That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
Poverty is a choice. The love of wisdom brings substantial treasures to men, families, and nations. This is a rule of political economy established by the God of heaven. It is as sure as gravity and the four seasons. You can deny the rule, ignore the rule, or resent the rule, but it is still true. The only harm done will be to yourself. Wisdom brings riches (8:18).
Yes, God brings trials in men’s lives, but that does not alter the rule. He may test His saints with financial loss or poverty for periods of time, as in the case of Job; but the rule still works every time, all other things being equal. Folly brings pain and poverty to men and nations; wisdom brings peace and prosperity to men and nations (Ps 33:12; 144:15).
This proverb is part of Solomon’s lengthy personification of wisdom as a woman (8:1-36). Lady Wisdom calls for men to receive her (8:1-11), lists all the benefits of wisdom (8:12-21), describes her close relationship to God in the creation of the world (8:22-31), and warns men that success or disaster depends on how they treat her (8:32-36).
There are two principles or forces at work with this proverb. First, wisdom directs men to labor and invest prudently to secure financial success, and it protects them from mistakes that destroy wealth (24:3-6). Second, the God of heaven supernaturally blesses those who fear Him and put their trust in Him (22:4). Wisdom brings riches. Believe it, or lose!
Consider the first principle. Wisdom has rules for success. Hard work is better than a new business or investment strategy (14:23; 28:19). Savings is crucial for acquiring capital for further income (6:8; 14:4). Self-denial in spending is necessary to save (21:17,20). Unnecessary contingent liabilities are to be avoided (6:1-5; 22:26-27). Pessimism is better than optimism (14:15; 19:2). Wisdom is better than strength (Eccl 9:16; 10:10,15).
Of course, foolish men and nations reject these rules to wallow in squalor. Laziness brings poverty (10:4; 12:24; Titus 1:12). Arrogance is financially destructive (26:12,16). Excuses for being a sluggard are worthless (22:13; 26:13). They are vulnerable to every get-rich-quick scheme (12:11; 13:11). Resenting authority, they chafe at working for others (17:2; 27:18). They take on unnecessary debt (11:15; 22:7). They are losers!
Consider the second principle. God blesses those who love and obey Him. If you seek God’s things first, He will take care of the rest (Hag 1:5-11; Matt 6:33). If you confess your sins, He will prosper you (28:13). God blessed Joseph and Daniel in spite of terrible circumstances. But He promised to destroy nations forgetting Him (Ps 9:17; 50:22).
When you honor God and live a godly life, He will multiply your income, increase your assets, reduce your expenses, and protect against losses, supernaturally! These great blessings are not taught in any business school anywhere, and they cannot be obtained without full submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider! If you throw your money away to His causes, you will get ahead quickly (3:9-10; 11:24-27; 19:17; Luke 6:38)!
The most substantial treasures are invisible. They are the spiritual and eternal riches in Jesus Christ. Moses gave up the pleasures and treasures of Egypt to get those riches (Heb 11:24-26). They include the light and truth of the gospel, which can save a man from the dark ignorance and superstition of this world. They include the personal presence of the Spirit of God, while the world wanders in a selfish and devilish stupor. They include the eternal inheritance of God Himself and a glorious eternity in heaven for the elect.