By Jacques Ellul
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Solomon, one of the rich men whose righteousness is recognized, is righteous only insofar as he is the prophet of Jesus Christ's glory. Prophet of glory the idea assumes that all forms of human glory including wealth will ultimately be integrated in Christ's glory. It conversely assumes that Solomon's wealth, because it is prophetic, is in reality clothed with righteousness. But this is speaking of the wealth of Solomon, and certainly not that of Standard Oil. Ethical Implications. If we accept the idea that wealth in the Old Testament is a sacrament (with the meanings we have just discussed), this leads to an ethic which is not strongly delineated in the texts but which is indicated only incidentally.
No other way out is possible. It is useless to try to avoid, passing through judgment. The very character of this judgment (which we will examine later) introduces us to a world that is different from the natural world. It leads us into God's world which, already on earth, is characterized by grace. We must think again of the impact of this overused word. Grace is God's action, freely willed and given without cost. Indeed the major, characteristic of God's world is the fact that in it everything is given MONEY 87 88 MONEY & POWER freely.
Because wealth satisfies our understandable, enormous desires, it quickly loses its further, future WEALTH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT 69 meanings. We are satisfied when our body and heart are satisfied; we go to sleep then and do not search further. Wealth's ambivalence leads us, when material satisfaction becomes overly important, to attribute all importance to the sign and therefore to ourselves. God keeps the situation ambiguous because Adam's situation after the Fall is ambiguous, but we try to destroy this ambiguity to our own profit by excluding the value God places on his action and his life.