Biblical Scriptures for Reflection:True Wealth

By: Dr. John Weldon; ©2011
The Bible has a great deal to say about finances, money and debt. From “How to Survive the Coming Economic Meltdown: Modern Slavery and Global Risk”.


Biblical Scriptures for Reflection:True Wealth

It may surprise you, but the perpetually best-selling book globally, the Bible, has a great deal to say about finances, money, and debt in hundreds and hundreds of verses.

The late Larry Burkett, featured earlier on The John Ankerberg Show, was the founder of Christian Financial Concepts, later merged into Crown Financial Ministries,, a great resource. He may be most responsible for awakening the Church to the importance of biblical finance, and he also predicted the current financial crisis from which America may be unlikely to recover, at least apart from divine mercy. Without hard choices soon, we may be headed toward a hyperinflationary Great Depression due largely to Keynesian economic policies emphasizing spending and borrowing, a preference for consumption and credit, deemphasizing savings, monetizing the debt, and strongly nurturing ever greater government control and power. In fact, it was what the Bible said about finances that caused Mr. Burkett to switch his career from the Strategic Air Command and the space program (where he worked with the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo manned spaceflights), to biblical principles of financial counseling. (He earned degrees in marketing and finance from Rollins College, Florida, and later received an Honorary Doctorate in Economics from Southwest Baptist University.) His books have sold over 12 million copies and in all formats, and his ministry has probably reached tens of millions of people with four radio programs carried on over 1,100 stations globally. He published over 70 titles.

In honor of our friend Larry Burkett, now in glory and joy beyond imagining in heaven with the Lord, I present the following list of scriptural references on finance.

If we simply examine Strong’s exhaustive concordance (NASB) under five topics—money, wealth, gold, poor/poverty and rich/riches—we find over 900 Scriptures, but there are at least a dozen other words that are applicable or potentially applicable to personal finances, such as greed, merchant, property, wares, loan, usury, interest, and others. Below are sample verses arranged topically for the reader to ponder. “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” (Proverbs 1:5) (In all Scriptures below, emphasis in all but one in bracketed material is added.)

A few things to note in summary from the Scriptures below:

  1. God is the true source of wealth, not our own ability, and He should be acknowledged and thanked for it; as a corollary, whether rich or poor (all are rich), tithing back to God is critical, something He blesses.
  2. Money per se is neutral but the love of money is the source of endless evils and much ruin and destruction while greed is actually a form of the evil sin of idolatry, placing material things as ones’ gods above the only true God; not only does greed ruin individuals, it also ruins families, those we love or at least claim to love; the desire to be rich apart from godliness is actually a unsuspecting trap with many snares;
  3. Money never satisfies in the end, as many millionaires and billionaires have openly declared;
  4. Contentment is one of the keys to life. Scripture says that, “…contentment with godliness is great gain” and as we saw, the Apostle Paul said that he had learned the secret of being content in all circumstances, rich or poor, good or bad. When we are content regardless of circumstances and trust in the Lord, understanding that in God’s sovereign providence and infinite wisdom and love, all things in the end will glorify Him and work together for the good of those who truly love him, we have victory over all circumstances and situations—and the peace of God that passes all understanding continues to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7; Romans 8: 28) Therefore: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7);
  5. Assuming that wealth alone brings contentment and solves life’s problems only reveals how truly poor one really is;
  6. Those who charge exorbitant interest rates, such as certain credit card companies, are harming the poor and God will hold them accountable;
  7. Those who borrow become slaves of the lender;
  8. The greedy man or woman by definition is opposed to God and harms others made in God’s image – and a life centered upon greed brings divine judgment; in the end all the wealth of the greedy will mean nothing and their only reward will be an eternal judgment; ultimately, despite thinking they “have it made,” they have only fattened themselves for the day of slaughter;
  9. There is a direct correlation between ungodliness and the loss of wealth;
  10. Regular savings are important and can be a blessing of God;
  11. The deceitfulness of wealth alone can actually prevent eternal salvation in Heaven;
  12. Rather than being greedy, giving freely to and caring for the poor and needy honors God and is actually seen as giving to God Himself; oppressing the poor is a form of hatred of God;
  13. God will often take wealth from the wicked and give it to the righteous; (A recent example seems to be the new nation of Southern Sudan, with all its vast oil wealth. After Muslims had slaughtered over 2 million innocent Christians, merely for being Christian, God had had enough, or so it seems. And despite the slaughter, reflecting the mercy of Jesus on the Cross to those who were murdering him (“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”) – even though the Muslims knew quite well what they were doing – the new Christian leader of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, called upon his new nation to forgive the Muslim slayers; glory be to God. (If you are a Christian, please remember to pray for this new nation and its leaders, especially appropriate not only because of their need, but because they are also praying for us);
  14. Greed and love of money often lead to the unintended opposite, poverty; and
  15. There is hope even for the extremely rich.

Here are the sample Scriptures we have under the topics cited; reading them carefully will be worth the effort:

On the true source of wealth:

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

“The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.” (1 Samuel 2:7)

“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)

“If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’ if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained, … so that my heart was secretly enticed … then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.” (Job 34:21-28)

“Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2)

On the love of money:

“[Be] … not a lover of money.” (1Timothy 3:3)

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

[In the last days] People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, …” (2 Timothy 3:2)

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

“A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.” (Proverbs 15:27)

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” (1Timothy 6:9)

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)

On hope for the rich:

“Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words.… “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:23, 24, 27)

On how to become poor:

“He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16)

“A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.” (Proverbs 28:22)

“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” (Proverbs 11:24)

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)

On helping the poor:

“He [the righteous] does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. He does not lend at usury or take excessive interest.” (Ezekiel 18:7-8)

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Proverbs 19:17)

“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31)

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. (Proverbs 28:12)

“Happy is the man who gives thought to the poor; the Lord will be his saviour in the time of trouble.” (Psalm 41:4)

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)

“A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9)

“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:42)

“If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:2)

On charging exorbitant interest rates:

“He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.” (Proverbs 28:8)

“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.” (Exodus 22:25)

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)

On those whose heart is greedily centered upon money:

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.” (James 5:1-6)

“He [the wicked] boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” (Psalm 10:3-4)

“Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: … he will uproot you from the land of the living. The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!” (Psalm 52:5-7)

“But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. [Yet] The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud. Ephraim [Israel] boasts, “I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin.” [But] “I am the Lord your God, [who brought you] out of Egypt;… But Ephraim has bitterly provoked him to anger; his Lord will leave upon him the guilt of his bloodshed and will repay him for his contempt.” (Hosea 12:6-9, 14)

On dealing with money wisely and the consequences of not doing so:

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” (Proverbs 13:22)

“… but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word [of God], making it unfruitful [as to salvation].” (Mark 4:19)

On having a biblical perspective:

“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.” (James 1:9-11)

“Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)

Preparation for the future:

“Give portions to seven, yes to eight [i.e. divide your investments], for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” (Ecclesiastes 11:2)

“A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty.” (Proverbs 27:12)

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (James 4:13-17)

Wealth in biblical perspective:

“One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” (Proverbs 8:18)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [material needs] will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3)

“He who is impulsive [as in buying things] exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29<

“… sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor [financially], yet making many rich [spiritually]; having nothing [on Earth], and yet possessing everything [in heaven].” (2 Corinthians 6:10)

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)

“With me [godly wisdom] are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.” (Proverbs 8:18);

“Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.” (Proverbs 3:16)

“A man’s riches may ransom his life, but a poor man hears no threat.” (Proverbs 13:8)

“…if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.” (Psalm 62:10)

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1Timothy 5:8)

“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

“Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.” (Ecclesiastes 5:5)

“Then he [the rich man] said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:18-34)

On the ultimate futility of amassing wealth for wealth’s sake:

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” (1 Timothy 6:7)

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” (Proverbs 23:4)

“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 28:20)

“Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)

“Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, [not all] his splendor … Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—and men praise you when you prosper— he will … never see the light [of life]. A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” (Psalm 49:16- 20; brackets original)

On the choice that must be made between God and money (On loving money/material possessions and not God):

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)

““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 19-21)

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get [all the wealth] you have prepared for yourself?’ (Luke 12:20)

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” (Luke 6:24)

The wicked and the righteous contrasted:

“The wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous shows mercy and gives.” (Psalm 37:21)

“May a creditor seize all he [the wicked] has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.” (Psalm 109:11)

On guaranteeing the loans of others:

“Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, one of those who is surety for debts; if you have nothing with which to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?” (Proverbs 22:26-27)

“A man lacking in judgment strikes hands in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.” (Proverbs 17:18)Or, as another translation puts it: “It’s stupid to guarantee someone else’s loan.”

“He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, but one who hates being surety is secure.” (Proverbs 11:15)

On being generous:

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it.’ When you have it with you.” Proverbs 3:27-28

“…for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Colossians 3:23

“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself; since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” (Proverbs 6:1-5)

On accruing debt:

“Do not owe anyone anything — except to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)

On the importance of tithing to God:

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:9-12)

“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi 3:8)

“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase…” (Deuteronomy 26:12)

“You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.” (Deuteronomy 14:22)

On the importance of savings:

“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” (Proverbs 21:20)

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” (Proverbs 13:11)

On dishonest or otherwise evil business practices:

“The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)

“Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?” (Micah 6:11)

On building a business:

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plan will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

“’Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the Lord, ‘Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.’” (Isaiah 30:1)

On God’s blessing on the righteous:

“O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.” (Psalm 17:14)

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” (Proverbs 11:28)

“And my God shall supply all your need [true needs, not wants] according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)

On not showing favoritism to the rich over the poor:

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” (James 2:1-9)


  1. Mike on May 23, 2016 at 1:30 am

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