How Long Will You Love Your Simple Ways?

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K. Scott

image How much better to get wisdom than gold,
         to choose understanding rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16

Scott’s book comes to the reader presenting an attractive idea; follow and apply each of the hundreds of proverbs to your life and you will be the beneficiary of untold success and wealth. As the author intertwines his stories of financial success and vignettes of nearly every rich person on earth with the proverbs, he intimates that by simply following these wise rules you too can become unimaginably wealthy. What appears to be missing from the consideration of the proverbs is their source.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, …”Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people.” (2 Chron 1:7,10) Though Solomon is credited with writing this book of wisdom, its source is undeniably divine. Missing from this book until the very end is any mention of the need to trust in God as the foundation to any endeavor. For the multitude of believers through the centuries who have lived without wealth and success, who even gave their lives for their belief in God, this is an inexcusable omission.

Steven Scott’s enthusiasm is understandable. It would appear that he has been richly blessed with material success. In each story of triumph or failure, he attributes the outcome to the application or ignorance of a particular proverbial concept. In reading the chapters, one begins to get the sense that Solomon’s sayings are conformed to fit Scott’s concepts of business or used to explain those times of need. He utilizes a very loose interpretive scheme, utilizing multiple translations of the Bible to get just the wording that he needs to make his point. (Review his use of the oft-mistranslated and misinterpreted Proverbs 29:18.)

Solomon’s secret to wealth, happiness and success was simple: trust in God and lean not on his own understanding. Perhaps brother Scott could benefit from a review of Proverbs 11:2.

I am grateful to Waterbrook Press who provided this copy for review.

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