Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.
New Living Translation
Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
Christian Standard Bible
Such are the paths of all who make profit dishonestly; it takes the lives of those who receive it.
Contemporary English Version
The wealth you get from crime robs you of your life.
Proverbs is a book of wisdom. Proverbs contain sayings that were mostly directed to the King’s sons or to the young people of the entire populace. In Proverbs 1 he introduces the provers up to about verse seven. In verses eight to nineteen he warns about the association with sinful men. Verse twenty to thirty-three wisdom rebukes those who reject it. Our focus is on the last verse of the second section that warns against association with sinful men. It talks about ill-gotten wealth as a cause of death.
Those who possess ill-gotten wealth will die. The ill-gotten wealth will kill the one who has it. The sure way to die is to have ill-gotten wealth. While everyone will die unless Jesus returns soon and ends the world, those with ill-gotten wealth will be killed by that wealth. A death of hopelessness. Ill-gotten wealth is a cause of death that is least worried or concerned about. The wealth that is ill-gotten will kill the one who has it. This type of rich people must die this way!
Ill-gotten wealth includes what you get using a certificate that came from exams you cheated on. Ill-gotten wealth includes profits you get from overcharging unsuspecting customers. Ill-gotten wealth includes making money through sinful ways such as commercial sex work, sale, and trafficking of alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics. Ill-gotten wealth is taking money from a person who thinks you will deliver yourself or some goods and services, but you take the money or transport offered but you never go as you promised.
Ill-gotten wealth is money you borrow and refuse to pay until the owner gives up on following you. Ill-gotten wealth includes money we borrow from lending platforms and then we refuse to pay and change lines and contacts. Ill-gotten wealth is making a profit at the expense of your workers’ welfare. Ill-gotten wealth is the business advantage gained through unacceptable competitive practices. Ill-gotten wealth comes from deals and jobs you get not because you are qualified but because you know someone or paid a bribe. Ill-gotten wealth is a salary you get for dubious work done, or less work, or no work done.
Ill-gotten wealth is money you get from imprest, per diem, and allowances claim that are deliberately incorrect. Ill-gotten wealth is money you get after deliberately creating a trip or meeting or event that will force the employer to give you some extra money, yet what you created wasn’t really necessary. Ill-gotten wealth is money you get on a job you are paid per hour or per day and you delay to increase the time.
Ill-gotten wealth is pocket money a student gets from a parent after lying that the school program needs such money urgently, yet it is for personal pleasure. Ill-gotten wealth is tithe and offerings that you spend on personal agenda yet it should have been surrendered to the church. Ill-gotten wealth is profits you make after delaying payments and the money you hold in the bank earns interest. Ill-gotten wealth includes appreciations and gifts that should be declared and surrendered to the employer but you have not. Ill-gotten wealth is money designated for one purpose but using it for another. Ill-gotten wealth is money stolen directly or indirectly. Ill-gotten wealth is the gifts we receive for doing jobs that should not be done if proper scrutiny was done.
Romans 3:23 tells us that for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All are corrupt. All are guilty. All are undeserving of God’s grace. All are guilty of ill-gotten wealth. All need a way forward.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
If you still remember who suffered so that you get the ill-gotten wealth, go to them and apologize and even repay them. Zacchaeus When he got converted to be a disciple of Jesus, he surrendered everything to the people he robbed and to the poor. Zacchaeus separated himself from the ill-gotten wealth because he knew that it kills in the end and bitterly so. Plan and immediately act to separate yourself from ill-gotten wealth, the Bible is sure when it warns that it kills.
Dear God, save me from ill-gotten wealth. Show me my ill-gotten wealth and grant me the courage to refund those I robbed, apologize and help the poor with it. May I never again by your grace be associated with ill-gotten wealth, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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