The wealth of a rich person is like a fortified city,
but the poor are brought to ruin by their poverty.
The reward which the righteous receive is life;
the recompense which the wicked receive is judgment.
As you may remember, I think the idea of a bomb shelter is a good idea. There is also something else that I’d love to have…a panic room. I’m not terribly concerned that someone is going to try to kill me – but you never know. Someone might be out there right now, spinning a web of lies that involves finding Al Capon’s body in the crawlspace of my house.
So, it would be cool to have a room everyone could escape to in a dangerous situation. If big ol’ guys bust down the door, I’m thinking I’d rather have a door they can’t break down to hide behind. Or if they decide to make swiss-cheese art out of my front door, it would be nice to have a bullet proof door to cover us.
Of course, we’ve never been in a position to be able to afford such frivolities. And I doubt we ever will be. So, if you read about us on the news some night, you’ll knew we never got the panic room put in.
It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. However unfair it may seem, this proverb is true. Those who have a lot of money are able to do extravagant things to protect their valuables. Therefore, they are safe behind their own fortified walls of protection. However, the poor can’t afford to do things to protect their possessions, so they are more vulnerable to having their lives ruined because of it.
However, I don’t think the lifestyles of the rich and famous is the point of this proverb. Sure, you have to be wise to accumulate wealth (unless your parents give it to you) and you also have to be wise to keep you money. However, I think the idea has less to do with money and more to do with…wisdom.
Thusly, verse 16. The reward of the righteous…those who live rightly…those who live the Proverbious life will receive life. A long life, a rewarding life. And righteousness/wisdom will serve as the fortified wall around us. However, the wicked receive just the opposite. They get judgment. They are poor in terms of wisdom, so they don’t have anything to protect their lives.
If you want to be secure in life, learn the ways of wisdom. It’s like a panic room for you soul.