Posted by Mark Herzer

Proverbs 10:22

10:22 — The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

Delitzch says that this proverb “is a compendium of Ps. cxxvii. 1, 2.” It does not discount labor but highlights what is given to the righteous. It is indeed ora et labora! “The sluggard looks for prosperity without diligence; the practical atheist from diligence alone; the sound-hearted Christian from the blessing of God in the exercise of diligence.” (Bridges) John Mayer says, “Worldly men, who are set upon gathering riches, think that by their own industry and providence they can enrich themselves, and therefore without any regard had, either to serve God, or to just and righteous dealing, they give themselves wholly to gather goods, by hook or crook; but it is here declared, that all men may take notice of it, that it is not in man’s power to get riches, but it is God’s blessing, as is also taught, Ps. 127 and Deut. 8:11-18; Ps. 113, etc.”

Waltke interprets the latter part of the verse to mean that we will not toil for it — “but his blessing does not depend on hard, strenuous labor alone.” This seems to be a traditional interpretation (cf. Delitzch) of some of the Rabbis. Taking the NIV translation, Longman says, “Taken alone, this proverb is amazing indeed. It says that the blessing of Yahweh comes with wealth and no trouble.”  He also notes that this is not the only thing the Bible says about wealth and blessings but it still conveys an important aspect of God’s truth.

The latter phrase has been interpreted by good men in the following ways.  “This blessing confers riches and preserves them, without exposing to harassing cares, their natural and common attendants.…But the blessing of the Lord is a hedge about all that a righteous man hath. His labors are pleasant, his gains are safe. His portion is beyond the reach of danger, and his heart is preserved from vexation, in getting, or keeping, or using, or loving the world, because the Lord is his confidence.” (Lawson) Perowne says, “It is without alloy, free from the drawbacks and anxieties which attach to earthly riches.” John Mayer says, “That is, when riches are a blessing, they neither fade soon again, as when they are ill gotten to make the possessor of them sorrowful; neither are their minds, that have them troubled in thinking by what oppressions, lying, forswearing,.. they have gotten them…” John Trapp’s statement is probably the most accurate (I believe): “Those three vultures shall be driven away, that constantly feed on the wealthy worldling’s heart. Care in getting, fear in keeping, grief in losing the things of this life. God gives to his wealth without woe, store without sore, gold without guilt, one little drop whereof troubles the whole sea of all outward comforts.”

In conclusion, we know that blessings come from the Lord. God is not harsh or deceitful. He does not bless His own to harm them or to entrap them. They come with His blessings; we can enjoy them in genuine humble fear of the Lord. Let our hearts not run after the blessings and thus sour the whole batch. Let us enjoy what He gives us since He adds no sorrow with it while recognizing it cannot fully satisfy our hearts. Let us always remember who is it that has blessed us rather than relishing the blessing without recognizing the benefactor.

We must also remember that our heavenly Father does not bless deceptively. Often, our hearts sinfully wonder if the Lord gave with a built in downside to it. Have we not said, “This is too good to be true; I wonder when I’m going to pay for this thing?” Our Lord adds no sorrow with it; we can enjoy it with humble thanks. True, our sinful hearts may misuse or abuse His blessings but that has everything with our own hearts. God is not a “Genie” blessing us while sneaking in a curse to unravel everything. We can be richly satisfied and humbled by His kindness — really, He adds no sorrow with it. That is how good and large hearted our God is.


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