Rich as Croesus
Ever wondered where the term ‘as rich as Croesus’ came from? Croesus was king of Lydia from 560 BC– 546 BC. By capturing the major Greek cities of Western Anatolia, he completed the conquest of Ionia.
History tells us that Croesus eventually was defeated. It is not clear if he was taken prisoner of his own volition he moved to Egypt. Croesus real claim to fame was his great wealth. Archaeological finds as Sardis indicate that he minted pure gold coins. He was responsible for creating the first government coinage by certifying the weight of gold coins.
Croesus was responsible for providing several pillars at the Temple of Artimus in Ephesus – one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Being rich didn’t help Croesus to keep his kingdom, but it did get him into the history books and become a cliché of our language.
Being rich is the goal of most people, but only a few ever succeed. The writer of Proverbs pens this observation, ‘The rich man’s wealth is his only strength. The poor man’s poverty is his curse.’ From experience and personal observation, poverty is an attitude as much as anything else. I have seen wealthy people with a mind-set of poverty. Conversely, I have met people with hardly a bean to bless themselves with rejoice they are rich. People have looked at me with envy thinking I am well off yet unbeknown to them, my bank balance is nil. One is left with the idea that poverty is an attitude rather than circumstances.
One thing is certain, riches can’t buy favour with God. Neither is poverty a sign of holiness. God is no respecter of people. There is a popular idea that the wealthy are good people and the poor are the lowest of the low.
Fortunately, God’s idea of greatness comes from a different agenda. The writer of Proverbs coins another saying, ‘Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and you flourish like a tree!’
A final word from the Book of Proverbs, ‘True humility and respect for the Lord leads a man to riches, honour and long life.’