Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death. – Proverbs 10:2
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death. – Proverbs 11:4
Neither their silver nor their gold
shall be able to deliver them
on the day of the wrath of the Lord.
In the fire of his jealousy,
all the earth shall be consumed;
for a full and sudden end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth. – Zephaniah 1:18
How can your income statement indicate positive income and your balance sheet have a larger and larger positive balance year after year and you still not be making a profit? Your CPA would say I am nuts. But then, your CPA will generally be evaluating your financial statements strictly by the rules that are “under the sun.” Not taking into account God’s accounting.
Fist let me quote Wayne Grudem from his book Business for the Glory of God.
God is concerned with how we gain our treasure, our financial wealth, not just that we have it. Did we sin in order to get it? Was it gained through lying in your marketing materials or falsifying your time card at work? Did we “get ahead” by cheating someone? The treasure that is gained in this way does not profit.
How can Solomon say that? My treasure has increased, is that not profit? In one sense, yes. But it is a myopic view of life. Depending on exactly how you obtained that wealth, you could eventually lose it all and go to jail. If what you did wasn’t illegal, but unethical, you will either end up losing sleep or developing an ulcer as your conscience grinds away on your spirit. The internal conflicts created by unethical practices may have a terminal effect on your marriage and you lose your family in pursuit of treasure. So, I agree with Solomon, treasure gained by wickedness does not profit.
According to Proverbs 11:4, even riches gained properly are of no value in the day of wrath. So, doing business ethically and morally and gaining a profit is of no value at some point.
So, is there a treasure that is worth owning? Yes, there is. Righteousness delivers from death in the day of wrath. It is important to see that the righteousness that will deliver is not self-righteousness but a righteousness that comes by faith and is from the real treasure in our lives. That treasure is Jesus.
When Christ is the ultimate treasure in my life, his righteousness is imputed to me and his righteousness delivers me from death because he tasted death for me and rose from the dead the Victor over sin and death. It is a good thing when God favors us with wealth in this life. Life is much more pleasant with a little wealth than it is with poverty. But in the day of wrath, only the ultimate Treasure of Jesus Christ will profit me.