The Rich and the Poor

For Monday, June 4, 2007
Proverbs 22:2

The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the maker of them all.

Whether rich or poor, we are all creatures made by God to glorify God. There is nothing we possess that we were not given - neither money nor the ability to make money, neither favorable circumstances of birth nor the wit to climb out of unfavorable circumstances. There is no such thing as a self-made man, nor an unlucky man.

The Lord is the maker of us all. That means we share the same value before him and the same status of sinners. We may look at one another and say, "There go I." For we both bear the image of God. It is for mankind, which includes us all, that Christ became man and died. It is to man in every circumstance - rich or poor, slave or free, male or female - that the gospel is freely given.

Therefore, no one can boast of what he possesses or has attained. He would have nothing unless granted by his Maker. Nor can man boast of how he deserves favor. Nor can anyone complain about his circumstance, as though he deserved better. For our Maker does not reveal his secret counsels and makes clear that what anyone receives is out of grace and mercy.

It is said that contentment lies not in what we possess but in accepting our circumstances. That is not quite true. Real contentment does lie in what we possess. The trouble of the rich is that they think of the wrong possessions; the trouble of the poor is that they fail to understand what they have. Whether rich or poor, they "rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which God has promised to those who love him" (James 2:5).