Westview Christian Fellowship

Riches Are Not the Product of Hard Work, Proverbs 10:1-22 with Caleb Ratzlaff

September 29, 2021

The following is a message shared at Westview on Sept. 5, 2021. Here Caleb gives a close reading of Proverbs. 10:1-22, arguing, with the help of his professor, Calvin Seerveld, that Proverbs can be read not as a collection of isolated sayings, but as cohesive poetic units. When read this way, the Proverbs sits more comfortably in the wisdom tradition and the trajectory that moves through Jesus. 


Proverbs 10 is concerned with the heart rather than the right knowledge and doctrine or about working hard and being “successful”. Riches are not a measure of wisdom, in fact, wealth is a danger for the foolish. Proverbs 10 has a spirit of playfulness, care, and welcoming that calls for justice and love: a love that dresses all kinds of rebellious misdeeds with clothes.


Proverbs 10:1-22 translated by Calvin Seerveld



“Proverbs 10: 1-22: from poetic paragraphs to preaching” In Reading and Hearing the Word: From Text to Sermons. Essays in Honor of john H. Stek edited by Arie C. Leder. Grand Rapids: Calvin Theological Seminary.


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