you find yourself feeling life is “unfair” because people who aren’t as “good” as you are rich and living the “good life”? Are you a wealthy person who is feeling that God has blessed you because you are such a good person? Are you rich or poor? By which standard? Modern man or the Bible?
Application: The Lord is the Maker of all. We should filter all of life through this great “equalizer”… whether we are “rich” and holding on to this life too tightly; or whether we are poor, feeling like life is unfair and things will never be better.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?