Money in the Bible

Money in the Bible

Site: Rock Money

First, an acknowledgement. There isn't one right answer to this. However there are a million wrong answers, and there are some common themes. Let's look at the passages, because what's in God's Word is important.

It's all God's anyway
  • Psalm 24:1  hub
  • Proverbs 16:9  hub
  • Proverbs 22:2  hub *
  • Proverbs 30:7-9  hub *
  • Ecclesiastes 5:19  hub
  • Job 1:21  hub
  • Jeremiah 29:11  hub
  • Habakkuk 3:17-18  hub
  • Matthew 5:45  hub
  • John 10:10  hub
  • 1 Timothy 6:17-19  hub *
  • James 4:13-15  hub
  • Exodus 20:8-11  hub
  • Exodus 31:12-17  hub *
  • Deuteronomy 24:14-15  hub
  • Proverbs 13:11  hub
  • Proverbs 14:1  hub
  • Proverbs 18:9  hub
  • Proverbs 21:25-26  hub
  • Proverbs 22:13  hub
  • Proverbs 24:27  hub
  • Proverbs 27:23  hub
  • Matthew 10:10  hub
  • Ephesians 4:28  hub *
  • Ephesians 6:5-9  hub
  • Colossians 3:22-4:1  hub
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12  hub *
  • Titus 2:9-10  hub
  • 1 Peter 2:18-20  hub
Paul & Peter mention the concept of slavery, which is odd to us in the 21st century. They were writing about literal slaves, but slavery that occurred during Bible times (either Old or New Testament) looked nothing like the slavery that ran rampant in the Americas during the European imperial days. But still, in the context that it was written, the concepts of master and slave are not far from master and servant, which are not far from employer and employee, and in some ways not far from lender and borrow. Either way there are important principles to take away about money and work.

That said about work, there's a clear distinction between men and women in the Bible. The exact differences are the subject for another webpage, but one application here is women working outside the home. Feminism, while not a discrete concept, seeks for equality for women. Equal rights are good, eradicating culturally defined gender roles is unbiblical. Women have different biological and emotional capabilities and are meant to compliment men (Genesis 2:18) and we should allow them to fulfill this role rather than burden them with the responsibilities of being men, too (Genesis 3:16-19). We should recognize and honor the strengths and weaknesses of each gender. From a Biblical perspective women should not be expected to work outside the home, but instead focus on the family (1 Timothy 2:15) and the home (Proverbs 14:1, Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:5). If women were supported in this, and if men did their part to "love their wives" (Ephesians 5:25-33) then feminism would be much less common around the world. If our aim is to be able to buy more stuff, then moms need to work. If our aim is strong families and communities, then wives/ moms working (for a paycheck) are counter­productive. (Any parent knows being a good parent, or more specifically raising a good kid(s), is much more work than most jobs.) This anti-feminism perspective isn't meant to be the polar opposite. It doesn't mean women should be banned from anything, it just means we shouldn't expect all or even most women to work 40+ hours a week for an employer. They should still be well educated, productive members of society, and society should respect and admire raising strong families more than it does establishing paid careers.

  • Deuteronomy 15:1-11  hub
  • Proverbs 6:1-11  hub
  • Proverbs 22:7  hub *
  • Proverbs 22:26-27  hub
  • Romans 13:8  hub
  • Proverbs 6:6-8  hub
  • Proverbs 13:16  hub
  • Proverbs 21:5  hub
  • Proverbs 21:20  hub
  • Proverbs 27:12  hub
  • Ecclesiastes 10:19  hub
  • Ecclesiastes 11:1-6  hub *
  • Luke 14:28-30  hub
  • Genesis 4:3-5  hub
  • Exodus 13:1-2  hub
  • Exodus 13:11-16  hub
  • Exodus 22:29-30  hub
  • Exodus 23:19  hub *
  • Exodus 34:26  hub
  • Leviticus 27:30-33  hub *
  • Deuteronomy 14:22-29  hub
  • Deuteronomy 26:1-15  hub
  • Numbers 18:25-32  hub
  • 1 Chronicles 21:22-26  hub
  • Proverbs 3:9-10  hub
  • Malachi 1:6-9  hub
  • Malachi 3:6-12  hub *
  • Matthew 23:23  hub
  • Mark 12:41-44  hub
  • Luke 11:42  hub *
  • Luke 20:20-26  hub
  • 1 Corinthians 16:2  hub *
In short (regarding tithing) always give at least our first 10% of our gross/​total/​before deductions income back to God. Remember, in a more broad context, there are many ways we can give sacrificially: time, talent, treasure, and testimony. Notice in Genesis 14:20 Abraham intuited the need/​value in tithing, and in Genesis 28:20-22 his grandson Jacob (Israel) intuited it too. Related, here's a great YouTube video on topic, called "God Pie".

Paying pastors/​missionaries
  • Deuteronomy 25:4  hub
  • Luke 10:7  hub
  • 1 Corinthians 9:7-14  hub *
  • Galatians 6:6  hub
  • 1 Timothy 5:17-18  hub
  • Psalm 37:21  hub
  • Psalm 112:5  hub
  • Proverbs 11:2-26  hub
  • Luke 6:38  hub
  • 2 Corinthians 8:7-9  hub
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-11  hub
  • 1 Timothy 6:18  hub
  • Leviticus 19:13  hub
  • Deuteronomy 17:17  hub
  • Psalm 39:6  hub
  • Psalm 49:20  hub
  • Psalm 62:10  hub
  • Proverbs 18:10-11  hub
  • Proverbs 20:21  hub
  • Proverbs 22:16  hub
  • Proverbs 28:27  hub
  • Matthew 6:19-34  hub
  • Luke 12:22-34  hub
  • 1 Timothy 6:9-10  hub *
  • Genesis 14:22-23  hub
  • Exodus 20:17  hub
  • Psalm 119:72  hub
  • Psalm 119:127  hub
  • Proverbs 10:16  hub
  • Proverbs 11:22  hub
  • Proverbs 14:20-21  hub
  • Proverbs 15:6  hub
  • Proverbs 15:16  hub *
  • Proverbs 16:8  hub
  • Proverbs 17:1  hub
  • Proverbs 19:4  hub
  • Proverbs 21:5-6  hub
  • Proverbs 22:1  hub
  • Proverbs 22:4  hub
  • Proverbs 22:16  hub
  • Proverbs 28:6  hub
  • Proverbs 28:20-22  hub
  • Proverbs 28:25  hub
  • Proverbs 31:10  hub
  • Ecclesiastes 5:10-15  hub
  • Matthew 5:14-16  hub *
  • Galatians 6:7-10  hub *
  • Philippians 4:11-13  hub
  • Titus 1:6-9  hub
  • Hebrews 13:5  hub
  • 1 Peter 1:7  hub
  • Proverbs 14:29  hub
  • Proverbs 23:5  hub
  • Proverbs 27:23-24  hub
  • Ecclesiastes 5:15  hub
  • Isaiah 40:6-8  hub
  • 1 Timothy 6:6-8  hub
  • James 1:10-11  hub
  • 1 Peter 1:24  hub
  • Matthew 17:24-27  hub
  • Matthew 22:15-22  hub
    Mark 12:13-17  hub
    Luke 20:20-26  hub
  • Romans 13:6-7  hub
I've heard it claimed that Jesus talks more about money than any other topic. Here's a fairly exhaustive list of references, which doesn't seem that long. I'll need to research this more later...

  • Matthew 6:1-4  hub
  • Matthew 6:19-34  hub
  • Matthew 18:21-35  hub
  • Matthew 19:16-30  hub
  • Matthew 20:1-16  hub
  • Matthew 21:12-13  hub
  • Matthew 25:1-13  hub
  • Matthew 25:14-30  hub *
  • Mark 10:17-31  hub
  • Mark 12:41-44  hub
  • Luke 7:36-50  hub
  • Luke 10:25-37  hub
  • Luke 12:13-24  hub
  • Luke 12:33-48  hub
  • Luke 14:28-32  hub
  • Luke 15:11-32  hub
  • Luke 16:1-13  hub
  • Luke 18:18-30  hub
  • Luke 19:11-27  hub
One of the reasons God created man was to rule the Earth (Genesis 1:27-28) but He never said how (other than to demonstrate good character while doing it). No matter which macro economic theory we prefer (for example: capitalism, socialism and feudalism) the "bottom line" is: are we bringing honor to God through our lives and obeying God by being generous to our fellow man? If not then all economic systems turn into enablers for "redistribution of wealth" and separation of made-up classes. To deny this reality, some people will try to claim their perspective is "fair" and everyone else's isn't. However there are two kinds of fair: egalitarianism: everyone gets the same, and meritocracy: everyone gets what they earn/​deserve. Communism and Capitalism are just extremes of each. Keep in mind that not everything is going to be "fair" by our own cultural definition/​expectation.

  • Proverbs 21:20  hub
  • Proverbs 28:19-20  hub
  • Matthew 16:27  hub
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10  hub
  • Revelation 20:12  hub
  • Revelation 22:12  hub
  • Matthew 20:1-16  hub
  • Acts 2:44-47  hub
  • 2 Corinthians 8:13-15  hub
It's an interesting theological detail that there are examples of God and Heaven being both egalitarian and meritocratic, but that there are double the examples of them being meritocratic. At the risk of reading too far into this, it may be valid to conclude that both perspectives are valid but merit is twice as important as equality. (Note this statement has nothing to do with salvation, which is by faith (Ephesians 2:8).)

It is wrong to be rich? There's a difference between being rich and loving money just as there's a difference between working in a morgue and being a murderer. Let's look at some rich men in the Bible, many of whom God specifically made rich. The trick then is what you do with your money. As said above, there is not one right answer. Just be sure you honor God. How do we honor Him? By obeying His word (Isaiah 66:1-2, Matthew 7:21, John 14:15).
  • Genesis 13:2  hub
  • Genesis 13:14-17  hub
  • Genesis 30:43  hub
  • Genesis 39:2-6  hub
  • Genesis 41:34-36  hub
  • 2 Samuel 12:8  hub
  • 1 Kings 3:9-13  hub
  • Job 1:1-5  hub
  • Job 42:10-17  hub
  • Luke 12:16-21  hub
A small minority of you may still not be convinced about being rich. Probably because wealthy people are often seen as callous, and in some cases they truly are. But that doesn't make being rich wrong. Consider one last conversation Jesus had with his disciples in Luke 14:25-34. He starts off in Luke 14:25-27 saying we should hate our own life. Clearly He's not being literal here, because He's not suggesting group suicide. He's saying compared to Jesus, we should hate our life. Compared to whatever God asks us to do, we should scorn everything else, up-to-and-including our own life. Then in the very next verse (Luke 14:28-30) He gives an example that only rich people could relate to. Then the next example (Luke 14:31-33) is about another rich person. But He's not being critical of their wealth. Rich people are just people, and they need to make good choices like everyone else. Then at the end in Luke 14:33, Jesus says we should give up everything. It's so tempting to think this means what happened in Acts 2:44-45, but why wouldn't this mean the same thing as Genesis 22:2 and Genesis 22:12? Even in Acts 2 it didn't say the people sold everything, nor made themselves poor, it just said they sold to meet needs. The story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22 tells us that God cares about our heart more than our stuff, and that we must consider everything as dispensable* to accomplish God's will because we trust Him enough to believe that God has a reason and a plan that is worth anything. God is resourceful enough He doesn't need all the money in the world, nor even any of it (Isaiah 66:1-2).

*Just because everything in the universe is dispensable doesn't mean we have permission to make everything disposable for our convenience. That would be a topic for another day...

I just can't resist, even though this page is dedicated to what the Bible says, here are my favorite worldly quotes relating to money, finances, and work.
  • "Having money's not everything, not having it is." -Kayne West
  • "We have a shortage of sharing rather than a lack of enough." -Annie Leonard
  • "The consumer turns to the company and says, 'Give me more for less.' And then companies turn to employees and say, 'If we don't give them more for less, we are in trouble. I can't guarantee you a job and a union steward can't guarantee you a job, only a customer can." -Thomas Friedman
  • "It’s not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It's the customer who pays the wages." -Henry Ford
  • "The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer." -Peter Drucker
  • "If the gains from trade in commodities are substantial, they are small compared to trade in ideas." -David Landes
  • "Wealth is not so good as work, nor riches so good as earnings." -David Landes
  • "Educated, eyes-open optimism pays; pessimism can only offer the empty consolation of being right." -David Landes
  • "Compare the Protestant and Catholic attitudes toward gambling in the early modern period. Both condemned it, but Catholics condemned it because one might (would) lose, and no responsible person would jeopardize his well-being and that of others in that manner. The Protestants, on the other hand, condemned it because one might win, and that would be bad for character." -David Landes
  • "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas Edison
  • "Anybody who thinks having money will make you happy, hasn't got any money." -David Geffen
  • "Wealth isn't about having a lot of money, it's about having a lot of options." -Chris Rock
  • "No amount of success anywhere makes up for failure at the home." -Wife of Dr. Richard Swinson
  • "Put your money where your mouth is" -Anonymous
  • "Pursue your dreams, but pay the bills... because you gotta do both." -Erwin McManus
Here are some great resources on topic:
  • Life, Money, Hope (Dave Ramsey) (also, 20 Things the Rich Do Every Day) +
  • Being Rich (at what matters most) (Craig Groeschel) +
  • How to Be Rich (Andy Stanley)
  • Global Rich List
Last Modified: Saturday, October 14, 2017

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