Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Odd Lessons

(This reading is based on Psalm 112 and is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of SDAs.)

"His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed." Psalm 112: 2

As I read Psalm 112 I'm seeing some rather "odd lessons" regarding passing along legacies to your offspring and what the real implications of being rich are.

Legacies are Legacies

I don't recall ever hearing anyone really complaining about the "injustice" of parents leaving a fortune behind for their children. If there are complaints, it's usually not about that principle of leaving the legacy per se, but possibly of that principle not being observed, or maybe about the means by which the gains were gotten, or how it might have been shared up among the legitimate heirs. But it is generally expected that as a principle the accumulations of parents should pass on to their children. 

But has it occurred to us that if the above principle were to stand, it shouldn't really matter if the legacies are considered good or bad? So much like wealth and honour may be passed on, so too should poverty, death and dishonour - without any cries of injustice. The Apostle Paul argued along this very line when he said, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." The good thing here is that we get to choose our preferred legacy - whether that of the father of John 8: 44 (the devil), or the heavenly Father of Mathew 6: 9. I like the last part of Romans 5: 12 where it says, "for that all have sinned;" which suggests that somehow though, what we inherit is ultimately up to us.

The Real Measure of Wealth

The focus on the truly wealthy person is not so much what he/she accumulates, but rather on how much he/she disseminates among the poor and needy, "He has dispersed abroad; he has given to the poor." Psalm 112: 9. This means that you are measured more by your value (what you give) to society than your cost (what you amass) to society. The world's measurement is usually the latter. What this means is that from a biblical perspective, a person of lesser means than another may very well be deemed the wealthier of the two. So it really comes down to who has a heavenly hope, and whose actions are inspired by "grace, compassion, and righteousness," (verse 4) - indicators, or the burden of true wealth.

To read and/or listen to Psalm 112 and to read other related blogs, please click here.