Advent Day 16
Dec 9, 2019
Chapter 16 admonishes believers on how to be wise in preparing for the future. There is a proper balance between giving and preparing for unexpected health issues i.e. life insurance. Verse 9 seems strange to us, but the “unrighteous wealth” (mammon) of unrighteousness in first-century rabbinic teachings describes the principle that the world's money/wealth should be used for preparation for the days ahead; both physically and spiritually. To summarize, a proper balance exists for the believer to have a savings account, without losing faith and trusting in the Lord for one's daily needs. The Bible clearly teaches that a believer is to provide for his own family both spiritually, and in this case physically; otherwise he is to be treated like and be considered worse than an unbeliever (see 1Timothy 5:8). In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, note that due to the use of personal names, some commentators believe this was a true story. The common Pharisaic view of the day was that wealth was a sign of Divine favor. However, since Lazarus was a beggar his position was unsure. Lazarus was always visible to the rich man, so he had sufficient opportunity to fulfill the second most important commandment of the Mosaic Law; to love his neighbor as himself (Leviticus 19:18). Both men died, and Lazarus went to Abraham's bosom. A theological note here that Old Testament believers could not enter God’s presence because the atonement had not yet been made through Jesus Christ. A person’s salvation has always been by grace through faith, but the blood of animals wasn't a final solution. We needed a Kinsman Redeemer (Hebrews 10:4)! The second division was reserved for the unbelievers. The rich man was in tremendous torment, but Abraham told him it was too late; he couldn't reach across the chasm. The rich man wanted them to warn his brothers, but an incredible statement was made - if people don't believe Moses and the Prophets neither would they believe if someone rose from the dead; thus, exalting the infinite reliability of God’s Word. Questions for Reflection: Think about the two sections of this chapter, and how both of them deal with wealth. In the parable, the rich man trusted his wealth over everything, to the neglect of others. How do you personally try to keep yourself from trusting in money over trusting in the Lord and obeying His commands? Why is our view of wealth so important as Christians? Ask God to keep a proper alignment of His blessings in our minds and hearts, trusting the Gift-giver over the gifts.