Proverbial Hump Day: Proverbs 11:28
No, it's not a joke
One could easily make a joke out of Proverbs 11:28, but I don’t think the author intended it to be funny.
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like foliage.
The first part of this verse is easy to understand. Riches can fail us. Anyone who has ever witnessed someone lose all of their money knows that all too well.
It’s not that wealth is a bad thing. God can, and does, bless people through wealth. The problem is when we put more faith in the wealth than in God. Trusting in your riches will surely cause you to stumble—at least spiritually. But it could also lead to financial ruin.
But what about that foliage?
Thriving Like Foliage
If you’ve ever been on a walk through a wooded forest, you might have seen a lot of foliage. It tends to grow and keep growing. And in places where it isn’t cut back or trimmed, it will just keep growing. What makes foliage grow?
The right temperature
God put every species of plant in a specific habitat that is healthy for that plant. A plant, a tree, a bush, or any type of foliage living in a habitat that is natural for it will thrive because it will get all the right things it needs to grow and thrive from that environment. So when the author of Proverbs 11:28 says “the righteous will thrive like foliage,” what he’s saying is that those who honor and glorify their creator will grow spiritually strong in the same way a plant doing what it was created to do grows strong.
Are you acting naturally, or supernaturally in Christ?