Key Scriptures: 1 Kings 4:20-28, 2 Chronicles 9:13-29, 1 Kings 10:14-25, 2 Chronicles 2:17-18 and 8:7-10, 1 Timothy 6:10, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 6:24, Proverbs 22:7, Proverbs 13:11, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Luke 12:15, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Matthew 6:19-21, Proverbs 22:1, Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 6:38, Psalm 37:21, Luke 12:33-34, Acts 20:35, 1 Corinthians 16:2, Matthew 5:42, Philippians 4:11-13, Mark 8:36, Proverbs 15:27, Matthew 6:31-33, Proverbs 10:4, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Leviticus 19:13, Proverbs 6:6-8, Mark 12:41-44, 1 Timothy 6:9, Acts 4:32-35, Proverbs 28:8, Proverbs 11:1, Mark 4:19, Proverbs 14:23, Colossians 3:23, Proverbs 16:16, Proverbs 13:4
Guiding Question: What does God want our attitudes and actions to be regarding money?
Optional Introductory Activity: Ask students to pretend you just gave each of them $1 million dollars. Have them share some of the ways they would use the money.
Lesson: (Questions for students are in bold italics.) Read 1 Kings 4:20-28, 2 Chronicles 2:17-18 and 8:7-10 and 9:13-20 as well as 1 Kings 10:14-25. What do we learn about Solomon’s wealth in these passages? If you remember when Solomon asked God for wisdom, God replied that since he had chosen wisely, God would also bless him with great wealth. Depending upon the source estimates say even by today’s standards he would be the wealthiest man alive with figures ranging from billions to trillions of dollars.
Yet, even though he had requested wisdom from God, it appears he didn’t always use the wisdom he was given. Although he did some good things with his wealth, like build a Temple for God, he also spent a lot of money selfishly and to do things like build high places for the idols his wives worshipped. He even had slaves and taxed his subjects so heavily that it contributed to the splitting of his kingdom under his son.
Why, when he was the richest man in the world, was he still doing things like using slave labor and heavily taxing the people in his kingdom? Read Ecclesiastes 5:10. Solomon wrote this book in part because later, he realized how foolish many of his choices had been. What does he say he learned about money in this verse? Solomon learned that if you love money, there will never be a time when you think you have enough money…even if you are the richest man in the world.
The Bible has so many verses about money and our relationship with it, that there is little doubt what God expects from us. Read the following scriptures and describe what each passage reveals about how God wants us to interact with money. (Note: There are a lot of scriptures in the Bible about money. You may prefer to divide students into small groups and give each group some of these scriptures to read and discuss. Then bring everyone back together and create a large chart covering everything they learned. Some of the passages are rather abstract and should be discussed to make sure students understand them.)
- 1 Timothy 6:10. Love of money is the root of all evil
- Hebrews 13:5. Keep your life free from the love of money, be content with what you have
- Matthew 6:24. Can’t serve both God and money
- Proverbs 22:7. The borrower is the slave of the lender
- Proverbs 13:11. Wealth gathered hastily will dwindle, if gathered little by little it will increase
- Luke 12:15. One’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of possessions
- 1 Timothy 6:17-19. The rich should not be haughty or set their hopes on riches, but should be rich in good deeds, generous and ready to share
- Matthew 6:19-21. Don’t lay up treasures on earth, but in Heaven
- Proverbs 22:1. Good name better than great riches
- Proverbs 3:9-10. Honor the Lord with your wealth and first fruits
- Luke 6:38. Give and it will be given to you
- Psalm 37:21. Wicked borrows and does not pay back, righteous is generous and gives
- Luke 12:33-34. Rich young ruler
- Acts 20:35. It is more blessed to give than to receive
- 1 Corinthians 16:2. On the first day of each week give to God
- Matthew 5:42. Give to the one who begs, lend to those who want to borrow
- Philippians 4:11-13. Learned how to be content in plenty and in hunger, abundance and need
- Mark 8:36. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul
- Proverbs 15:27. Greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household
- Matthew 6:31-33. Don’t be anxious about food, clothing, etc.
- Proverbs 10:4. A slack hand causes poverty
- 2 Corinthians 9:7. Each must give as decided in his heart, God loves cheerful giver
- Leviticus 19:13. Must not oppress, rob or withhold wages
- Proverbs 6:6-8. Consider the ant
- Mark 12:41-44. Widow’s mite
- 1 Timothy 6:9. Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10. If a man will not work, he should not eat
- Acts 4:32-35. Believers shared so no one was needy
- Proverbs 28:8. Don’t get rich by charging interest
- Proverbs 11:1. Don’t get money with false weights
- Mark 4:19. Desires for riches and things makes the Word unfruitful
- Proverbs 14:23. In toil there is profit, mere talk leads to poverty
- Colossians 3:23. Whatever you do work heartily as for the Lord
- Proverbs 16:16. How much better to get wisdom than gold
- Proverbs 13:4. Soul of sluggard craves and gets nothing, soul of diligent is richly supplied
Skills Activity. Review the main points from the lesson. The activities you choose for this unit will depend in large part upon the life experiences and needs of your Bible students. Some groups may need to spend some time differentiating between those things that are needs versus those things that are wants. Even after much discussion, they may still struggle separating the two.
Other students need to be taught basic money stewardship skills. Dave Ramsey has many free tools on his website. It is particularly important with limited time to focus on budgeting, giving to God and debt prevention.
For some groups, you may want to extend this lesson further by discussing topics like resumes, job skills, job interview techniques and other skill sets that will help them with future employment. Job skills should be basic ones that almost every employer wants, like punctuality, dependability, good grooming, good communication skills, teamwork, positive attitude, willing to go the extra mile, honesty, well mannered, self starter, willing to learn, hard worker, strong basic reading, writing and math skills, and responsibility.
Whichever activities you choose should provide students with necessary skills to be good stewards and be able to fulfill the scriptures that they studied during the course of the lesson. The skills portion of the lesson should also cover the need to be generous and give to God. It can be helpful for students to understand that the idea of a ten percent tithe to God is not in the New Testament. In fact, adding up all of the gifts commanded in the Old Testament indicates the average person was to give much more than ten percent. This pattern continues in the New Testament church when many sold all the had and shared so no one was needy.
Application Challenge: Review the main points of the lesson. Which scriptures are difficult for you to obey? Why? What changes do you need to make to interact with money in more godly ways?