Saturday, April 1, 2017

Charge them that are rich in this world

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor
trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things
to enjoy   I Timothy 6:17

     Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded.  One
of the evils to which they are particularly exposed.  The idea is, that they should
not value themselves on account of their wealth, or look down with pride and
arrogance on their inferiors.  They should not suppose that they are any better men,
or any nearer heaven, because they are wealthy.  Property really makes no distinction
in the great things that pertain to character and salvation.  It does not necessarily make
one wise, or learned, or great, or good.  In all these things, the man who has not
wealth may be vastly the superior of him who has; and for so slight and unimportant
a distinction as gold can confer, no man should be proud.  Besides, let such a man
reflect that his property is the gift of God; that he is made rich because God has
chosen to arrange things so that he should be; that it is not primarily owing to any
skill or wisdom which he has; that his property only increases his responsibility,
and that it must all soon be left, and he be as poor as the 'beggar that lies at his gate;'
and he will see ample reason why he should not be proud.  Nor trust in uncertain riches. 
Marg., The uncertainty of.  The margin expresses the meaning of the Greek more
accurately than the text, but the sense is not materially varied.  Riches are uncertain
because they may soon be taken away.  No dependance can be placed on them in
the emergencies of life.  He who is rich today, has no security that he will be tomorrow;
and if he shall be rich, tomorrow, he has no certainty that his riches will meet his
necessities then.  A man whose house is in flames, or who is shipwrecked, or
whose child lies dying, or who is himself in the agonies of death, can derive no
advantage from the fact that he is richer than other men.....That against which Paul
here directs Timothy to caution the rich, is that to which they are most exposed.  A
man who is rich, is very liable to 'trust' in his riches, and to suppose that he needs
nothing more.  Compare Luke 12:19.  He feels that he is not dependent on his
fellow-men, and he is very likely to feel that he is not dependent on God.  It is for
this cause that God has recorded so many solemn declarations in his word respecting
the instability of riches (comp. Prov. 23:5), and that he is furnishing so many instructive
lessons in his providence, showing how easily riches may suddenly vanish away. 
But in the living God.  (1.) He is able to supply all our wants, and to do for us what
riches cannot do; and (2.) he never changes, or leaves those who put their trust in
him.  He is able to meet our wants if in the flames, or in a storm at sea, or when a
friend dies, or when we lie down on a bed of death, or wherever we may be in
the eternal world.  Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.  The meaning of this
seems to be, that God permits us to enjoy everything.  Everything in the works of
creation and redemption he has given to man for his happiness, and he should therefore
trust in him.  He has not merely given wealth for the comfort of men, but he has given
everything, and he on whom so many and so great blessings have been bestowed for
his comfort, should trust in the great Benefactor himself, and not rely merely on one
of his gifts.
                                                                                                       Albert Barnes

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