A Proverb for Today — Proverbs 13:22 (part one)

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Proverbs 13:22).

We tend to have a very flawed perspective on inheritance in Western societies.  Because there are more people (and voters) without much money than there are wealthy voters, politicians have found it helps them to keep power if they stir up envy.  One of their favourite tools is very high rates of inheritance tax under the guise of “fairness”.

If someone works hard to earn money, and pays taxes on it in the process, there is nothing inherently “fair” about the government limiting how much of it they can pass on to their children and grandchildren, whether they do so in life or in death.  It doesn’t matter whether the heirs “deserve” the money.  They probably don’t.

In fact, the question of whether the heirs deserve the money shows a complete lack of understanding of what an inheritance is all about.  If we look at Colossians 1:12, we see the following: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

In this verse, our salvation is referred to as an inheritance.  We don’t deserve it.  We aren’t even fit to receive it — but the Father “made us meet” for it.  Not only did we not deserve salvation, we have to be changed to even be fit to receive it.  The Biblical view of inheritance is that it is something owned by a father which he passes on to his children, not by any merit in them, but simply because they are his children and he loves them.

Our salvation is referred to repeatedly in the New Testament as an inheritance.  The envy which is rampant in our society has no place in the thinking of a Christian.  It twists our view of “inheritance”, and can damage our understanding of the Gospel, and all that God gives us in salvation.  This proverb tells us an inheritance is a good thing, something that a good man leaves to his children and grandchildren.  It is a good illustration of the graciousness of our God.

More to come….

Update:  part two and part three

About Jon Gleason

Former Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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2 Responses to A Proverb for Today — Proverbs 13:22 (part one)

  1. Diane says:

    I was just talking about inheritance with Michael last night at bed time. He was thinking since the curse happened on Earth, and affects everything on this planet, that maybe if we moved to Mars or the moon we could have avoided it. I asked him if he had an inheritance from a great grandfather, would he no longer have it if he got in a rocket and went into space? Then he seemed to get it, but I want to thank you for this great reminder not to forget to discuss further the luxuriant inheritance that is freely ours in Christ, even though we are not “deserving”…I think Romans 5 will be the topic of tonight’s bedtime chat. 🙂

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