Proverbs 10:15 (NKJV)
15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
The first part of the verse talks about a “strong city.” A “strong city” in Bible times was a place of refuge, protection and safety. This verse explains that a rich man usually puts his trust in his money to keep him safe and to take care of him. The problem with this is that Jesus taught us that you “can’t serve both God and mammon (money)… “ Matt 6:24 (NKJV) “ No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
It tells us in Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV) that, “Whoever loves money, never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is NEVER satisfied with his income.”
Matt 13:22 (NIV) tells us, “ The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful,” and 1 Tim. 6:17 (NIV) says, “ Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
The second part of our verse warns that poverty can cause the destruction of the poor. We see this so often in the world today. Those that live in places of poverty often end up in lives of crime or consumed by drugs, because they get into the company of those that have “chosen” paths that led them into that situation.
One thing that comes to my mind, though, is that sometimes, we can be in poverty stricken places and still see people that are happy. They have an “inner wealth” that sustains them and by trusting in God as their provider, they will be able to climb out of the pit they have found themselves in. So, it is possible to be destroyed by poverty if you take it to heart and become bitter and envious instead of trusting in God to lead you to paths that will eventually bring you out of it. It all depends on what your eyes are on… is it God, or is it money?!