When it comes to inheritances, the Bible is full of insight. It describes a variety of ways in which property, goods, and even entire businesses can be passed down from one generation to the next. In particular, the Bible speaks about three key approaches: legal inheritance, spiritual inheritance, and divine inheritance. Through these approaches, it provides guidance for how to view and manage one’s familial and material wealth.
The Bible speaks quite specifically about legal inheritance. Most often, it speaks in terms of parental provisions provided to children. The primary framework for this concept is found in the Fifth Commandment. Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesians 6:2 both declare that obedience to parents is a requirement for believers. In turn, these verses indicate that parents have an obligation to provide financially for their offspring.
For instance, Deuteronomy 21:17 speaks to the provision of double inheritance belonging to the firstborn son. This inheritance is in contrast to the equal division of wealth described in other books, such as Numbers 27:8-11. Similarly, there are laws associated with the division of inheritance when the father has multiple wives, as described in the book of Deuteronomy.
The Bible also speaks to a spiritual inheritance, which focuses more on non-material matters. In this approach, the Bible suggests that believers should strive to carry on the legacy of their faith, passing it down to their children and future generations.
Some passages to consider in this regard include:
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 which speaks to the instruction of children in the ways of the Lord
Psalm 78:5-6 which speaks to the teaching of God’s wonders to the generations to come
Deuteronomy 11:19 which speaks to the transmission of God’s laws
More broadly, the book of Proverbs focuses heavily on the concept of wisdom, which is a central part of many spiritual inheritances. These proverbs reveal the importance of imparting wisdom and teaching virtuous living to our children and descendants.
In addition to legal and spiritual inheritances, the Bible also speaks of a divine inheritance. This type of inheritance is rooted in the concept of salvation. In his gospel, Paul emphasizes the importance of grace and forgiveness, noting that through his sacrifice, believers have been made heirs of eternal life and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Romans 8:17, in particular, speaks to this inheritance, saying “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Similarly, Hebrews 9:15 indicates that Jesus, through his death, opened a path for believers to “receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
Ultimately, divine inheritance revolves around the concept of being adopted as children of God. This adoption not only grants us eternal life, but also rights to the Kingdom of Heaven, which include authority and dominion over the world.
Love & Generosity
The Bible also speaks to the concept of inheritance from a practical perspective. In doing so, it emphasizes the need to be generous with one’s wealth and possessions. One primary example is found in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 which encourages believers to invest in good works and make sure that their wealth is distributed generously.
Similarly, the Bible places a strong emphasis on love. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul makes it clear that love is the most important quality of a Christian, noting that “All these things are conquerable through love.” From this perspective, we can see that inheritances should not be used as a means of control or manipulation, but rather should be managed in a way that cultivates love and generosity.
The Bible also speaks to the concept of wealth management. Ecclesiastes 5:19 notes that “when God gives someone wealth, he also gives them the ability to enjoy it” and that it should be used in moderation. This verse is echoed throughout the Bible – from Proverbs 11:25 to Proverbs 21:20. Proverbs 22:7 also notes that “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
In sum, proper wealth management is a responsibility for believers. They must be diligent about evaluating how their finances are being used, making sure that their assets are managed wisely, and utilizing them for good causes.
In all, the Bible has a great deal to say about inheritances. It reveals a variety of approaches to wealth management, from legal to spiritual to divine. It also emphasizes the need to be generous and loving with one’s possessions. Furthermore, it speaks to the importance of wise wealth management, so that assets are used to glorify God and support those in need. Through these conversations, it becomes clear that the Bible takes an active and positive approach to inheritance.