“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”
Proverbs 11:4, NIV
I just love the book of Proverbs! Ever since I was a child I have enjoyed delving into the pithy wisdom of this most amazing of books. In just one sentence a whole wealth of truth can explode into your spiritual understanding, that might take a catalogue of other books or sermons to understand.
Our Scripture for today contains just one of those explosive truths that cuts right through so much religious positioning and gets to the very heart of the matter. The fact is, our time on Planet Earth is short and will one day come to an end. This morning I watched as a funeral procession went by – something that every single one of us has seen many times. And each one we see is a reminder that one day it won’t be someone else’s funeral we’ll be watching – it will be ours, and we will be the central figure in the event!
It’s a fact that whatever wealth we have when we die is only then of relevance to those who are left behind. Money can pay for a splendid funeral, but earthly wealth can buy nothing beyond the grave. So what is the currency of Heaven, when we move from time to eternity? What is it that we can take with us that will be precious and valuable in the life that is to come? In just four words our Scripture says it all – “righteousness delivers from death.” But in whose righteousness can we trust?
Jesus never sinned. His relationship with His Father was never broken. And for those of us who are in Christ, His righteousness becomes our eternal clothing. What a miracle it must be to pass through the gates of death and then experience that incredible changing room at the gates of Heaven! That amazing moment when the consequences of all our sins are replaced by that robe of righteousness in which we will be able to stand with all the redeemed and enjoy the presence of God for eternity. Or, as the old hymn puts it, “Ransomed, Healed, Restored, Forgiven!”
There is a day that all will have to face – will it be a day when, outside of Christ, we have to face the consequences of our choice? Or will it be clothed in righteousness, delivered from death, and rejoicing in our eternal inheritance? When we die we may leave behind an earthly inheritance for our family and friends, but in Christ, death is the moment when we enter fully into our eternal inheritance, paid for by the currency of Heaven – the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!!
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to remember that earthly wealth is of no value in eternity. Thank You, Lord, that your shed blood is the currency of Heaven and that because you died for me, I will be able to enjoy eternity with all the redeemed, clothed in your righteousness! Thank You, Jesus. Amen.