Wealth, prosperity, health, and love; the desires of life under the sun. The Bible has a lot to say about these. Though most start out adult life dismissing what God has to say believing we have life all figured out and what we don’t know we are sure we will get it. If we succeed we are full of destructive self-pride. If we fail we blame others.
God gives a promise in verses 9 and 10 about wealth and prosperity. Honor the Lord with wealth = prosperity. To honor is to recognize the value of someone or something and to act accordingly. Jesus equated honoring God with doing what he says. (John 8:42, 14:15) He also said, “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:26) Giving money during offering time while not loving God is not honoring God.
Honoring God is to accept his disciplines as love (11,12) When the Lord’s disciplines often prosperous times end. During the loss of wealth, prosperity, and perhaps even health God is teaching that “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (Matthew 4:4) We are learning that “God disciplines us for our good.” (Hebrews 12:10)
Verses 13-18 is a short poem that expounds on the value of wisdom and understanding. God is stating that these are more valuable than any treasures in the world. This poem begins and ends with the fact that a blessed life is found and established in wisdom and knowledge. Knowledge and wisdom is the method to true riches and honor. They are pleasant ways and paths of peace (17). They are the tree of life (18).