Yesterday while preaching on Job 1:1-5 for Father’s Day, I realized that I am a truly rich man. As I was reading how Job had so much worldly wealth (think a garage full of camels, not cars) I could see my wife and kids sitting in the front row of chairs and a thought struck me: Even though Job was an enormously wealthy man, “the greatest man among the people of the East”, what made him truly rich was his faith and his family. Job was wise because he realized this–that this true wealth was not found in his financial situation but in his family and his faith in God.
There can be a big difference sometimes between having lots of stuff or money and having true riches. On the one hand, a person can have lots of stuff yet be ultimately poor if he despises faith or neglects his family. On the other hand, a person can have little of stuff and yet be ultimately rich if he stores up treasures of faith for himself and his family. Yet these aren’t always the only two options.
Sometimes to the person who fears God and shuns evil like Job, our Heavenly Father gives such great blessings that a person who has true wealth through faith and family is also blessed with lots of stuff or money. In this case such a person can be a tremendous blessing to God’s church and others in need.
This thought helps me remember that all that I have comes from God, my dear Father in heaven, who knows how to give good gifts to his children–sometimes not all that we might want, but exactly what he knows we need. And for the person to whom God has given lots of earthly stuff it is good to remember the words of Psalm 62:10 – “though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.”
This past week I was reminded of this while eating breakfast in my brother-in-law’s house. They have a little wooden sign that stuck in my mind as I was preaching on Job and seeing my family listening to the Word of God. It looks like this: