Proverbs. Work and Money.
Key Notes: To be a good worker, you need eight qualities. Good money and bad. Bribery and gifts.
The Proverbs are rich in material on work and money.
"Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise. Without having any chief or officer or ruler, it prepares its food in summer, and gathers its sustenance in harvest." (Prov. 6:6–8)
"A child who gathers in summer is prudent, but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame." (Prov. 10:5)
" Better to be despised and have a servant, than to be self-important and lack food." (Prov. 12:9)
"Where there are no oxen, there is no grain; abundant crops come by the strength of the ox." (Prov. 14:4)
Work with your hands.
"From the fruit of the mouth one is filled with good things, and manual labor has its reward." (Prov. 12:14)
"In all toil there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." (Prov. 14:23)
"Those who till their land will have plenty of food, but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense." (Prov. 12:11)
"Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds; for riches do not last forever, nor a crown for all generations. When the grass is gone, and new growth appears, and the herbage of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field; there will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and nourishment for your servant-girls." (Prov. 27:23–27)
Work in the morning.
"Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread." (Prov. 20:13
Work first; marriage second.
"Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house." (Prov. 24:27)
Don't work to get rich.
"Do not wear yourself out to get rich; be wise enough to desist. When your eyes light upon it, it is gone; for suddenly it takes wings to itself, flying like an eagle toward heaven." (Prov. 23:4–5)
To be a good worker, you need---
"Do you see those who are skillful in their work? they will serve kings; they will not serve common people. " (Prov. 22:29)
"A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but an accurate weight is his delight." (Prov. 11:1)
"Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death." (Prov. 10:2)
" The lazy do not roast their game, but the diligent obtain precious wealth." (Prov. 12:27)
"The appetite of workers works for them; their hunger urges them on." (Prov. 16:26)
"The lazy person buries a hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to the mouth." (Prov.’:24)
"The lazy person says, 'There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!'" (Prov. 22:13)
" Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed." (Prov. 15:22)
"Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." (Prov. 16:3)
"The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but He thwarts the craving of the wicked." (Prov. 10:3)
There are things better than money.
"How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver." (Prov. 16:16)
"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold." (Prov. 22:1)
"The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life." (Prov. 22:4)
"Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death." (Prov. 11:4)
"Those who trust in their riches will wither, but the righteous will flourish like green leaves." (Prov. 11:28)
"The wicked earn no real gain, but those who sow righteousness get a true reward." (Prov. 11:18)
Good money and bad.
"The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous." (Prov. 13:22)
"Wealth hastily gotten will dwindle, but those who gather little by little will increase it." (Prov. 13:11)
"One who augments wealth by exorbitant interest gathers it for another who is kind to the poor." (Prov. 28:8)
"Bread gained by deceit is sweet, but afterward the mouth will be full of gravel." (Prov. 20:17)
"The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death." (Prov. 21:6)
Bribes vs. gifts.
"A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of those who give it; wherever they turn they prosper." (Prov. 17:8)
" The wicked accept a concealed bribe to pervert the ways of justice." (Prov. 17:23)
"A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great. " (Prov.‘:16)
"A gift in secret averts anger; and a concealed bribe in the bosom, strong wrath." (Prov. 21:14)
" Those who are greedy for unjust gain make trouble for their households, but those who hate bribes will live." (Prov. 15:27)
"Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of a gift never given." (Prov. 25:14)
Comment on bribery.
The references are ambiguous. Two references denounce bribery, and two say frankly that bribes work. There is no doubt that gifts open doors and settle disputes. The line is drawn when the gift subverts justice. Although the texts elsewhere are scant, they leave no doubt about God's will in the matter.
At his resignation as judge and prophet of Israel, Samuel asked "Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it?" (ISam.12:3). But his sons did take bribes and were not allowed to succeed him as judges. ISam.8:3
"For the company of the godless is barren, and fire consumes the tents of bribery." (Job 15:34)
"Sweep me not away with sinners, nor my life with blood thirsty men, men in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes." (Psa.26:10)
"He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe...he will dwell on the heights." (Isa.33:15)