Bible Bites - Wealth & Power - Psalm 37:16-17
The Wealth and Power of the Wicked Shall Be Broken
Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of the many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.
Arm in scripture is often used as a symbol of power.
Here, in this context, ‘arms’ is being used to describe power. So, we could read Psalm 37:17 as, ‘For the power of the wicked shall be broken…’.
Sometimes, we might be tempted to take stock of our lives and measure ourselves by the abundance we may have or don’t have. The world around us may measure our success by looking at our clothes, our house, our phones, our cars, or even where we shop. The world finds comfort, prestige, and power in these things.
It’s very easy to be swept up in this kind of thinking. Sometimes we might be tempted to think, if we are right with God, God will fill our homes with fine goods and fill up our bank account with lots of money. If we feel we are lacking in material goods, we might question our relationship with God.
Why is it that the wicked seem to be prospering, while the righteous, often go without all of these things, we might wonder.
That would be a focus on the wrong thing. These things are temporary, and fortunes can be changed in an instant. We see it all throughout history. In the 1920s, many were chasing and gaining wealth like never before…until the crash in October that swept the nation into the great and long depression of the 1930s. We’ve seen fortunes made and lost in the bursting of the tech and housing bubbles, and during this pandemic, many people have lost work and businesses have been shuttered. Money and material goods can be wiped away in the blink of an eye! It is not the real and lasting security that it is often made out to be.
When our gaze is firmly focused on our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, we start to look at money and material abundance differently. We see that these things, though they are blessings, are not meant solely for us to enjoy, and certainly not meant to be our idols that we place our trust in. Instead we see that we are blessed with these things so that we can bless others and share the love of God.
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 isn’t about multiplying material wealth, its about growing and using the talents, finances, and blessings of God for His purposes such as leading souls to Christ, and demonstrating His love to others. We aren’t meant to hold on to our gifts, but to grow and share them for His purposes and the blessings of many.
On this earth, wealth does often buy power, but nothing lasts unless its anointed and used for God’s purpose. So, while the wicked appear to be prosperous, mighty and powerful, it will not last. The Lord will break their power and uphold the righteous.
Holy Heavenly Father, we thank you for your wisdom and grace. We pray that you help us to keep our gaze and our hope upon you and not material wealth and earthly power that fades. Help us and our families to be Christ-centered and Heavenly-focused in all things. Help us to use and grow all that you bless us with to bless others, to edify the saints and to build your kingdom according to your holy and perfect will. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, believe and receive with thanks giving and praise to You, God Almighty. Amen!