Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathers by labor shall increase.
The text implies three things.
I. THAT WEALTH IN ITSELF IS A GOOD THING.
1. All men strive for it, in obedience to the original command — to possess the earth and subdue it.
2. The services it can render are evidences of its value.
3. The Word of God approves it. Not money, but the "love" of it, is "a root of evil."
II. WEALTH MAY BE OBTAINED IN DIFFERENT WAYS. The two ways mentioned in the text.
1. The way of vanity, which may represent fraud, gambling, reckless speculation, etc.
2. The way of labour, in all which there is profit (Proverbs 14:23). See frequent commendations of diligence in the Scriptures.
III. THE INCREASE OR DECREASE OF WEALTH IS AFFECTED BY THE MODE OF ITS ACQUSITION. "Gotten by vanity," it diminishes; procured by labour, it "shall increase." Two considerations as to the constitution of human nature help us to understand how this comes about.
1. What a man does not work for he seldom appreciates. Difficulty of attaining augments value. "Easy got, soon spent," has passed into a proverb.
2. What one does not value he is apt to squander. Spendthrifts are those who value money slightly.
Parallel VersesKJV: Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.